Abstract

The Fraser River delta, the largest delta on the west coast of Canada, has been built into the Strait of Georgia during the Holocene. Drill-hole and seismic reflection records reveal a succession of sedimentary units deposited during early Holocene progradation of the delta. These overlie an irregular surface developed on Pleistocene drift. Mud and silt, similar to sediments presently accumulating off the mouth of Fraser River in the southern Strait of Georgia, are conformably overlain by a thick unit of sandy foreset beds, dipping gently to the south-southwest into Boundary Bay and deposited in a foreslope environment. The foreset unit is sharply overlain by a much thinner topset sequence comprising silt and sand deposited in intertidal, fluvial-channel, and overbank environments, and peat deposited in swamps and bogs. Fifteen accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates on shell and wood indicate that most of the deltaic sediments south of the Main Channel of Fraser River were deposited between ca. 7500 and 5000 BP. By 5000 BP the locus of sedimentation had shifted from the south, into Boundary Bay, to the west and southwest, into the Strait of Georgia proper.

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