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An evolutionary model of glacial dispersal and till genesis in Maritime Canada

By
Rudolph R. Stea
Rudolph R. Stea
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 698, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2T9, Canada (e-mail: rrstea@gov.ns.ca)
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;
Phillip W. Finck
Phillip W. Finck
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 698, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2T9, Canada (e-mail: rrstea@gov.ns.ca)
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Published:
January 01, 2001

Abstract

Glacier process models of till genesis cannot fully explain the properties of tills in Maritime Canada. A succession of local ice caps, called the Appalachian Ice Complex, developed during the last glaciation and were drained by ice streams into the submarine channels bordering the region. The migration of these centres produced areas with widely differing flow patterns, landform assemblages and deposits. Early regional phases of ice flow were characterized by wide, rapidly-flowing ice-streams that formed thick exotic, silty tills. In later phases, ice divides developed over highland areas underlain by metamorphic and igneous rocks, forming stony local tills. Terrain zones characterized by distinct transport histories and depositional sequences were produced by the interplay and migration of regional ice sheets and local ice caps. The interaction of local glaciers and previously deposited tills formed hybrid tills through two reworking processes: inheritance and overprinting. Inheritance is incorporation of till components and/or fabric into a younger till by erosion and entrainment of material from an older till. Overprinting is the injection or imprint of matrix, clasts or fabric on older tills by overriding ice. Glacial dispersal of rocks, minerals and trace elements in this complex glaciated terrain is controlled by the location of former ice divides. Simple unidirectional trains are preserved in relict terrains under divides. In ice marginal areas, reworking processes result in complex dispersal fans produced by smearing and widening of previously formed trains and fans. These dispersal fans can be modelled by vector addition of discrete flow events within each dispersal zone. A simple empirical model of glacier dispersal is presented using exponential decay and uptake algorithms, and incorporating the reworking of older till material.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Drift Exploration in Glaciated Terrain

M. B. McClenaghan
M. B. McClenaghan
Geological Survey of Canada, Canada
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P. T. Bobrowsky
P. T. Bobrowsky
British Columbia Geological Survey, Canada
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G. E. M. Hall
G. E. M. Hall
Geological Survey of Canada, Canada
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S. J. Cook
S. J. Cook
Hudson Bay Exploration and Development Co. Ltd., Canada
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Geological Society of London
Volume
185
ISBN electronic:
9781862394339
Publication date:
January 01, 2001

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