An evolutionary model of glacial dispersal and till genesis in Maritime Canada
Published:January 01, 2001
Rudolph R. Stea, Phillip W. Finck, 2001. "An evolutionary model of glacial dispersal and till genesis in Maritime Canada", Drift Exploration in Glaciated Terrain, M. B. McClenaghan, P. T. Bobrowsky, G. E. M. Hall, S. J. Cook
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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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Drift Exploration in Glaciated Terrain
This volume describes the use of till geochemical and indicator mineral methods for mineral exploration in glaciated terrain of Canada. The principles and examples described in this volume wil have direct applications for exploration companies and prospectors exploring for diamonds, precious and base metals and uranium in glaciated parts of North America, northern Europe and Asia and mountainous regions of South America.
The first two papers in this volume provide an introduction to glaciated terrain and the two styles of glaciation that have affected the world, continental glaciers in broad flat lying Shield areas and alpine glaciers in mountainous terrain. Sampling techniques are described next, followed by an introduction to the use of heavy minerals. Heavy mineral methodss have become an important exploration tool in glaciated terrain for gold and base metals and, in the last ten years, for diamonds. Lake sediments and biogeochemical methods are also included in this volume as a complement to geochemical and indicator mineral methods in glaciated terrain. A chapter on GIS has been included because data interpretation and display are important and essential parts of any regional or detailed geochemical survey. The remainder of the volume is case studies for the three main glaciated terrain tyes in Canada: Shield, Appalachia and Cordillera