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On the size and shape of drumlins


We provide a mechanistic explanation for observed metrics for drumlins, which represent their sizes and shapes. Our explanation is based on a concept of drumlin growth occurring through a process of instability, whereby small amplitude wave forms first grow as ice slides over a bed of deformable sediments, followed by a coarsening process, in which the wavelength as well as the relief of the drumlins continues to grow. The observations then provide inferences about the growth process itself.

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A. C. F. acknowledges the support of the Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry ( funded by the Science Foundation Ireland grant 12/1A/1683, and we acknowledge the support of NERC grant NE/D013070/1, Testing the instability theory of subglacial bedform production. Thanks also to Bruce Malamud for useful discussions.

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Correspondence to A. C. Fowler.

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Fowler, A.C., Spagnolo, M., Clark, C.D. et al. On the size and shape of drumlins. Int J Geomath 4, 155–165 (2013).

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  • Drumlins
  • Size and shape
  • Instability theory

Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 86A40