Abstract

A series of Pleistocene deposits extending over 155 m below sea level was drilled at Aux Coudres Island, in the middle St. Lawrence Estuary, Quebec. The series, which basis is unknown, is divided into two sedimentary units: the lower Baie-Saint-Paul Glacial Complex facies (−155 to −125 m), which is correlated with the Illinoian (isotopic stage 6), and a stratified sequence referred to as the île aux Coudres Formation. The latter is subdivided into four zones: a very compact lower clay (−125 to −102 m), rhythmites with Paleozoic schist debris (−102 to −71 m), and prodeltaic silts and deltaic sandy silts with brackish water benthic foraminifera (−71 to −2 m). The spore and pollen content indicates a schrub tundra followed by an afforestation sequence of a boreal forest that changes to an Abies forest and then to an interglacial mixed forest with Betula, Jugions, Carpinus or Ostrya, Carya, and, at the top, Betula, Tsuga, Quercus, and Ulmus. The accumulation of the sediments of the Île aux Coudres Formation required approximately 3500 years, beginning with a deep marine environment (about 300 m) followed by shallowing waters during the subsequent glacioisostatic rebound phase of the regression. The sedimentation is assigned to a main postglacial marine invasion, referred to as the Guettard Sea, which occurred prior to two regional glacial episodes and was partly contemporaneous with Bell Sea invasion in the Hudson Bay lowlands. A major postglacial sedimentary influx in the Atlantic Ocean, during the Illinoian-Sangamonian transition and at the beginning of the Sangamonian (transition 6–5 and early substage 5e) is inferred from this marine event.

You do not currently have access to this article.