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The chronostratigraphy of Late Pleistocene glacial and periglacial aeolian\ud activity in the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands, NWT, Canada

By M.D. Bateman and J.B. Murton

Abstract

Aeolian periglacial sand deposits are common in the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands of Western Arctic Canada. Regionally extensive and thick aeolian sand-sheet deposits have been observed in two major stratigraphic settings: within a sand unit characterized by large aeolian dune deposits; and interbedded with glaciofluvial outwash from the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS). Small, localized sand sheets have also been observed along the tops of sandy bluffs, within sequences of drained thermokarst lakes deposits and as an involuted veneer above buried basal ice of the LIS.\ud \ud On the basis of radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dates from preserved periglacial aeolian sand sheets and dunes a regional chronostratigraphy is presented which indicates that both extensive dunes and sand sheets accumulated mainly between ca 30 and 13 ka. A switch to dominantly sand-sheet aggradation at ca 14–13 ka, with sand sheets forming widely until ca 8 ka, is attributed to (a) surface armouring by glacial deposits associated with the advance of the LIS; and (b) amelioration of the climate from cold aridity. An absence of OSL dates between ca 8 and 1 ka suggests that sand sheets stabilized during much of the Holocene. Local sand-sheet aggradation during recent centuries has occurred near sandy bluffs and on the floors of drained thermokarst lakes. The OSL dates constrain the maximum extent of the LIS in the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands to Marine Isotope Stage 2. \ud \u

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:2258

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