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TitleAge and paleoenvironmental significance of Late Wisconsinan dune fields in the Mount Watt and Fontas River map areas, northern Alberta and British Columbia
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorWolfe, S AORCID logo; Paulen, R CORCID logo; Smith, I RORCID logo; Lamothe, M
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Current Research (Online) no. 2007-B4, 2007, 10 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader)
ProvinceAlberta; British Columbia
NTS84K/01; 84K/02; 84K/03; 84K/06; 84K/07; 84K/08; 94I/02; 94I/03; 94I/06; 94I/07
AreaMount Watt; Peace River; Fort Vermillion; High Level; Fontas River; Dazo Creek; Kahntah River
Lat/Long WENS-117.5000 -116.0000 58.5000 58.0000
Lat/Long WENS-121.2500 -120.7500 58.5000 58.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; geochronology; Wisconsinian glacial stage; Holocene; eolian deposits; dunes; sands; relict sediments; morphology; paleoenvironment; depositional environment; burial history; paleoclimatology; paleowinds; sediment transport; paleodrainage; glacial history; deglaciation; ice retreat; postglacial evolution; vegetation; neutron activation analyses; Fontas River dune field; High Level dune field; La Crête dune field; Cordilleran Ice Sheet; Laurentide Ice Sheet; Pacific air mass; Glacial Lake Peace; dune fields; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationssketch maps; aerial photographs; tables
ProgramEnhancing resilience in a changing climate
Released2007 05 01
AbstractSeven optical ages from two dune fields in northern Alberta and British Columbia record Late Wisconsinan dune activity between about 13.9 and 10.3 ka. Sand dunes in the Fontas River area of British Columbia (NTS 94-I) formed between 13.9 and 11.7 ka. Initial winds blew from the northwest, funnelled between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets. These were replaced by winds from the west, likely
associated with the Pacific air mass. Dunes in the High Level area of Alberta (Mount Watt, NTS 84 K) first formed at about 13.4 ka under transporting winds from the northeast and southeast, probably originating katabatically from the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Subsequent winds between about 11.7 and 11.0 ka were from the southeast, originating from glacial anticyclonic winds generated by a stationary high-pressure centre over the Laurentide Ice Sheet. These dunes were further modified by winds from the east. The High Level dunes stabilized at about 10.3 ka with the onset of boreal forest vegetation cover and reduced wind strength.

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