Surging of the southwestern part of the Laurentide Ice Sheet

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Abstract

The southwestern part of the Laurentidc Ice Sheet, in central North America, repeatedly surged during the last part of the Wisconsin Glaciation. Evidence includes the extreme lobation of the ice margin, the gentle slopes of lateral moraines and other marginal features, a radiocarbon chronology indicating extremely rapid marginal advance and retreat, and the abundance of supraglacial flow till. Rapid ice movement was caused by subglacial water and was probably limited to areas of slowly permeable substrate, which slowed the escape of the water.

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