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Late Wisconsinan Glaciation of the Central Sector of the Canadian High Arctic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Scott F. Lamoureux
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6
John H. England
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6E 2E3

Abstract

Geomorphic and chronological evidence from Cornwall Island in the Canadian High Arctic Archipelago provides direct evidence for the age and dynamics of the center and northern flank of the Innuitian Ice Sheet that covered the islands during the Late Wisconsonian glacial maximum. Dispersal of erratics and glacial landforms indicate that ice flowed north across the island and converged with ice flowing northwest from Norwegian Bay. Cornwall Island was initially deglaciated at 9000 14C yr B.P. in near synchrony with widely separated sites in adjacent parts of the archipelago. This regional chronology suggests rapid breakup of a marine-based Innuitian Ice Sheet that was destabilized by rapid eustatic sea-level rise and ice thinning during the early Holocene. This evidence provides strong support for a recently proposed ice divide spanning the central part of the Canadian High Arctic and indicates that most, if not all, of the region was glaciated during the Late Wisconsinan.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
University of Washington

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