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The inselbergs of southeast Caithness are developed in resistant conglomerates and quartzites.


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Parts of this terrain are very old, exhumed from beneath the Old Red sandstone cover rocks, so that on parts of Scaraben the million year old scree still clings to ancient hill slopes. The Langwell Forest covers a sequence of ridges and valleys developed over the last 60 million years. The ridges follow resistant bands of quartzite and the valleys have been opened out in more easily weathered igneous and metamorphic rocks. The Atlantic Continental Shelf contains abundant sand deposits, useful for beach restoration.

The Piedmont Plateau Province is composed of hard, crystalline igneous and metamorphic rocks and extends from the inner edge of the Coastal Plain westward to Catoctin Mountain, the eastern boundary of the Blue Ridge Province. Bedrock in the eastern part of the Piedmont consists of schist, gneiss, gabbro, and other highly metamorphosed sedimentary and igneous rocks of probable volcanic origin.

In several places these rocks have been intruded by granitic plutons and pegmatites.

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Deep drilling has revealed that similar metamorphic and igneous rocks underlie the sedimentary rocks of the Coastal Plain. Several domal uplifts of Precambrian gneiss mantled with quartzite, marble, and schist are present in Baltimore County and in parts of adjacent counties. Differential erosion of these contrasting rock types has produced a distinctive topography in this part of the Piedmont.

The rocks of the western part of the Piedmont are diverse and include phyllite, slate, marble, and moderately to slightly metamorphosed volcanic rocks. In central Frederick County the relatively flat Frederick Valley is developed on Cambrian and Ordovician limestone and dolomite.

Gently undulating plains underlain by unmetamorphosed bedrock of Triassic red shale, siltstone, and sandstone occur in three areas in the western Piedmont. The Piedmont Plateau Province contains a variety of mineral resources. Formerly, building stone, slate, and small deposits of nonmetallic minerals, base-metal sulfides, gold, chromite, and iron ore were mined.

Geologic Regions of Georgia: Overview

Currently, crushed stone is important for aggregate, cement, and lime. Small to moderate supplies of ground water are available throughout the region, but favorable geological conditions locally may provide larger amounts.

The subglacial thermal regime on Ulu Peninsula comprised four principal types: a wet-based ice stream, warm-based sheet flow, cold-based sheet flow and cold-based plateau ice caps. Each leaves a distinctive sediment-landform assemblage behind in the geological record. There is evidence of frozen-bed patches with slow sheet flow.

Table of Contents

Marine geological evidence has been taken to suggest that there was cold-based ice on Antarctic Peninsula mountains during the LGM 72, Ice streaming and rapid basal sliding may have been encouraged by slippery marine sediments in Prince Gustav Channel. The table below summaries some of the key features and inferred thermal regimes of different glacial drifts found on Ulu Peninsula.


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  • The glacial sandy boulder gravel that characterises James Ross Island today is significantly different to the Neogene diamictite logged in many places across the island 19,74, Similar contrasts have been noted in the Dry Valleys, where pebble gravels deposited by cold-based glaciers differ from the Neogene Sirius Group diamictons This is indicative of changing climatic regimes, with diamicton, silt and clay forming only under the warmer conditions of the Neogene cf.

    Warmer atmospheric temperatures encouraged basal sliding, erosion, transportation and deposition under a wet-based ice sheet, with abundant production of fines through glacial abrasion, producing diamictites note: a diamictite is a lithified diamicton. Abrasion under cold-based glaciers is insufficient to produce the large quantities of fines needed for subglacial till formation, which is associated with warm-based glaciers above the pressure melting point.

    This study has shown that cold-based ice sheets are capably of entraining and moving subglacial sediments, and supports a new and emerging paradigm of sheet flow in high latitude regions. The old paradigm suggested that ice sheets comprised a patchwork of cold-based ice on mountain tops, with little or no erosion or deposition, surrounded by highly active warm-based ice that typically occupied valleys 78, New and emerging research suggests that this is an oversimplification, and that sheet flow is more complex.

