Abstract

The Quaternary stratigraphy of the Babine Lake region is characterized by a Late Wisconsinan succession of advance-phase glaciolacustrine sediments, glaciofluvial deposits, and till. Pollen data from a rare new interglacial site suggest a colder than present Middle Wisconsinan climate. Ice flow during the last glaciation was dominantly southeasterly, but in the Babine Range a regional, westerly ice-flow event occurred. Evidence for westerly flow diminishes eastward of Babine Lake, suggesting that the valley was near the eastward limit of an interior ice divide. Deglacial sediments include ice-marginal debris-flow, glaciofluvial, and glaciolacustrine sediments. Raised-delta elevations indicate that Glacial Lake Babine extended nearly 150 m above present lake level to 850 m asl, and higher, earlier phases may have existed locally. A variety of Holocene deposits cap the Quaternary succession. Glaciation has important implications for exploration in this copper-producing area. Southeasterly glacial dispersal patterns dominate, despite a regionally complex ice-flow history. Highly anomalous concentrations of copper occur in tills down-ice of most known bedrock copper occurrences, and a number of similarly anomalous till sites with no known copper sources have been identified in drift-covered areas. Exploration problems due to the thick and complex surficial cover can be overcome by selective sampling of basal tills, the composition of which clearly reflects the presence of buried mineral deposits. The effectiveness of till geochemistry as a method for locating buried mineralization in the region will be enhanced by careful selection of sample media and by a clear understanding of the glacial history.

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