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The Ledsjö end moraine—a subaquatic push moraine composed of glaciomarine clay in central Sweden

Journal article
Authors Mark D. Johnson
Ivar Örn Benediktsson
Lennart Björklund
Published in Proceedings of the geologists association
Volume 124
Issue 5
Pages 738-752
ISSN 0016-7878
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 738-752
Language en
Keywords end moraine, push moraine, glaciomarine clay, glaciotectonics glacial history
Subject categories Quaternary geology


Abstract During the Younger Dryas cold event, the Scandinavian ice sheet readvanced in southwest Sweden and formed the Middle Swedish end-moraine zone (MSEMZ). Recent highway construction near Skara has created an exposure through the prominent ridge at Ledsjö. Through sketching and measurement of structural information, we have documented the internal character of the Ledsjö moraine. The moraine consists predominantly of clay with numerous sand pods and lenses, which show undeformed, brittle deformed, or fluidized structures. Based on geomorphology and structural geology, it is clear the moraine was made during two advances. As ice advanced, proglacial marine clay was subglacially mobilized by the ice and extruded at the ice margin forming a ramp of debris-flow sediment. Contemporaneously, subglacial meltwater transported sand to the margin, where the meltwater became a buoyant plume, and sand was deposited near the ice margin by currents moving away from as well as toward the ice margin. These processes resulted in interbedded sand and clay. Continued advance of the ice margin deformed this package and further pushed the assemblage into a ridge form with gravity sliding of portions of the ridge. Prior to the second advance, sand was deposited on the proximal side of the initial ridge. During readvance, this sand was thrust faulted and intruded by mobilized clay. Up ice of the intruded sands, subglacial, extensional deformation created a complex shear zone of faulted sand and clay. The Ledsjö moraine represents a subaerial example of submarine push moraines like the submerged moraines recently documented in Svalbard.

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