The Glacimarine Sediment Budget of the Nares Strait-Petermann Fjord Area Since the Last Glacial Maximum

TitleThe Glacimarine Sediment Budget of the Nares Strait-Petermann Fjord Area Since the Last Glacial Maximum
Publication TypePoster - Conference
AuthorsHogan, K, Jakobsson, M, Mayer, LA, Mix, AC, Jerram, K, Nielsen, T, Kamla, E, Stranne, C, Eriksson, B
Conference Name2016 Fall Meeting, American Geological Society (AGU)
Conference DatesDecember 12-16
Conference LocationSan Francisco, CA
Keywordsglacial maximum, glacimarine sediment budget, nares strait, petermann fjord

During the Petermann 2015 Expedition of the Swedish icebreaker Oden more than 6500 line-km of high-resolution chirp sub-bottom profiles (2-7 kHz) were acquired in Petermann Fjord and Nares Strait in the area immediately outside of the fjord. The sub-bottom profiles reveal a highly-variable distribution of post-glacial sediment that appears to be largely controlled by the rugged relief of the underlying bedrock. Sediment thicknesses are between 0-60 m above bedrock and comprise predominantly acoustically-stratified, homogeneous to transparent acoustic facies. In Petermann Fjord itself unlithified sediment cover typically comprises two units: an underlying acoustically-transparent unit overlain by an acoustically-stratified unit. Both of these units are conformable over scoured and fairly flat bedrock terrain; small basins are present only locally. Outside of the fjord are a few local sedimentary basins containing up to 40 m of stratified basin-fill deposits, and several areas of stacked mass-flow deposits. Glacial lineations both in the fjord and Nares Strait are formed in an acoustically-homogenous unit that underlies stratified and transparent units. In addition to the sub-bottom profiles, approximately 780 line-km of 2D seismic reflection profiles were acquired using an airgun (210 cu in.) and a 300-m long streamer. These profiles have allowed us to map full unlithified sediment thicknesses down to basement in the area. Here we present the results of this mapping and we calculate the volumes of a prominent grounding-zone wedge at the mouth of Petermann Fjord, and smaller GZWs in Kennedy Channel. These features demarcate former still-stand positions of grounded ice retreating through this system, both towards the present-day grounding line of Petermann Glacier and southwards through Nares Strait. Post-glacial sediment volumes are also calculated and the sedimentary processes responsible for their distribution examined. These data, when combined with chronological information, will provide sediment fluxes through the Petermann system and help us to identify how the system has responded to a past global warming event, namely the last deglaciation. This is particularly important in light of the recent thinning and acceleration of NW Greenland’s marine-terminating outlet glaciers at present.