Paraglacial Landsystems

The term 'landsystem' is generally employed to decribe a large-scale grouping of landforms and related sediment facies that characterize a particular geomorphic context or environment (Eyles,

Figure 17.3 Effects of extrinsic perturbations on the exhaustion model of paraglacial sediment release. Factors that may trigger a rejuvenated paraglacial response (during the initial period of paraglacial activity) or a renewed paraglacial response (after the initial period of paraglacial activity) include climate change, extreme climatic events, neotectonic activity, anthropogenic activity and, in the coastal zone, sea level change.

Figure 17.3 Effects of extrinsic perturbations on the exhaustion model of paraglacial sediment release. Factors that may trigger a rejuvenated paraglacial response (during the initial period of paraglacial activity) or a renewed paraglacial response (after the initial period of paraglacial activity) include climate change, extreme climatic events, neotectonic activity, anthropogenic activity and, in the coastal zone, sea level change.

1983a; Benn and Evans, 1998). As previous chapters have demonstrated, a landsystems approach is particularly useful for identifying, classifying and explaining sediment-landform associations in different glacial environments. A similar approach can be applied to paraglacial landform and sediment assemblages. Ballantyne (2002b) has proposed a sixfold subdivision of paraglacial landsystems based on locational context (rock slopes, drift-mantled slopes, glacier forelands and alluvial, lacustrine and coastal settings). In the review that follows, the salient characteristics of these landsystems are summarized, with particular emphasis on process-landform-sediment relationships. The chapter concludes by:

1. identifying the sediment transport pathways that link individual landsystems

2. exploring the implications for the interpretation of Holocene landscape evolution in glaciated areas, and

3. discussing the general implications of paraglacial landscape modification for the interpretation of ancient glacial landsystems.

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