Implications of till-provenance studies for glaciological reconstructions of the paleoglaciers of Wildhorse Canyon, Idaho, U.S.A

Keith A. Brugger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Detailed till-provenance studies of moraine complexes in the Wildhorse Canyon area, Idaho, U.S.A., allow inferences to be made regarding the flow paths and dynamics of Wildhorse and Fall Creek Glaciers, the two principal tributaries constituting a late-Pleistocene compound glacier. In particular, the distribution of statistically defined pebble and mineral assemblages within moraine complexes suggests that Wildhorse Glacier contributed a substantially greater volume of ice to the trunk glacier than did Fall Creek Glacier. An initial group of glaciological reconstructions yields estimates for the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) of the compound glacier that are consistent with those independently arrived at using other methods of ELA determination. Ice-flux calculations imply, however, that for each reconstruction the relative contributions of ice from Wildhorse and Fall Creek Glaciers were about equal, which is inconsistent with the inferences drawn from the till-provenance data. An alternative reconstruction incorporated possible orographic effects on accumulation and ablation by using different ELAs for the two tributary glaciers. Calculations for this reconstruction suggest that the ice flux of Wildhorse Glacier was about twice that of Fall Creek Glacier. This reconstruction is more consistent with the till-provenance data, and furthermore suggests that such data might be invaluable in choosing between seemingly equally viable glaciological reconstructions of paleoglaciers.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)93-101
    Number of pages9
    JournalAnnals of Glaciology
    Volume22
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1996

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