Morphology and surficial sediments of the Waldemar River confined outwash fan (Kaffiøyra, Svalbard)

Open access


The development and evolution of confined outwash fans in high Arctic regions depend on the rate of meltwater discharge, which is directly related to the glacier ablation rate, in turnassociated with climate conditions. Other factors controlling outwash fan morphology (e.g. depth and width of distributive channels) are processes of fluvial erosion, and the transport and deposition of sediments. These factors have not previously been considered together in relation to the evolution of the confined outwash fans which are commonly incised into the top of permafrost in the forefields of subpolar glaciers and in mountains in high Arctic regions. Morphology and surficial sediments of a confined outwash fan of the Waldemar River (NW Spitsbergen, Svalbard) were analysed on the basis of geomorphological and sedimentological studies. The results of our investigations show multiple relations between the depth and width of distributary channels, fan slope and textural features of glaciofluvial surficial sediments supplied into the fluvial system from the glacier and from lateral fluvial erosion of permafrost

AL-FARRAJ, A., HARVEY, A.M., 2005, Morphometry and depositional style of Late Pleistocene alluvial fans: Wadi Al-Bih, northern UAE and Oman. [in:] Harvey, A.M., Mather, A.E., and Stokes, M. (Eds), Alluvial fans: geomorphology, sedimentology, dynamics: Geological Society Special Publication 251: London, The Geological Society of London: 85–94.

BUFFINGTON, J.M., MONTGOMERY D.R., 1999, Effect of hydraulic roughness on surface textures of gravel-bed rivers. Water Resources Research, 35(11): 3507–3521.

BUFFINGTON, J.M., MONTGOMERY, D.R., GREENBERG, H.M., 2004, Basinscale availability of salmonid spawning gravel as influenced by channel type and hydraulic roughness in mountain catchments. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 61(11): 2085–2096.

DALLMANN W.K, ANDRESEN A., BERGH S., MAHER H.D., JR, OHTA Y., 1993, Tertiary fold-and-thrust belt of Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Norsk Polarinstitutt, Meddelelser, 128.

FERGUSON, R.I., 2003, Emergence of abrupt gravel to sand transitions along rivers through sorting processes. Geology, 31(2): 159–162.

FERGUSON, R., ASHWORTH, P., 1991, Slope-induced changes in channel character along a gravel-bed stream: the Allt Dubhaig, Scotland. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 16: 65–82.

FIELD, J., 2001, Channel avulsion on alluvial fans in southern Arizona. Geomorphology, 37: 93–104, DOI: 10.1016/S0169-555X(00)00064-7.

FORMAN S.L., 1989, Late Weichselian glaciation and deglaciation of Forlandsundet area, western Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Boreas, 18: 51–60.

GÓMEZ-VILLAR A., ÁLVAREZ-MARTÍNEZ J., GARCÍA-RUIZ J.M., 2006, Factors influencing the presence or absence of tributary-junction fans in the Iberian Range, Spain. Geomorphology, 81(3): 252–264.

GRAHAM, D.J., RICE, S.P., REID, I., 2005, A transferable method for the automated grain sizing of river gravels. Water Resources Research, 41: W07020.

GRZEŚ, M., KRÓL, M., SOBOTA, I., 2009, Submarine evidence of the Aavatsmark and Dahl Glaciers fluctuations in the Kaffiøra region, NW Spitsbergen. Polish Polar Research, 30(2): 143–160.

HJELLE, A. 1993, Geology of Svalbard. Polarhåndbok 7. Oslo: Norsk Polarinstitutt, 163.

ISEYA, F., IKEDA, H., 1987, Pulsations in bedload transport rates induced by a longitudinal sediment sorting: a flume study using sand and gravel mixtures. Geografiska Annaler, 69 A: 15–27.

