Abstract

An abandoned channel of Clear Creek, cut approximately 5 m below the present level of Lake Erie, was cored and the infilling sediments were examined. The postglacial history of this channel was reconstructed based on sedimentological, palynological, and chronological studies.The channel was cut initially some 15 m into Wentworth Till during the low-water Early Lake Erie stage. The infilling or aggradation of the channel began about 9500–9000 years BP, probably in response to rising water levels in the Lake Erie basin.This channel was cut off from the main channel shortly afterwards and an oxbow lake formed. By 7000 years BP, complete cutoff of the channel from the main stream system had occurred, allowing peat to accumulate. Eventually trees grew on this site, 4000 years BP.The diversion of glacial Lake Nipissing drainage into the Lake Erie basin may be reflected in the greater abundance of silt laminations in the peat of the upper part of the channel fill between 5975 ± 150 (BGS-899) and 3900 ± 100 (BGS-898) years BP.A rise in water level in the Lake Erie basin possibly over the Clear Creek site is recorded by the "drowning" of the forest shortly after 3900 ± 100 (BGS-898) years BP and the truncation of the Clear Creek site pollen diagram.

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