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Microstructures in subglacial and proglacial sediments : understanding faults, folds and fabrics, and the influence of water on the style of deformation

Phillips, Emrys; Merritt, Jonathan; Auton, Clive; Golledge, Nicholas. 2007 Microstructures in subglacial and proglacial sediments : understanding faults, folds and fabrics, and the influence of water on the style of deformation. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26 (11-12). 1499-1528. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.03.007

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Abstract/Summary

Macroscopic field and micromorphological studies have been carried out on subglacially and proglacially deformed glacigenic sequences at a number of sites throughout Scotland, UK. Examination of microstructures (folds, faults, hydrofractures, plasmic fabrics) aided understanding of the deformation histories preserved in the sediments, but a similar range of structures were developed in both subglacial and proglacial settings. Discrimination between subglacial and proglacial deformation was only possible when micromorphological data was used in conjunction with larger-scale field observations. Variations in lithology and water content were controlling factors influencing the style and apparent intensity of deformation recorded. Changes in pore-water content and pressure during deformation can lead to liquefaction and hydrofracturing, with early formed structures locally controlling the pattern of water-escape. Liquefaction can also lead to homogenisation of the sediments and the destruction of earlier deformation structures, even at relatively low strains. Beds or zones of liquefied sand and silt may form highly ‘lubricated’ detachments within the sediment pile, resulting in a marked reduction in the amount of shear transmitted to underlying units. A multidisciplinary approach, involving sedimentological, geomorphological, stratigraphical and structural field observations, combined with micromorphological analysis, is recommended to confidently unravel the glacitectonic history and depositional environment of most deformed glacigenic sedimentary sequences.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.03.007
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Geology and Landscape Northern
ISSN: 0277-3791
Additional Keywords: Scotland, Faults, Folds, Deformation
NORA Subject Terms: Glaciology
Earth Sciences
Date made live: 20 Aug 2008 14:24
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3925

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