Abstract

Shoreline displacement in the Lake Superior basin was followed, independently of morphological data, by studying sediments of small lake basins at different elevations in the vicinity of Sault Ste. Marie, Wawa, and Marathon, Ontario. Emergence of small lakes, resulting from water level changes in the main basin, is documented in bottom sediments, and can be dated by radiocarbon and pollen analyses. The new stratigraphical findings were correlated with the earlier established morphological shorelines, and thus the Late Wisconsinan and Holocene history of lake levels was worked out.High post-Main Algonquin glacial lakes formed the highest shorelines along the east shore from Sault Ste. Marie up to Alona Bay between approximately 11 000 and over 10 100 B.P. Contemporaneously a series of Post-Duluth glacial lakes occupied the western Superior basin, subsequent to Glacial Lake Duluth. As the ice retreated to the north shore at 9500 B.P., Lake Minong came into existence. Its level was apparently controlled by a threshold higher than the present at Sault Ste. Marie. The water level of Lake Superior fell to the low water Houghton stage by 8000 B.P. The transgression which resulted in the Nipissing Great Lakes reached the Superior basin about 7000 B.P. and culminated 5500 B.P. Land uplift on the east shore of Lake Superior was very rapid immediately after the deglaciation, followed by decreasing rates up to the present, and there are all indications that the process has been continuous.

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