The magnetic method as a tool to investigate the Werenskioldbreen environment (south-west Spitsbergen, Arctic Norway)
We used a novel approach of applying magnetic analyses to investigate the material released from the receding glacier Werenskioldbreen on Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Arctic Norway. Surface sediments were taken from the bay Nottinghambukta and the Werenskioldbreen foreland, along two main proglacial streams. Magnetic analyses, namely the low-field mass magnetic susceptibility, anhysteretic susceptibility mass normalized and hysteresis parameters, served to determine magnetic properties and identify the magnetic composition of the study material. We selected two distinct types of sediments. The first group, consisting of magnetite and pyrrhotite, has more single-domain grains in comparison to the second one, containing only magnetite. In the second group, multi-domain particles dominate. Deposits from the north stream, glacier river and an area close to the estuary of Nottinghambukta include magnetite and pyrrhotite. Magnetite was found in the south stream and in the outside part of the bay. Magnetic composition reflects different source rocks of sediments. This study demonstrates the utility of the magnetic method in analysing the current state of glacier environments.
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