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Book Chapter

Quaternary Environments in Canada as Documented by Paleobotanical Case Histories

By
T.W. Anderson
T.W. Anderson
Geological Survey of Canada601 Booth Street, Ottawa, OntarioK1A 0E8
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M. Boyko-Diakonow
M. Boyko-Diakonow
3688 Parkview StreetPenticton, British ColumbiaV2A 0H1
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R.W. Mathewes
R.W. Mathewes
Department of Biological SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnaby, British ColumbiaV5A 1S6
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J.V. Matthews, Jr.
J.V. Matthews, Jr.
Geological Survey of Canada601 Booth Street, Ottawa, OntarioK1A 0E8
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J.H. McAndrews
J.H. McAndrews
Department of BotanyRoyal Ontario MuseumToronto, OntarioM5S 2C6
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R.J. Mott
R.J. Mott
Geological Survey of Canada601 Booth Street, Ottawa, OntarioK1A 0E8
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P.J.H. Richard
P.J.H. Richard
Département de géographieUniversité de MontréalMontréal, QuébecH3C 3J7
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J.C. Ritchie
J.C. Ritchie
Life Sciences, Scarborough CollegeWest Hill, OntarioMIC 1A4
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C.E. Schweger
C.E. Schweger
Department of AnthropologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmonton, AlbertaT6G 2H4
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Published:
January 01, 1989

Abstract

This chapter is concerned with the scope and significance of paleoecology-related studies, particularly their application in reconstructing Quaternary environments in Canada, with special reference to seven paleobotanical case histories. Though pollen stratigraphy is the principal evidence that is common to each case history, other important paleoecological data (plant macrofossils, insects and other arthropods, ostracodes, molluscs, diatoms, tree rings, vertebrate and invertebrate fossils) and nonpaleoecological indicators (soil profiles, fire history, historical records) and their relevance to paleoenvironmental research are not overlooked.

The first two case histories present evidence for glacial refugia. Fossil occurrences supported by geological mapping on Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia indicate the presence of ice-free areas which possibly served as refugia for certain elements of the biota during the Late Wisconsinan maximum. Similar studies focus on the unglaciated parts of Yukon Territory and the ice-free corridor which is presumed to have existed along parts of the Rocky Mountain Foothills during the Late Wisconsinan maximum. Even though the portal areas to the north and south of the ice-free corridor have certain pre-Wisconsinan fossils in common, the corridor itself lacks critical evidence to indicate that it may have served as a north-south dispersal route.

Records from about twenty buried organic deposits in Atlantic Canada delineate the Late Pleistocene sequence of events and environments there. The Sangamon Interglaciation was characterized by at least three climatic episodes which can be correlated provisionally with the stratigraphic framework for the region and with the deep sea oxygen isotope record.

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Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

Quaternary Geology of Canada and Greenland

R.J. Fulton
R.J. Fulton
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Geological Society of America
Volume
K1
ISBN electronic:
9780813754604
Publication date:
January 01, 1989

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