N. Eyles, J. I Boyce, and R. W Barendregt (1999)
Hummocky moraine; sedimentary record of stagnant Laurentide ice sheet lobes resting on soft beds
Sedimentary Geology, 123(3-4):163-174.
Over large areas of the western interior plains of North America, hummocky moraine (HM) formed at the margins of Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) lobes that flowed upslope against topographic highs. Current depositional models argue that HM was deposited supraglacially from stagnant debris-rich ice ("disintegration moraine"). Across southern Alberta, Canada, map and outcrop data show that HM is composed of fine-grained till as much as 25 m thick containing rafts of soft, glaciotectonized bedrock and sediment. Chaotic, non-oriented HM commonly passes downslope into weakly-oriented hummocks ("washboard moraine") that are transitional to drumlins in topographic lows; the same subsurface stratigraphy and till facies is present throughout. These landforms, and others such as doughnut-like "rim ridges", flat-topped "moraine plateaux" and linear disintegration ridges, are identified as belonging to subglacially-deposited soft-bed terrain. This terrain is the record of ice lobes moving over deformation till derived from weakly-lithified, bentonite-rich shale. Drumlins record continued active ice flow in topographic lows during deglaciation whereas HM was produced below the outer stagnant margins of ice lobes by gravitational loading ("pressing") of remnant dead ice blocks into wet, plastic till. Intervening zones of washboard moraine mark the former boundary of active and stagnant ice and show "hybrid" drumlins whose streamlined form has been altered by subglacial pressing ("humdrums") below dead ice. The presence of hummocky moraine over a very large area of interior North America provides additional support for glaciological models of a soft-bedded Laurentide Ice Sheet.