Part 1 of the Quaternary Geology of Canada and Greenland consists of descriptions of the nature, distribution, stratigraphy, and history of the Quaternary deposits of Canada. It is presented in six chapters, each covering a major natural region. Facets which give unity to the Quaternary geology of each region are: bedrock geology, gross physiography, style of glaciation, and position in relation to major ice sheets. These factors have resulted in roughly similar Quaternary deposits, stratigraphic successions, and Quaternary histories throughout each natural region. For example: In the Canadian Shield region, tills are largely derived from crystalline and metamorphic rocks and hence tend to be nonplastic and have a sandy to silty texture. In the Cordilleran region, lakes in overdeepened valleys are the main sediment traps so that nonglacial deposits predominantly consist of successions of silts, sands, and gravels representing valley fill sequences. In the Interior Plains region the substrate consists largely of poorly lithified shale and siltstone and consequently glacial deposits are thick, highly plastic, and over large areas are characterized by hummocky ice disintegration and ice thrust features. The Atlantic region has many local highlands and lies at the periphery of Laurentide ice coverage and, as a consequence, its Quaternary glacial history is a record of competition between local ice centres and regional Laurentide ice.
Figures & Tables
The three major sections of this volume include six chapters describing the regional Quaternary geology of Canada, two describing the Quaternary geology and climatic history of Greenland, and six that review applied Quaternary geology in Canada, including chapters on paleobotanical analysis, geodynamics, geomorphic processes, terrain geochemistry, Quaternary resources, and the influence of the Quaternary on the present environment. Of the five accompanying plates, three depict eleven stages of Quaternary paleogeographic change between 18,000 B.P. and 5,000 B.P.; one depicts the retreat of the ice from between 18,000 B.P. and the Recent; and another reviews the status of Quaternary geologic mapping in Canada, with an extensive bibliography on the back.