    Although cold-based glaciers are weak erosional and depositional agents compared with warm-based glaciers, their thermal regime and their beds is more subtle than previously thought 43, Sheet flow occurred on the main part of the peninsula, with both warm- and cold-based ice flowing across the island, and cold-based and stationary ice domes on high plateaux blockfields. The lateral margins of Prince Gustav Ice Stream were likely to have been dominated by warm-based sheet flow; the evidence for this includes moraine fragments and enhanced deposition of erratics.

    This holistic and systematic study of Ulu Peninsula on James Ross Island has used detailed sedimentary descriptions, clast lithology, shape-roundness data and geomorphology mapped from both remotely sensed images and in the field to discriminate six sediment-landform assemblages and thus to present the first landsystem model from a semi-arid polar environment from the Antarctic Peninsula. The conceptual model emphasises the interrelationship and importance of glacial, periglacial and paraglacial processes.

    We identified, 1 a glacier snow and ice assemblage; 2 a glacigenic assemblage; 3 a boulder train assemblage; 4 an ice-cored moraine assemblage; 5 the paraglacial assemblage; and 6 a periglacial assemblage. Analysis of these assemblages provides a detailed understanding of landscape evolution on James Ross Island. Sediments and landforms were deposited during LGM glaciation and during mid- and Late-Holocene glacier readvances. They were subsequently reworked and deposited by periglacial and paraglacial processes, throughout the Holocene and into the present day. Crucially, when compared with other landsystem models, we find that the availability of meltwater encourages strong landform modification by periglacial processes.

    These processes would have been similarly important during Late Pleistocene glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, the landsystem model presented here is a modern analogue to be used in the interpretation of past glaciated environments. The data and the model for the interplay between cold-based, warm-based and streaming ice challenges the theory that cold-based glaciers do not erode or deposit. Finally, this paper presented important new data regarding the thermal regime and character and behaviour of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet during the LGM, which will aid reconstructions of the LGM ice sheet in the northern Antarctic Peninsula.

    Davies, B. In: M.

    About this book

    Hambrey et al. The full paper can be downloaded from the link above. Please email the authors if you cannot access this publication. References 1.

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    Boulders as examples of two-stage forms - Landforms and Geology of Granite Terrains - page

    Evans, D. Introduction to glacial landsystems. The active temperate glacial landsystem: a model based on Breiethamerkurjokull and Fjallsjokull, Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews 21 , Ballantyne, C. Paraglacial geomorphology. Hambrey, M. Martin, P. The spatial distribution of 10 m temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Glaciology 20 , Domack, E. Environmental setting of the Antarctic Peninsula. King, J. The spatial coherence of interannual temperature variations in the Antarctic Peninsula.

    Geophysical Research Letters 30 , — British Antarctic Survey. Laska, K. Seasonal variation of air temperature at the Mendel Station, James Ross Island, in the period of Precipitation, sublimation and snow drift in the Antarctic Peninsula region from a regional atmospheric model.

    Journal of Geophysical Research , D Strelin, J.


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    • Rock glaciers on James Ross Island, Antarctica. Permafrost — Seventh International Conference Proceedings 55 , Riley, T. Bibby, J. Antarctic Science 24 , Nelson, P. British Antarctic Survey Scientific Reports 54 , Nelson, A.

      Formation of Karst Landscapes

      Neogene glacigenic debris flows on James Ross Island, northern Antarctic Peninsula, and their implications for regional climate history. Quaternary Science Reviews 28 , Smellie, J. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology , Johnson, J. Holocene deglacial history of the north east Antarctic Peninsula — a review and new chronological constraints.

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      Granite Landforms (CAMPBELL, 1997)

      Late Holocene changes in character and behaviour of land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 58 , Engel, Z. Bockheim, J. Evolution of desert pavements and the vesicular layer in soils of the Transantarctic Mountains. Camerlenghi, A. Marine Geophysical Researches 22 , Lloyd Davies, M. Evidence for cold-based glacial activity in the Allan Hills, Antarctica. Waller, R.