Rock strength and development of glacial valley morphology in the Scottish Highlands and northwest Iceland

Martin S. Brook*, Martin P. Kirkbride, Ben W. Brock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using data from the Scottish Highlands and northwest Iceland, the present study indicates that bedrock strength properties are an important control on the morphology of glacial valleys. Results indicate that on closely jointed metasedimentary bedrock of low rock mass strength, broad U-shaped valleys are developed, whilst steeper sided, narrower cross-profiles have been developed on igneous bedrock of high rock mass strength. Findings suggest it is the interplay of the mass strength of the subglacial bedrock and the dynamic properties of the eroding glacier that control valley morphological development. The implication is that realistic models of topographic development beneath ice sheets need to consider the rock mass strength properties of the eroded bedrock as well as the glaciological variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalGeografiska Annaler, Series A: Physical Geography
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

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