Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-14-2013

Major Department or Program

Geology - Environmental Studies


Bob Carson


Linnébreen, a 2 km2 high-arctic primarily cold-based polythermal glacier in a valley of Carboniferous sedimentary rocks and Proterozoic phyllite and schist in southwest Spitsbergen, has retreated approximately 208 m since 2004, and 1.5 km from its Little Ice Age maximum (LIAM) at around 1936. Drift is continuously being reworked by meltwater as the area between the glacier and the LIAM moraine is both a sediment sink and source. Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and particle size distribution analyses (PSD) help us to understand the current state of the ice-marginal and proglacial area. Samples were collected during the late 2012 melt season from 18 locations along supraglacial and two ice-marginal meltwater channels. These ice-marginal channels converge 150 m downvalley of the glacial terminus forming the proglacial meltwater-dominated stream, Linnéelva. SSC and discharge of Linnéelva were measured from July 24 to August 8 at two proglacial locations, 0.23 and 1.22 km downvalley of the glacial terminus. Data from the ice-marginal and proglacial study locations provide clues about where meltwater is transporting sediment from the glacier or reworking ice-marginal deposits, and a broad idea of how Linnéelva is reworking sediments in the proglacial area upvalley of the LIAM moraine.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Sedimentology -- Rock Record, Particle size distribution, Moraines -- Norway -- Svalbard, Suspended sediments -- Concentration, Meltwater -- Analysis, Glacial epoch - Little Ice Age Maximum (LIAM), Stratigraphic geology -- Carboniferous, Sedimentary rocks -- Analysis, Spitsbergen Island (Norway) -- Linnebreen, Suspended sediments -- Norway -- Spitsbergen Island, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2013 -- Geology-Environmental Studies

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