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TitleQuaternary geology and permafrost characteristics in central Hall Peninsula, Baffin Island, Nunavut
AuthorLeblanc-Dumas, J; Allard, M; Tremblay, TORCID logo
SourceCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, Summary of Activities 2012, 2013 p. 101-106 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20120345
PublisherCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office
File formatpdf
NTS26B/05; 26B/06; 26B/11; 26B/12; 26C/08; 26C/09
AreaBaffin Island; Hall Peninsula
Lat/Long WENS -68.5000 -67.0000 64.7500 64.2500
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; glacial deposits; glacial features; glacial landforms; permafrost; freezing ground; ground temperatures; moraines; ice flow; ice movement directions; regoliths; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs
ProgramCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, Funding Program
Released2013 01 01
AbstractThis study is part of the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office's Hall Peninsula Integrated Geoscience Program, a multiyear bedrock and surficial geology mapping program with associated thematic studies. Hall Peninsula, southeastern Baffin Island, has a very complex record of glaciation because 1) most ice-flow indicators reflect the dynamics of the latest, topographically controlled ice; and 2) there are extensive regions that lack evidence of glacial erosion, despite the undoubted complete ice cover of the peninsula during the last glaciation. Drift prospecting in this glaciated terrain is therefore complicated due to difficulties in predicting erosion and transport distances of ore-bearing glacial drift. The objectives of this project are to map the surficial geology, improve knowledge of the glaciodynamics, and characterize the ice content and thaw properties of the permafrost in Hall Peninsula. In particular, the presence of regolith, felsenmeer and weakly eroded bedrock outcrops suggest that cold-based glaciers have covered the central part of the region during the Late Pleistocene. In summer 2012, detailed mapping, helicopter-supported and foot-traverse field surveys, and sampling were completed in a 2100 km2 area that is representative of this surficial zone, which is found throughout the central plateau of the peninsula. The central part of the study area is surrounded by a transition zone where surficial material is composed of a mixture of regolith and glacial sediment. Field observations documented regolith with variable thickness, ranging from >3 m on the plateau to 0 m at the base of meltwater channel gorges. The regolith covers an area of approximately 50 km2 and is characterized on satellite imagery by its white colour. The plateau is locally covered with extensive icemarginal moraines. The timing, extent and dynamics of late glacial ice and younger readvances, represented by these moraines, is presently poorly resolved. It was possible to establish that the most abundant striation set is perpendicular to the moraines and therefore correlative with their deposition. Till lithological and geochemical analyses and high resolution mapping will help in reconstructing ice-flow patterns and transportation distances of the till. Additionally, two, frozen, 1.2mlong, permafrost cores were extracted intact from the regolith cover, in the central part of the study area, to determine its particular properties. This glacial geology study supports the search for economic minerals in the region, and the permafrost characterization will be useful for land management related to infrastructure development.

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