Abstract

Solifluction lobes are tongue-shaped accumulations of sediment resulting from localized periglacial mass wasting. Radiocarbon records from beneath two turf-banked lobes in the Mount Rae area of the southern Canadian Rockies indicate that solifluction processes have been continuously active for at least the last 2000 years. The long-term rates of frontal movement at both sites average 0.49 cm/year, but vary in magnitude from 0.35 to 1.50 cm/year.Both lobes terminate above soil pedons progressively overridden by their advance. Estimates of the apparent mean residence time of the contemporary soil ranges from 962 ± 100 years in one case to 1600 ± 100 years in the other. This information was used to reconstruct a chronology of lobe activity. Collectively, the radiocarbon records indicate that solifluction lobes in this area were advancing quite rapidly between 1900–1750 years BP but declined to a much slower, but relatively constant, pace up until the present.

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