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Morphogenesis of New Straits and Islands Originated in the European Arctic Since the 1980s

Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Krakow, Poland
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Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110476
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 9 November 2019 / Published: 12 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Glaciers and Ice Caps)
Several new islands and many islets have appeared in the European Arctic since the end of the 20th century due to glacial recession under climate warming. The specificity of the formation of each individual strait and island is shown in the paper (apart from its location and timing of its origin). Analysis of available maps and satellite images of all three European Arctic archipelagos, from different times since 1909–1910, was the main research method. There are three pathways of the morphogenesis of the new islands: (1) simultaneous recession of glaciers from both sides of a depression in bedrock being a potential strait (typical in Franz Josef Land), (2) uncovering a rocky hill (which protrudes from a depression in bedrock) from under a receding glacier, (3) recession of one glacier which had reached a rocky fragment of a coastline (e.g., headland or peninsula), being a potential new island, during a maximum extent of this glacier during the Little Ice Age (in the beginning of the 20th century). Additional straits and islands are currently at the stage of formation and will continue to form in the European Arctic in the case of further warming or stabilization of the current climate conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; glacial recession; coastal landscape transformation; new Arctic islands and straits; European Arctic climate change; glacial recession; coastal landscape transformation; new Arctic islands and straits; European Arctic
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Ziaja, W.; Ostafin, K. Morphogenesis of New Straits and Islands Originated in the European Arctic Since the 1980s. Geosciences 2019, 9, 476.

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