Abstract

The exposures at the St. Marys Cement Inc. quarry at St. Marys, Ontario, have been studied by geologists since the mid-1950s. This paper summarizes previous and new information collected in 2009, 2010, and 2012 and discusses the record of sediments resting on the bedrock surface that have been exposed during quarry operations. The exposed sediments illustrate the dynamic behavior of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in this area during the Late Wisconsin. Evidence for subglacial meltwater activity, shifting ice-flow directions during till deposition, a local or regional erosion event, possible subaerial exposure, and ice-marginal sedimentation is observed in the sequence of tills and stratified sediments exposed in the quarries. It also highlights how rapid lateral facies changes, complex contact relationships, and steep erosional contacts can prove to be challenging for correlation and extrapolation of subsurface units into three-dimensional stratigraphic models. Fourteen units were identified of which the lower six were deposited during the Nissouri age (Catfish Creek Drift). This included five layers of till deposited by a glacier that alternated from flowing out of the Lake Huron basin to that of a regional flow to the south-southwest. An angular unconformity cuts into these sediments and separates them from a finer-grained sediment sequence (primarily of Port Bruce age) consisting of glaciofluvial gravel, two fine-textured till layers, and rhythmically bedded glaciolacustrine sediments, all overlain by the uppermost till, the Rannoch Till, and Mitchell Moraine ice-marginal fan sediments.

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