Application of first arrival seismic tomography in a glaciated basin: Implications for paleo-ice stream development

Nicholas J. Zaremba, Christopher A. Scholz, Robert Moucha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ice streams are sites of ice-sheet drainage and together with other processes, such as calving, have an impact on deglaciation rates and ice-sheet mass balance. Proglacial lake deposits provide records of ice-sheet deglaciation and have the potential to supplement other paleoclimate records. Oneida Lake, northeastern USA, contains a thick proglacial lake sequence that buries evidence of ice streaming and a paleo-calving margin that developed during retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Previous high-resolution digital elevation models identified the Oneida Ice Stream from glacial landforms northwest of the lake. In this study, we utilize seismic refractions from a multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection dataset to estimate the thickness of glacial deposits using seismic tomography. With this method we constrain the depth to top of Paleozoic strata, especially in areas where the reflection data yielded poor outcomes and validate our reflection data in regions of good coverage. We demonstrate that where long offset seismic data are available, the first-Arrival tomography method is useful in studies of formerly glaciated basins. Our study identifies a ~108 m thick sedimentary section and potentially long paleoclimate record in Oneida Lake, and identifies a paleotopographic low that likely encouraged formation of the Oneida Ice Stream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-458
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Issue number275
StatePublished - Jun 16 2023


  • Glacial geomorphology
  • glacier calving
  • ice streams
  • paleoclimate
  • seismics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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