Submarine pockmarks are common features on high-latitude continental shelves, yet the mechanisms for their formation are poorly understood. Here we propose an additional mechanism for the formation of high-latitude pockmarks involving freshwater ice rafting. Freshwater seeping upward through the sediments freezes at the sediment–water interface when bottom waters are below 0°C. Thin layers of the frozen water containing some sediment are buoyant and can rise off the bottom as small ice rafts, thereby excavating a seafloor depression over time. Sediment in the ice rafts becomes entrained in bottom currents and is dispersed over a wide area.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
About this article
Cite this article
Paull, C., Ussler III, W. & Borowski, W. Freshwater ice rafting: an additional mechanism for the formation of some high-latitude submarine pockmarks. Geo-Marine Letters 19, 164–168 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/s003670050104
- Thin Layer
- Continental Shelf
- Bottom Water
- Wide Area