JAWORSKI T., CHUTKOWSKI K., 2015, Genesis, Morphology, Age and Distribution of Cryogenic Mounds on Kaffiøyra and Hermansenøya, Northwest Svalbard. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. 26: 304–320. DOI: 10.1002/ppp.1850

KUMAR, B., 2011, Flow Resistance in Alluvial Channel. Water Resources, 38(6): 745–754.

LAMB, M.P., DIETRICH, W.E., VENDITTI, J.G., 2008, Is the critical Shields stress for incipient sediment motion dependent on channel-bed slope? Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, F02008. DOI:10.1029/2007JF000831.

LITWIN MILLER, K., REITZ, M.D., JEROLMACK, D.J., 2014, Generalized sorting profile of alluvial fans. Geophysical Research Letters, 41: 7191–7199. DOI:10.1002/2014GL060991.

MAO, L., SURIAN, N., 2010, Observations on sediment mobility in a large gravel-bed river. Geomorphology, 114: 326–337.

MUELLER, E.R., PITLICK, J., NELSON, J.M., 2005, Variation in the reference Shields stress for bed load transport in gravelbed streams and rivers. Water Resources Research, 41, W04006. DOI:10.1029/2004WR003692.

MUELLER, E.R., PITLICK, J. 2005, Morphologically based model of bed load transport capacity in a headwater stream. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, F02016. DOI:10.1029/2003JF000117.

NEMEC, W., STEEL, R.J., 1988, What is a fan delta and how do we recognize it. [in:] Nemec, W., Steel, R.J. (Eds), Fan Deltas: Sedimentology and tectonic settings. Blackie and Son, Glasgow: 3–13.

NIEWIAROWSKI, W., PAZDUR, M. & SINKIEWICZ, M., 1993, Glacial and marine episodes in Kaffiöyra, northwestern Spitsbergen, during the Vistulian and the Holocene. Polish Polar Research, 14: 243–258.

NOWAK, M., SOBOTA, I., 2015, Artificial neural networks in proglacial discharge simulation: application and efficiency analysis in comparison to the multivariate regression; a case study of Waldemar River (Svalbard). Geografiska Annaler, A, 97(3): 489–506.

PAOLA, C., PARKER, G., SEAL, R., SINHA, S.K., SOUTHARD, J.B., WILCOCK, P.R., 1992, Downstream fining by selective deposition in a laboratory flume. Science, 258: 1757–1760.

PARKER, G., 1990, Surface-based bedload transport relation for gravel rivers. Journal of Hydraulic Research, 28: 417–436.

PARKER, G., PAOLA, C., WHIPPLE, K.X., MOHRIG, D., 1998a, Alluvial fans formed by channelized fluvial and sheet flow I. Theory: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 124: 985–995. DOI:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(1998)124:10(985).

PARKER, G., PAOLA, C., WHIPPLE, K.X., MOHRIG, D., TORO-ESCOBAR, C.M., HALVERSON, M., SKOGLUND, T.W., 1998b, Alluvial fans formed by channelized fluvial and sheet flow II. Application: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 124: 996–1004. DOI:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9429(1998)124:10(996).

REID, I., GRAHAM, D., LARONNE, J.B., RICE, S., 2010, Essential Ancillary Data Requirements for the Validation of Surrogate Measurements of Bedload: Non-Invasive Bed material Grain Size and Definitive Measurements of Bedload Flux. [in:] Gray, J.R., Laronne, J.B., Marr, J.D.G. (eds), Bedload-surrogate monitoring technologies: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5091: 387–399.

REID, L., FROSTICK, L.E., LAYMAN, J., 1985, The incidence and nature of bedload transport during flood flows in coarse-grained alluvial channels. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 10: 33–44.

ROSGEN, D.L., 1996, Applied River Morphology. Wild-land Hydrology, Pagosa Springs, CO.

SILVA, P., HARVEY, A.M., ZAZO, C., GOY, J.L., 1992, Geomorphology, depositional style and morphometric relationships of Quaternary alluvial fans in the Guadalentin Depression (Murcia, Southeast Spain). Zeitschrifi für Geomorphologie Neue Folge, 36: 325–341.

