Abstract

Geometry and timing of deformation affecting Ordovician bedrock and overlying Pleistocene sediments in the Rouge River valley near Scarborough, Ontario, are analysed to evaluate whether or not the structures are a result of glacial action or neotectonic activity. Extensive data on local and regional ice-flow directions are used to evaluate the kinematic compatibility between the observed faults and folds and the local ice-flow directions. Jointing and multiple episodes of faulting affect both the Ordovician bedrock and the overlying Pleistocene sediments. At one site, the bedrock is displaced by a normal fault by a minimum of 1.2 m. Crosscutting relationships constrain the majority of the faulting in the Rouge River valley as being coeval with deposition of the lower Bowmanville till during the Nissouri phase (ca. 23–15 ka), and possibly younger at one locality. The youngest regional ice-flow direction is northwestward; however, local ice-flow directions are highly variable. This can be explained by local perturbation enhanced by the presence of drumlinoid features in the area. Most deformation features are compatible with local and regional ice-flow directions. Glaciotectonic ice-push and ice-thrust deformation affected the Thorncliffe Formation after about 23 ka. Although some faults appear to be kinematically incompatible with ice-flow directions, six boreholes drilled to 52 m depth revealed only minor vertical offsets of bedrock strata in the uppermost 20 m, and an absence of obvious fault offsets deeper, precluding the possibility that the faults observed in the surface exposures were caused by deep-seated neotectonic stresses.

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