Abstract

Surficial mapping and geologic information on the nature and evolution of surficial materials in the Slave geologic province indicate that the geotechnical properties and potential ground ice contents associated with these materials depend largely upon their provenance, depositional conditions, and the postglacial climatic history. This information may be used to provide a regional-scale view of the distribution of ground ice conditions and terrain sensitivities associated with various surficial materials. In till veneers and blankets, ground ice content is generally low, as suggested by lack of thermokarst and other permafrost features. However, distinctive surface relief in hummocky till including kettle depressions, rim-ridges, and shallow thaw flowslides may be attributed to massive ice, resulting in sensitive till terrain. Although many outwash sediments have low ice contents near the surface, massive ice ranging from 5 to 10 m thick is present in some eskers and ice-contact outwash sediments. These are associated with thermokarst, slope movement, and collapse features, indicative of meltout or creep of large bodies of massive ice. The terrain sensitivity associated with these deposits is typically low to moderate, due to the coarse-grained nature of the sediments. In contrast, terrain sensitivity is high, and active-layer detachment slides are common along the Coronation Gulf coast where frozen silty clay marine sediments contain a wide range of ice contents. Results from this study may be applied to a much more extensive area of the glaciated western Arctic mainland and adjacent Arctic coastal plain in which materials with a similar glacial history are found.

You do not currently have access to this article.