The Quaternary stratigraphy of the Nechako River – Cheslatta Lake area of central British Columbia is described and interpreted to reconstruct the late Quaternary history of the region. Exposures of glacial and nonglacial sediments deposited prior to the last glaciation (Fraser) are limited to three sites. Pollen assemblages from pre-Fraser nonglacial sediments at two of these sites reveal forested conditions around 39 000 BP. During the advance phase of the Fraser Glaciation, glacial lakes were ponded when trunk glaciers blocked some tributary valleys. Early in the glaciation, the drainage was free in easterly draining valleys. Subsequently, the easterly drainage was blocked either locally by sediments and ice or as a result of impoundment of the Fraser River and its tributaries east of the study area. Ice generally moved east and northeast from accumulation zones in the Coast Mountains. Ice flow was influenced by topography. Major late-glacial lakes developed in the Nechako River valley and the Knewstubb Lake region because potential drainage routes were blocked by ice.

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