Abstract

This study is centred on the Bonaparte Lake map area located in the southern Interior Plateau of south-central British Columbia. The reconstruction of the Late Wisconsinan glacial history of this part of the southern sector of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet incorporates (i) the analysis and interpretation of landforms of various scales, (ii) the sedimentology and stratigraphy of glacial sediments, and (iii) the geochemical and mineralogical composition of till and analysis of regional glacial dispersal of these components. The onset of the last glacial event was initiated by ice advancing westerly and southwesterly into the study area from an alpine source region located in the Cariboo Mountains. As glaciation intensified, ice from the Coast Mountains coalesced with the Cariboo Mountain ice over the Interior Plateau and developed into an ice divide around 52° north latitude, which resulted in ice flow to be diverted to a southerly direction over the study area. The two dominant ice-flow directions produced palimpsest dispersal that was measured by three tracers in till including thorianite grains and terbium concentrations in the heavy mineral fraction, and granitoid pebble percentage. The two main phases of ice flow identified within our study area have significant implications for mineral exploration that uses mineral tracing in glacial sediments, especially in the area underlain by the highly prospective Quesnel Terrane.

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