Abstract

The late Pleistocene deposits of south-central British Columbia record two major glacial and two major nonglacial periods of deposition. The oldest recognized Pleistocene deposits, called Westwold Sediments, were deposited during a nonglacial interval more than 60 000 years ago. Little information is available on the climate of this period, but permafrost may have been present at one time during final stages of deposition of Westwold Sediments. The latter part of this nonglacial period is probably correlative with the early Wisconsin Substage of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Valley area. However, deposition of the Westwold Sediments may have begun during the Sangamon Interglacial.Okanagan Centre Drift is the name applied to sediments deposited during the glaciation that followed deposition of Westwold Sediments. Okanagan Centre Drift is known to be older than 43 800 years BP and probably is older than 51 000. It is considered to correlate with an early Wisconsin glacial period.Bessette Sediments were deposited during the last major nonglacial period, which in south-central British Columbia persisted from at least 43 800 years BP (possibly more than 51 000) to about 19 000 years BP. This episode corresponds to Olympia Interglaciation of the Pacific Coast region and the mid-Wisconsin Substage of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Valley area. During parts of Olympia Interglaciation the climate was probably as warm as the present-day climate in the interior of British Columbia. Information from coastal regions indicates that there may have been periods of cooler and moister climate.Kamloops Lake Drift was deposited during the last major glaciation of south-central British Columbia. Ice occupied lowland areas from approximately 19 000 to 10 000 years BP. This period corresponds approximately to the Fraser Glaciation of the Pacific Coast region and the late Wisconsin Substage of central and eastern parts of North America.

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