Abstract

The major Pleistocene deposits and landforms on southwestern Vancouver Island are the result of the Late Wisconsin (Fraser) Glaciation. Cordilleran glaciers formed in the Vancouver Island Mountains and in the Coast Mountains had advanced down Strait of Georgia to southeastern Vancouver Island after 19 000 years BP. The ice split into the Puget and Juan de Fuca lobes, the latter damming small lakes along the southwestern coastal slope of the island. During the maximum of the glaciation (Vashon Stade), southern Vancouver Island lay completely under the cover of an ice-sheet which flowed in a south-southwesterly direction across Juan de Fuca Strait, eventually terminating on the edge of the continental shelf. Deglaciation was by downwasting during which ice thinned into major valleys and the strait. Most upland areas were free of ice down to an elevation of 400 m by before 13 000 years BP. A possible glacier standstill and (or) resurgence occurred along Juan de Fuca Strait and in some interior upland valleys before deglaciation was complete. Glacial lakes occupied major valleys during later stages of deglaciation.

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