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Directional properties of glacial relief and sediments as an effect of multi-stage evolution: Case study of the Tczew Hump, northern Poland

Woźniak, Piotr Paweł, Czubla, Piotr, Domachowski, Wojciech, Świrydo, Monika
Quaternary international 2019 v.501 pp. 33-44
case studies, geographic information systems, glaciation, glaciers, highlands, hills, ice, morphometry, provenance, sediments, Poland
This paper focuses on the upland territory south-west of the Gulf of Gdańsk characterized by the existence of numerous hills with distinct ordering of their crest-line orientation. Characteristic features of relief in the Tczew Hump were analysed using GIS-based tools. Directional properties and morphometric characteristics are not uniform throughout the study area. Therefore, subsequent detailed analyses were performed after dividing it into three zones: north-western (NW), central and south-eastern (SE). The highest hills are situated in the central part of the Hump. The landforms analysed are mostly elongated, but they show varying elongation ratios (1.0–4.05). In general a NE-SW orientation is observed, however, the azimuthal distribution of their crest-lines shows considerable variation (from N-S to E-W). Two main systems of the crest-line orientation are distinguished: System A (NNE-SSW) and System B (NE-SW/ENE-WSW).The landforms considered are covered with till consisting of two subunits, what reflects two subsequent ice-sheet movement periods in the Late Weichselian but without releasing the area from ice-sheet cover. The subunits can be identified by changes in their petrographic composition – up to ten times more erratics of local provenance in the upper one than in the lower one. Ice flow direction during deposition of both till subunits, based on the till fabric of each of the three analysed sections, coincides with System A of the crest-lines. However, most of the till-covered hills fit System B, which suggests that they retained their previous (older than Late Weichselian) orientation. The complex relief of the Tczew Hump has a palimpsest nature and its arrangement emerged in several stages: (1) formation of the primeval relief before the Late Weichselian (hills built of sediments of heterogeneous ages); (2) partial relief reshaping in subglacial conditions during the two, successive, ice-flow events in the Late Weichselian (till-covered hills, clear bipartition of the till); (3) development of additional landforms during deglaciation − typically not covered with till (or with flow till on the slopes only), showing an orientation determined by the crevasse system developed in the ice.