Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

pp 1-7

Date: Latest Version

Drumlin

  • Chris R. StokesAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, Durham University Email author 
  • , Jarmo KorteniemiAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Sciences, University of Oulu

Definition

Streamlined hill, typically ovoid to elongate, in previously ice sheet/glacier affected terrains.

A type of subglacial streamlined hill.

Description

A streamlined hill that occurs mostly in glacial sediments (Menzies 1979; Clark et al. 2009; Shaw 2002; Stokes et al. 2011). They are ubiquitous on the now-exposed beds of former ice sheets, where they form fields or “flow-sets” that contain hundreds to thousands of individual drumlins with their long axis orientated parallel to the former ice flow direction (Boulton and Clark 1990; Fig. 1). Geophysical techniques have also detected their presence and formation beneath extant ice sheets, e.g., in Antarctica (King et al. 2007; Smith et al. 2007), and they have also been seen to emerge from receding glacier margins (Johnson et al. 2010).
Fig. 1

(a) Aerial photograph of a part of a drumlin field in Saskatchewan, Canada (ice flow from top left to bottom right), as shown in Hindmarsh (1998). Air photograph A-14509-5 (Nov. 1954) at 58°30′N, ...

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