The origin of slope deposits in the southern Drakensberg, eastern Lesotho

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dc.contributor.author Mills, Stephanie Christiane
dc.date.accessioned 2008-03-31T09:46:04Z
dc.date.available 2008-03-31T09:46:04Z
dc.date.issued 2008-03-31T09:46:04Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/4726
dc.description.abstract Abstract The high Drakensberg of southern Africa has received considerable geomorphological interest during recent decades. In particular, there has been an ongoing debate concerning the accuracy of landform interpretations which propagate past glaciation and permafrost. This research examines the macro and micro-sedimentology of various deposits found in eastern Lesotho and compares them with possible geomorphological process origins such as debris flows, debris avalanches, mudflows, mudslides, landslides, solifluction deposits, rock glaciers, pronival ramparts, glacial moraines and fluvial deposits. The results support the contention that four of the deposits are moraines, formed by small glaciers, and one is a debris flow which was initiated by a small glacier. However, two further deposits indicate that localities in close proximity to the linear deposits experienced mass wasting, associated with past periglacial conditions. With the assistance of applying glacier reconstruction methods, modelling hillshade, the provision of new palaeoclimatic extrapolations, and correlation of deposits with contemporary snow patch distribution, it is demonstrated that the valley slope deposits are determined by a past climate that was within the glacial/periglacial equilibrium zone, and was influenced by specific topographic and associated micro-climatic thresholds. It is shown that macro-topographic factors (e.g. slope gradient, aspect etc) and summit altitude are critical factors determining whether slopes were influenced by periglacial (mass wasting) or glacial processes (small niche/cirque glaciers) in adjacent valleys. en
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dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject slope deposits en
dc.subject sedimentology en
dc.subject periglaciation en
dc.subject glaciation en
dc.subject Lesotho en
dc.title The origin of slope deposits in the southern Drakensberg, eastern Lesotho en
dc.type Thesis en


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    Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of the Witwatersrand, 1972.

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