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Rock glaciers on South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula

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Entry ID

GGD279

Summary

In the South Shetland Islands the investigators found eight active rock glaciers, no relict or fossil examples, and seven protalus ramparts. The rock glaciers are located on peninsulas and capes of the two main islands of the archipelago: King George and Livingston. The South Shetland Islands have a cold oceanic climate, characteristic of the maritime Antarctica, with frequent summer rains and moderate thermal amplitude, and a cold and humid morphoclimatic system, of crionival character. These climatic parameters facilitate the operation of periglacial processes, and the presence of a usually saturated active layer in summer. In the South Shetland Islands the presence of rock glaciers have been identified on Livingston Island (Martinez de Pison et al., 1991; Lopez-Martinez et al., 1992a, 1992b), on Admiralty Bay, in King George Island (Birkenmajer, 1981; Barsch et al., 1985) and in Fildes Peninsula (Barsch et al. 1985; Barsch, 1996; Cheng et al., 1996). Four further active rock glaciers have been identified during the present study in King George and Livingston Island (Serrano and Lopez-Martinez, in prep.). The rock glaciers are located in marginal zones, between 300 m asl and sea level, which has been recently deglaciated, and principally under 70 m asl, near 100 m under the Median Equilibrium Line Altitude (MELA). There are indications of a recent diminution of activity, with blurred fronts, mass movements in fronts and sides, lichen colonization and glaciokarstic processes. All of these indicate an inherited dynamic of past conditions in lower altitudes.

References to rock glaciers are scarce in Antarctica, limited to a few examples in the Transantarctic Mountains, Victoria Land, South Georgia, James Ross Island, and South Shetland Islands. The spatial pattern of rock glaciers indicates that they are more represented in the periphery of Antarctica than in the interior of the continent, and are particularly numerous in the Antarctic Peninsula region. These data are presented on the CAPS Version 1.0 CD-ROM, June 1998.

Geographic Coverage

 

Spatial Coordinates:
N: -61.983°     S: -63.667°     E: -57.667°     W: -62.75°    

Data Set Citation

Dataset Creator: Serrano, E., J. Lopez-Martinez, J.M.G. Casado, J.J. Duran, E. Martinez de Pison, and P. Nicolos
Dataset Title: Rock glaciers on South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula
Dataset Release Date: 1998-01-01
Dataset Release Place: Boulder, Colorado USA
Dataset Publisher: NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center
Online Resource: http://nsidc.org/data/ggd279.html

Temporal Coverage

Start Date: 1994-01-01
Stop Date: 1997-12-31

Location Keywords

  • OCEAN SOUTHERN OCEAN SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS, ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

Science Keywords

  • Cryosphere Frozen Ground Rock Glaciers
  • Land Surface Frozen Ground Rock Glaciers

Ancillary Keywords

  • Mapping
  • Rock Glaciers

Data Center

National Snow and Ice Data Center
Data Center URL: http://nsidc.org

Data Center Personnel

Name: NSIDC User Services
Phone: 1 303 492-6199
Fax: 1 303 492-2468
Email: nsidc@nsidc.org
Contact Address:

  • National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • CIRES, 449 UCB
  • University of Colorado

City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA

Frozen Ground Data Center
Data Center URL: http://nsidc.org/fgdc/

Data Center Personnel

Name: FGDC User Services
Phone: 1 303 492-6199 x
Fax: 1 303 492-2468 x
Email: nsidc@nsidc.org
Contact Address:

  • National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • CIRES, 449 UCB
  • University of Colorado

City: Boulder
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA

Distribution

Distribution Media: FTP
Distribution Format: ASCII Text (.txt)

Personnel

Enrique Serrano
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: 34 42 201776
Fax: 34 42 201783
Email: serranoe@ccaix3.unican.es
Contact Address:

  • Universidad de Cantabria
  • Programa Nacional de Investigacion en la Antartida
  • Av. de Los Castros s/n.

City: Santander
Postal Code: 30012
Country: Spain

Jeronimo Lopez-Martinez
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: 34 1 3974513
Fax: 43 1 397490
Email: Jeronimo.Lopez@uam.es
Contact Address:

  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
  • Dipartmento Quimica Agricola, Geologia y Geoquimica
  • Cantoblanco

City: Madrid
Postal Code: 28049
Country: Spain

Jose Manuel Gonzalez Casado
Role: INVESTIGATOR

Juan Jose Duran
Role: INVESTIGATOR

Eduardo Martinez de Pison
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: 34 1 397 4513
Email: emartinez@uam.es
Contact Address:

  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Dpto. Geografia
  • ERHIN Program, D.G.O.H., Environment National Ministry
  • Cantoblanco

City: Madrid
Postal Code: 28049
Country: Spain

Pedro Nicolos
Role: INVESTIGATOR

Reference

BARSCH, D.1996. Rochglaciers. Indicators for the present and former geoecology in high mountain environments. Springer Verlag, Berlin. 331 p.

BARSCH, D., BLUEMEL, W.D., FLUEGEL, W.A., MAUSBACHER, R., STAEBLEIN, G., ZICK, W.1985. Untersuchungen zum Periglazial auf der Koenig George-Insel, Suedshetlandinseln, Antarktika. Ber Polarforsch, 24:75.

BIRKENMAJER, K.1981. Lichenometric dating of raised marine beaches at Admiralty Bay, King George Island (South Shetland Islands, West Antarctica). Bulletin de L'Academie Polonaise des Sciences, vol. XXIX, 2:119-127.

BOCKHEIM, J.G.1995. Permafrost distribution in the Southern Circumpolar region and its relation to the environment: a review and recommendations for further research. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 6:27-45.

CHENG, Z., ZHIJIU, C.; JIANXIN, Z.1996. Relatonship between the distribution of periglacial landforms and glaciation history, Fildes Peninsula, King George islands Antarctica. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 7: 95-100.

LOPEZ-MARTINEZ, J., MARTINEZ DE PISON, E., ARCHE, A. 1992a. Geomorphology of Hurd Peninsula, Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands. In Yoshida, Y. et al. Recent Progress in Antarctic Earth Science, Terrapub, Tokio:751-756.

LOPEZ-MARTINEZ, J., VILAPLANA, J.M., MARTINEZ DE PISON, E., CALVET, J. ARCHE, A., SERRAT, D., PALLAS, R. 1992b.- Geomorphology of selected areas in Livingston Island, South Shetland IslandS. In Lopez-Martinez, J. Geologia de la Antartida Occidental, III Congreso Geologico de Espana, T-III Salamanca :271-281.

MARTINEZ DE PISON, E., LOPEZ-MARTINEZ, J., ARCHE, A. 1991. Formas y depositos de la zona de Johnsons Dock. Mapa geomorfologico. Isla Livingston. Shetland del Sur, Antartida. Eria, Revista de Geografia, 24-25:39-45.


SERRANO, E.; LOPEZ-MARTINEZ, J.(In prep.).- Rock glaciers in the South Shetland Islands.

Metadata Name and Version

Metadata Name: CEOS IDN DIF
Metadata Version: 9.7

Creation and Review Dates

DIF Creation Date: 1998-01-01
Last DIF Revision Date: 2012-08-24

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