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Inventory of glacial curvilineations (GCLs) at the southern periphery of the last Scandinavian Ice Sheet

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  • Aleksander Adamczyk, Polish Waters Regional Water Management Authority in Bydgoszcz, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland
  • Wojciech Wysota, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland
  • Jan A. Piotrowski

Glacial curvilineations (GCLs) are enigmatic landforms recently discovered in the southern peripheral area of the last Scandinavian Ice Sheet (SIS). They consist of multiple parallel, winding ridges several metres high and up to several kilometers long, systematically arranged in groups of common geomorphic appearance. GCLs create spectacular landscapes whose origin generates much controversy. Expanding from the first GCLs finding in central Poland, we now present an inventory of other GCLs occurrences along the SIS margin in Poland, Germany and Denmark based on analysis of high-resolution LiDAR digital elevation models. We document a total of 59 glacial curvilineation fields and focus on the geomophic characteristics of the 43 most conspicuous ones. Each of these fields consists of smaller units called GCL swarms, 137 in total. The fields differ strongly in areal coverage (between 1 and 358 km 2), number of swarms (between 1 and 21) and number of individual landforms (between 2 and 255). All GCL fields occur in tunnel valleys terminating at the ice margin, typically at various topographical levels. Our findings, interpreted in the context of glacial geological processes, support the origin of GCLs as erosional remnants of antecedent landscapes carved by channelized subglacial meltwater flows.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108094
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

    Research areas

  • GCLs, Glacial curvilineations, LiDAR, Subglacial meltwater flows, Tunnel valleys, Weichselian glaciation

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