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Lachniet, M.S., 1997

Microstructure of glacigenic debris flow deposits, Matanuska Glacier, Alaska

Bibliographic Reference

Lachniet, M.S., 1997, Microstructure of glacigenic debris flow deposits, Matanuska Glacier, Alaska: East Lansing, Michigan, Michigan State University, M.S. thesis, 57 p.


The micromorphology of resin-impregnated glacigenic debris flow deposits was analyzed to improve our understanding of their genesis. Debris flows formed at the terminus of the Matanuska Glacier, Alaska, USA, have been classified into four types based primarily on water content and sedimentological characteristics. Thin sections of debris flow deposits show a variety of micro and mesoscale characteristics that vary according to water content of the source flow. Micro structures present include (1) clast fabrics, (2) laminar structures, (3) plastic structures, (4) brittle structures, and (5) miscellaneous structures. Characterization of these microstructures supports the contention that micromorphological analyses can be used to elucidate debris flow genesis and the conditions of the flow just prior to deposition. Thus, micromorphology may also be useful for differentiating debris flow type in Pleistocene diamicts within the Great Lakes region and other locations.

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