Abstract

The Pleistocene glacial limit in the marine environment off New England can be traced by plotting the seaward limit of abundant sandy gravel and the position of shoals. Maximum limit of the last glaciation was probably along an irregular line extending through Nantucket Shoals, across Great South Channel, northern Georges Bank, and at least to the edge of the Scotian Shelf. If, as we assume, glaciers lowered sea level approximately 130 m, the ice margin was probably a subaerial one on Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank, and it was bordered by outwash and meltwater channels leading away from the ice front. On the Scotian Shelf, the margin may have bordered directly on the ocean, to judge by the lack of shoals and the widespread dispersion of gravel out to the shelf edge. The glaciofluvial nature of the original deposits and marine reworking during the eustatic rise in sea level have made it difficult to recognize ice-contact deposits near the limit of maximum glacial advance. The gravel on shallow banks and ledges is in a bimodal mixture with sand. Association of coarse gravel and sand suggests postdepositional reworking of till by marine processes and removal of silt and clay. Gravel in the Gulf of Maine is mixed with sand, silt, and clay, a mixture characteristic of till.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.