The glaciers of the Torngat Mountains of northern Labrador

Way, Robert (2013) The glaciers of the Torngat Mountains of northern Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The glaciers of the Torngat Mountains of northern Labrador are the southernmost m the eastern Canadian Arctic and the most eastern glaciers in continental North America. This thesis presents the first complete inventory of the glaciers of the Torngat Mountains and also the first comprehensive change assessment for Torngat glaciers over any time period. In total, 195 ice masses are mapped with 105 of these showing clear signs of active glacier flow. Analysis of glaciers and ice masses reveal strong influences of local topographic setting on their preservation at low elevations; often well below the regional glaciation level. Coastal proximity and latitude are found to exert the strongest control on the distribution of glaciers in the Torngat Mountains. Historical glacier changes are investigated using paleomargins demarking fanner ice positions during the Little Ice Age. Glacier area for 165 Torngat glaciers at the Little Ice Age is mapped using prominent moraines identified in the forelands of most glaciers. Overall glacier change of 53% since the Little Ice Age is determined by comparing fanner ice margins to 2005 ice margins across the entire Torngat Mountains. Field verification and dating of Little Ice Age ice positions uses lichenometry with Rhizocarpon section lichens as the target subgenus. The relative timing of Little Ice Age maximum extent is calculated using lichens measured on moraine surfaces in combination with a locally established lichen growth curve from direct measurements of lichen growth over a ~30 year period. The timing of moraine abandonment from Little Ice Age maximum position is dated to have occurred between 1581 AD and 1673 AD.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9910
Item ID: 9910
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: 2013
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Glaciers--Newfoundland and Labrador--Labrador--Dating; Geochronometry--Newfoundland and Labrador--Labrador; Glaciers--Climatic factors--Newfoundland and Labrador--Labrador.

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