Glacial indicator dispersal processes: A conceptual model

Phillip C. Larson, Howard D Mooers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Interpretation of indicator dispersal trains preserved in till sheets is widely used to investigate past glacial processes and to explore for buried bedrock mineralization. We present a conceptual model of erosion and entrainment and transport of indicator material in a glacial system. Indicator concentration in an individual size fraction of till is controlled by dilution and comminution. Dilution is the result of incorporation of additional material to the glacier's debris load down-ice of the indicator source, and is described in terms of erosivity and erosion length scale. Erosivity describes the amount of bed material eroded along a flowline, and is a function of both bed properties and the erosive power of the glacier. Erosion length scale describes the persistence of an indicator dispersal signal during transport, and controls both the maximum total indicator concentration and the eventual length of apparent dispersal. We adapt a modified batch grinding particle comminution model to describe breakdown of indicator material during transport and modification of the indicator particle size distribution. Indicator dispersal concentrations are the product of dilution and comminution processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-249
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Glacial indicator dispersal processes: A conceptual model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this