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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Glacial striae observations for Ireland compiled from historic records

Wed, 16 Apr 2008

Smith, M.J., Knight, J. and Field, K.
US Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1385, 105-107.


Glacial landform mapping is one of the primarily inputs for the reconstruction of past glacial environments and processes, potentially inferring maximum ice sheet extent, primary ice flow configurations, and ice sheet dynamics. Drumlins, end moraines, ribbed moraines, eskers and meltwater channels are often recorded and subsequently used to infer former ice sheet conditions.

Striae (linear, subglacial, scours on bedrock up to several metres long), have been recorded as palaeo-evidence for ice flow direction for nearly 200 years. The recording of striae observations requires extensive fieldwork and is therefore not suited to collection over large areas. Cumulative data collection by many researchers in Ireland since ~1850 has led to a large published and unpublished archive of striae observations. This research has collated over 4000 individual observations from geological survey maps and memoirs, published (peer-reviewed) literature and unpublished work (theses and fieldnotes). These records are now unified in a single database, georeferenced to the Irish National Grid, and linked to a qualitative assessment of their locational accuracy.

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