SOBOTA, I., 2005, Zarys hydrografii Kaffiøyry. [in:] Grześ M., Sobota I. (Eds), Kaffiøyra. Zarys środowiska geograficznego Kaffiøyry (NW Spitsbergen). Oficyna Wydawnicza TURPRESS, Toruń; 13–16.

SOBOTA, I., 2013. Współczesne zmiany kriosfery północnozachodniego Spitsbergenu na przykładzie regionu Kaffiøyry. Wydawnictwo UMK, Toruń.

SOBOTA, I., 2014, Changes in dynamics and runoff from the High Arctic glacial catchment of Waldemarbreen, Svalbard. Geomorphology, 212: 16–27.

SOBOTA, I., NOWAK, M., WECKWERTH, P., 2016a, Long-term changes of glaciers in north-western Spitsbergen. Global and Planetary Changes, 144: 182–197.

SOBOTA I., WECKWERTH P., GRAJEWSKI T., DZIEMBOWSKI M., GREŃ K., NOWAK M., 2018, Short-term changes in thickness and temperature of the active layer in summer in the Kaffiøyra region, NW Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Catena 160C: 141–153.

SOLARI, L., PARKER, G., 2000, The curious case of mobility reversal in sediment mixtures, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 126(3): 185–197.

STOCK, J.D., SCHMIDT, K.M., MILLER, D.M., 2007, Controls on alluvial fan long-profiles. GSA Bulletin, 5/6: 619–640. DOI: 10.1130/B26208.1.

VISERAS, C., CALVACHE, M.L., SOMA, J.M., FERNANDEZ, J., 2003, Differential features of alluvial fans controlled by tectonic or eustatic accommodation space. Examples from the Betic Cordillera, Spain. Geomorphology, 50: 181–202.

VOLLMER, S., KLEINHANS, M., 2007, Predicting incipient motion, including the effect of turbulent pressure fluctuations in the bed. Water Resources Research, 43: W05410. DOI:10.1029/2006WR004919.

YAMAMOTO, J.K., 2005, Comparing ordinary kriging interpolation variance and indicator kriging conditional variance for assessing uncertainties at un-sampled locations. [in:] Dessureault, S., Ganguli, R., Kecojevic, V., Dwyer, J.G. (eds) Application of computers and operations research in the mineral industry, Balkema.

WALKER, J., ARNBORG, L. AND PEIPPO, J., 1987, Riverbank erosion in the Colville Delta, Alaska. Geografiska Annaler, A, 69: 61–70.

WACKERNAGEL, H., 1995, Multivariate Geostatistics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelber.

WEBSTER, R., OLIVER, M.A., 2007, Geostatistics for Environmental Scientists (2nd ed.). Statistics in Practice. Chichester, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

WECKWERTH, P., PISARSKA-JAMROŻY, M., 2015, Periglacial and fluvial factors controlling the sedimentation of pleistocene breccia in NW Poland. Geografiska Annaler, A, 97: 415–430.

WECKWERTH, P., PRZEGIĘTKA, K., CHRUŚCIŃSKA, A., PISARSKA-JAMROŻY, M., 2013, The relation between optical bleaching and sedimentological features of fluvial deposits in the Toruń Basin (Poland). Geological Quarterly, 57: 31–44.

WECKWERTH, P., PRZEGIĘTKA, K., CHRUŚCIŃSKA, A., WORONKO, B., OCZKOWSKI, H.L., 2011, Age and sedimentological features of fluvial series in the Toruń Basin and the Drwęca Valley (Poland). Geochronometria, 38: 397–412.

WENTWORTH, C.K., 1922, A scale of grade and class terms for clastic sediments. Journal of Geology, 30: 377–392.

Bulletin of Geography. Physical Geography Series

The Journal of Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun

Journal Information

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 127 127 25
PDF Downloads 69 69 20