Glacial landforms of the North American prairie can be divided into two suites that result from different styles of ice flow: 1) a lowland suite of level-to-streamlined till consistent with formation beneath ice streams, and 2) an upland and lobe-margin suite of thick, hummocky till and glacial thrust blocks consistent with formation at ice-stream and ice-lobe margins. Southern Laurentide ice lobes hypothetically functioned as outlets of ice streams. Broad branching lowlands bounded by escarpments mark the stable positions of the ice streams that fed the lobes. If the lobes and ice streams were similar to modern ice streams, their fast flow was facilitated by high subglacial water pressure. Favorable geology and topography in the midcontinent encouraged nonuniform ice flow and controlled the location of ice streams and outlet lobes.
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Laurentide glacial landscapes: the role of ice streams