Abstract

The Duck Hawk Bluffs, of southwestern Banks Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, record a succession of late Tertiary – Quaternary events. Organic-bearing sediments of eolian, fluvial, and lacustrine origin that overlie the Late Cretaceous Kanguk Formation and the Miocene Beaufort Formation record preglacial events of Pliocene and (or) early Quaternary age and are assigned to the Worth Point Formation. These are covered by glacial sediments of the Duck Hawk Bluffs Formation associated with the Banks Glaciation, the oldest of the three recognized glaciations to reach the island. Associated with the glacial deposits are marine or glaciomarine sediments deposited in the glacio-isostatically depressed area as the ice both advanced and retreated. These sediments are in turn covered by interglacial sediments (Morgan Bluffs Formation), by marine deposits (Big Sea sediments associated with the Thomsen Glaciation), and by younger interglacial sediments (Cape Collinson Formation). Events associated with the early Wisconsinan M'Clure Stade of the last or Amundsen Glaciation are recorded in a coastal section east of the Duck Hawk Bluffs. There, marine deposits (pre-Amundsen Sea sediments) are covered by glacial deposits (Sachs Till) of the M'Clure Stade, D/L ratios of aspartic acid in fossil wood from the Morgan Bluffs and Cape Collinson interglacial sites, respectively, vary between 0.22 and 0.31 and 0.12 and 0.13, while Holocene wood is 0.08. A composite section is proposed for these bluffs that record some of the oldest events in the Canadian Quaternary and the various units are correlated with the previously published Quaternary framework for Banks Island.

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