Abstract

Two late Quaternary alloformations are identifed throughout the Torngat Mountains by degree of soil profile development in till with a granitic composition, morphologic expression of deposits, and their relative areal distribution. The two alloformations are interpreted to represent two, successively limited glaciations of the Torngat Mountains by the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Deposits of the Shoal Cove Alloformation mantle hillslopes distal to deposits of the younger Saglek Alloformation. Deposits are primarily soliflucted till found around coastal regions. Soils developed in till of the Shoal Cove Alloformation are characterized by well-expressed Bw horizons ≥ 19 cm thick. Deposits of the younger Saglek Alloformation are characterized by prominent, well-preserved moraines, outwash fan surfaces, and ice-marginal channels. Soils described in till are poorly developed, with A horizons directly overlying Cox horizons, or separated from Cox horizons by thin, transitional (AC, CA) horizons or poorly expressed Bw horizons. During deposition of this alloformation, the Laurentide Ice Sheet was confined to major valleys and fiords, leaving large areas of the mountains ice free. Old radiocarbon dates on shells from diamictons on the Iron Strand coast do not provide a unique age for glacial events on the Labrador coast. Age of marine limit on the coast suggests deglaciation from the event depositing the Saglek Alloformation began 9 000 – 10 000 years BP.

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