Ice-Cored Moraines

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Buried ice; Dead-ice zone; Hummocky moraine; Ice-collapse landscape; Kame-and-kettle terrain; Kettle moraine


Ice-cored moraines are ice-marginal landforms that comprise a discrete body of glacier ice buried underneath sediment. These landforms are transitional because any incorporated ice needs to melt out before the final resulting landform, e.g. a stable moraine, is formed.


The term “ice-cored moraine” was introduced into the scientific literature by Østrem (1959, 1965) to describe the frequently observed occurrence of bodies of ice within sediment accumulations at or near ice fronts. Such landforms are widespread in modern glacier forelands and have been investigated in numerous settings over the past five decades.

Usually, ice-cored moraines evolve through a chain of processes involving: (a) the isolation of a body of glacier ice through the establishment of a sediment/debris cover near the margin which, if sufficiently thick