Subglacial drainage by groundwater-channel coupling, and the origin of esker systems: part 1 - glaciological observations

G. Boulton, R.J. Lunn, P. Vidstrand, S. Zatsepin

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73 Citations (Scopus)


This work is presented in two parts. Part I presents observations on the coupling between subglacial channel flow and groundwater flow in determining subglacial hydraulic regime and creating eskers from an Icelandic glacier that is suggested as an analogue for many parts of Pleistocene ice sheets. Part II develops a theory of perennial subglacial stream flow and the origin of esker systems, and models the evolution of the subglacial stream system and associated groundwater flow in a glacier of the type described in Part I. It is suggested that groundwater flow may be the predominant mechanism whereby meltwater at the glacier bed finds its way to the major subglacial streams that discharge water to glacier margins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1090
Number of pages23
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • subglacial drainage
  • groundwater-channel coupling
  • aesker systems
  • glaciological observations
  • civil engineering

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