Deltas are dynamic systems that can provide important information on past climate conditions. Arctic deltas have the potential to preserve information about climate in one of the most temperature-sensitive regions of the Earth. We present experimental results assessing the effects of ice cover on delta morphodynamics to identify signatures of ice-cover presence during deposition. Ice cover drives spatial variation in sediment transport on the subaqueous delta clinoform through sub-ice channels, which leads to the development of (1) extended delta lobes built by elongated, subaqueous sediment wedges and (2) bathymetry with increasing topographic roughness from the shoreline to a depth ≈ bottom-fast ice thickness. These unique seascape and stratigraphic features record past climate conditions, and can serve as indicators of climate change on vulnerable Arctic coasts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Jackson School of Geosciences (University of Texas at Austin, USA) seed grant to Levy and Kim, and in part by a RioMAR consortium (https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/riomar/) grant to Kim. We thank the reviewers for their comments, which improved the manuscript.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes