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Title: Supraglacial debris supply in the Cuerpo de Hombre paleoglacier (Spanish Central System): reconstruction and interpretation of a rock avalanche event
Authors: Carrasco González, Rosa María
Pedraza, Javier de
Domínguez-Villar, David
Willenbring, Jane K.
Villa, Javier
Keywords: Paleoglaciers;Debuttressing;Moraines;Rock avalanches;Paraglacial;Spanish Central System
Issue Date: May-2013
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, 2013, 95 (3), 221-226
Abstract: During the deglaciation stages of the last glacial period a rock avalanche took place on the glacier that occupied the upper sector of the Cuerpo de Hombre Valley (Sierra de Béjar). The material displaced during the avalanche fell onto the ice, was transported by the glacier and later deposited as supraglacial ablation till. The cause of the avalanche was the decompression of the valley slopes after they were freed from the glacier ice (stress relaxation). Reconstruction of the ice masses has been carried out to quantify the stress relaxation that produced the collapse. The rock avalanche took place on a lithologically homogeneous slope with a dense fracture network. The avalanche left a 0.4 ha scar on the slope with a volume of displaced material of 623 ± 15 × 103 m3. The deposit is an accumulation of large, angular, heterometric boulders (1–100 m3 in volume) with a coarse pebble‐size matrix. The avalanche can be explained as a relaxation process. This implies rock decompression once the glacier retreat left the wall ice free (debuttressing). Calculations show that the avalanche took place where the decompression stresses were highest (130–170 kPa). In the Spanish Central System paleoglaciers the largest accumulation of morainic deposits occurred after the glacial maximum and the earliest stages of the ice retreat. The process described here is used as an example to formulate a hypothesis that the largest accumulations of tills were formed in relation to enhanced slope dynamics once some glacier retreat had occurred.
ISSN: 0435-3676
DOI: 10.1111/geoa.12010
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Geocronología y Geología

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