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Kamb Ice Stream flow history and surge potential

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International Glaciological Society
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Abstract

A basal zone, tens of meters thick, of debris-laden ice was observed in Kamb Ice Stream, West Antarctica, using a video camera lowered into boreholes made by hot-water drilling. The debris content varies, sometimes abruptly, forming a sequence of layers that reflect the complex history of fast ice flow and bed interaction. In most parts, the concentration of debris is low, a few percent by weight, with particles, often mud clots, dispersed in a matrix of clear ice. The nature of the debris distribution can be interpreted in terms of specific time intervals in the history of fast motion of Kamb Ice Stream including processes leading up to the termination of its streaming behavior and possible reactivation.

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