The advance of Hubbard Glacier, near Yakutat, Alaska, U.S.A., in spring 1986 blocked the entrance to Russell Fiord with an ice-and-sediment dam, behind which a lake formed. The water level in Russell Lake rose to 25.5 m a.s.l. The dam catastrophically failed in October 1986, releasing 5.4 km3 of water into Disenchantment Bay. High-resolution seismic-reflection profiles show a 7.5 km long channel system cut into and buried by glacimarine sediment, represented by continuous, parallel reflections. The chaotic seismic facies filling the channel is interpreted to be debris flow deposits. A gravity core from channel-overbank deposits contained sandy diamicton with mud clasts. Above the channel a 1-2 m thick sediment drape extends across the bay. Laminated mud, fining-upward sand beds and diamicton were recovered from this unit. The sediment-drape deposits were produced by suspension settling from turbid plumes and non-channelized turbidity currents generated by the outburst flood.
Additional publication details
The marine record of the Russell Fiord outburst flood, Alaska, U.S.A