Abstract

Point Pelee originated as a sandy foreland enclosing a marsh approximately 4000 years BP. A reconstruction of paleoenvironmental conditions prior to that time suggests strongly that it was formed initially by the progressive merging of beach ridges and dunes formed on opposite sides of the Pelee-Lorain moraine when rising lake levels in the western basin of Lake Erie were 3 to 4 m below present lake datum (173.4 m above sea level). Since that time, it has retreated to its present position and orientation under the influence of slowly rising lake levels and increasing wave energy from both sides.Such an evolution, though different from conventional mechanisms of spit formation, is supported by evidence derived from the local post glacial stratigraphy and the geomorphology of relict features preserved on the Point and on the shoal area to the south.

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