Abstract

A uniboom seismic reflection profile survey has revealed the nature of bedrock relief and the acoustic character of Pleistocene glacial sediment fill beneath Kalamalka Lake in southern British Columbia. Despite its continental interior setting, Kalamalka Lake basin has many attributes of coastal fiords, such as being overdeepened below sea level and having closed bedrock depressions and a thick sediment fill.The bedrock surface beneath Kalamalka Lake has been eroded as much as 417 m below lake level (26 m below sea level) and is characterized by a series of closed, glacially overdeepened depressions. We suggest that the location of the lake basin is structurally controlled but was overdeepened by rapidly flowing ice that drained the interior portions of the Cordilleran ice sheet during repeated Pleistocene glaciations.Up to 272 m of sediment has been deposited beneath Kalamalka Lake. The greatest thickness of the sediment fill (up to 237 m) is a seismically transparent unit that overlies a thin (up to 20 m), discontinuous lower stratified unit and is overlain by a thin (up to 15 m), continuous upper unit that is well stratified. The sedimentological nature of the lower stratified unit is not known but could represent a discontinuous coarse lag. The thick, middle transparent unit is interpreted as a massive silt deposited rapidly in a proglacial lake from suspended-sediment plumes during deglaciation. The thin overlying stratified unit may be correlative with laminated glaciolacustrine "white silt" deposits that outcrop extensively across central and southern British Columbia, suggesting a common history of deglaciation and sedimentation.An ambitious research program focused on seismic stratigraphic definition, coupled with direct drill-core sampling, is needed to take full advantage of the extensive sediment record that exists beneath the large, glacially overdeepened lakes of southern British Columbia.

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