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L'érosion dans les environnements glaciaires : exemple du Glacier des Bossons (Massif du Mont-Blanc, Haute-Savoie, France)

Abstract : The study presented in this PhD memory aim at better define and quantify the present timeerosion processes in glacial and proglacial domain. The Glacier des Bossons, situated in theMont-Blanc massif (Haute-Savoie, France), is a good example of a natural and nonanthropizedsystem which allows us to study this topic. This glacier lies on two mainlithologies (the Mont-Blanc granite and the metamorphic bedrock) and this peculiarity is usedto determine the origin of the glacial sediments. The sediments were sampled at the glaciersurface and at the glacier sole and also in the subglacial streams in order to understand themechanisms of mechanical erosion and particle transportation in glacial domain. The study ofthe granulometric distribution and the origin of the sediments were performed by a lithologicanalysis at macro-scale (naked-eye) and a geochemical analysis at micro-scale (U-Pb datingof zircons). These analyses allowed specifying the characteristics of glacial erosion andtransport. (1) the supraglacial sediments derived from the erosion of the rocky valley sides aremainly coarse and the glacial transport does not mix these clasts with those derived from thesub-glacial erosion, except in the lower tongue; (2) the sub-glacial erosion rates areinhomogeneous, erosion under the temperate glacier (0,4-0, is at least sixteen timesmore efficient than the erosion under the cold glacier (0,025-0,; (3) the sub-glacialsediments contain a silty and sandy fraction, resulting from processes of abrasion andcrushing, which is evacuated by sub-glacial streams. The high-resolution temporal acquisitionof hydro-sedimentary data during the 2010 melt season, between the May 5th and theSeptember 17th, allowed defining the seasonal behavior of the hydrologic and sedimentaryfluxes. The sediment exportation occurs mainly during the melt season therefore, quantify thesediment fluxes in the Bossons stream and measure regularly the topographic evolution of thefluvio-glacial system allows to perform a sedimentary balance of the erosion of glacial andnon-glacial domains. During the year 2010, about 3000 tons of sediments were eroded with430 tons settled on the fluvio-glacial system. By analyzing the evolution of suspendedparticulate matter concentrations in the Bossons stream upstream and downstream the fluvioglacialsystem, the part of glacial erosion and non-glacial denudation in the sedimentarybalance could be proportioned. The erosion during the stormy events of the uncoveredmoraines, confining the fluvio-glacial system of the Bossons stream, furnishes at least 59% ofthe sediments exported by the Bossons stream and glacial erosion (41 % of the flux) istherefore less efficient comparatively. The long-term evolution of the glacial systems inperiod of global warming would show a sustained erosion of proglacial environments(mountain sides and moraines) recently exposed and therefore an increasing of the detritalfluxes. The Glacier des Bossons protects the summit of the Mont-Blanc, the differentialerosion between zones under the ice and non-glacial could lead to an increase of thedifference of altitude between valleys and summits.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 9:42:48 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00909603, version 2



Cécile Godon. L'érosion dans les environnements glaciaires : exemple du Glacier des Bossons (Massif du Mont-Blanc, Haute-Savoie, France). Sciences de la Terre. Université de Grenoble, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013GRENU012⟩. ⟨tel-00909603v2⟩



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