Abstract

The sediments of Kane Basin are very poorly sorted to extremely poorly sorted mixtures of gravel, sand, silt, and clay. Vector analysis of the heavy mineral suites shows that vectors I (garnet-orthopyroxene), and II (clinopyroxene) account for over 98% of the sample variance. Vector III (amphibole) accounts for less than 3% of the variance. Crystalline rocks and carbonate rocks make up the majority of the gravels while clastic components are least abundant. The Kane Basin is divided into three sedimentological provinces. These provinces, their interrelationships, and the effects of ice and water transport on the distribution of the sediment are defined through the use of Q-mode heavy mineral vectors, and by univariate and "D" function mapping of textural parameters. Province A makes up the eastern, central and southern parts of the Basin. It is a low energy environment that contains large amounts of stream transported silt and clay, and lesser amounts of ice transported gravel and sand. High vector I loading factors indicate that the dominant sources for these sediments are crystalline rocks exposed on Inglefield Land and underlying the Humboldt Glacier. Province B, which includes most of the western part of Kane Basin, contains Recent and relict ice-transported materials with lesser amounts of water-transported sediment. The Recent materials are primarily carbonates derived from Paleozoic sequences on Ellesmere Island. The relict sediments, made up of clastic gravels and vector II heavy minerals, are being encroached upon from two sides by Recent sediments. Province C is in the shoal, northern part of the Basin, extending from Kennedy Channel down to 79 degrees 28'N. The northeast part of the province contains water-transported sediments that enter the Basin from Washington Land. The rest of the province contains ice transported sediment. The gravels and vector I and vector II heavy minerals reflect the influences of province A and province B source areas. Vector III mineralogy indicates possible relict materials near Washington Land. A lobe of carbonate rich gravels in the central part of the province might be the result of ice transport from Ellesmere Island and/or Washington Land.

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