LANDSYSTEM ANALYSIS OF THREE OUTLET GLACIERS ON THE VATNAJÖKULL ICE CAP, ICELAND
The landsystem tracts of three outlet glaciers of the Vatnajökull Ice Cap in southeast Iceland were defined using a combination of remote sensing techniques and field investigations. The three glaciers selected for study (Svínafellsjökull, Skaftafellsjökull and Mosarjökull) are separated by small mountain ridges but lie within close proximity limiting climatic variability on their behaviour. Initial mapping of the proglacial region of each glacier was performed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to explore and analyze LiDAR data and aerial imagery obtained from the Icelandic Meteorological Office. A digital elevation model (DEM) of the proglacial region of each glacier was created from these remotely sensed data to illustrate the spatial distribution and scale of landforms. These features were ground-checked in the field (summer 2015) using a portable GIS unit and recorded with sketch maps and photographs. Additional field data were collected to identify sediment types associated with each landsystem tract and sedimentological logs were recorded wherever possible. The integration of remotely-sensed and field data has allowed detailed landsystem maps of the proglacial region of each glacier to be created.
Although the three glaciers are sourced by the same ice cap and are within close proximity there are wide variations in the type, distribution and scale of landforms in the proglacial region including the presence of streamlined features, the relative relief of the landforms, and sediment types. This presentation will explore these differences and how variations in the topography, bedrock type and ice characteristics have influenced the proglacial environment.