Abstract

Geochemical data from mineral exploration surveys are used to assess postglacial and pre-last-glacial weathering on the high plateaus of central Gaspésie by comparing the distribution of 30 elements in the B and C horizons of a thin soil developed on glacial deposits. Under postglacial weathering, Fe2O3, TiO2, P2O5, Cr, Li, U, and V are immobile relative to Al2O3, whereas the other elements are mobile and have been depleted to various degrees from the B horizon. Loss-on-ignition value is the only parameter showing a significant enrichment from the C to the B horizons. The apparently high degree of geochemical weathering of the glacial deposits in respect to their source bedrock lithologies suggests that the deposits also contain previously weathered material. The spatial distribution of the geochemical weathering index values calculated for the C horizon shows no clear relation to the underlying bedrock formations. The high values are located on topographic highs, with maxima over deeply weathered bedrock occurrences, and the low values are located in glacial valleys. The spatial distribution of this weathering index in the glacial deposits shows the geochemical signature of a pre-last-glacial weathered mantle.

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