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TitleSeafloor mapping of Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island, Canadian Arctic Archipelago
AuthorTodd, B J; Shaw, J; Campbell, D C; Mate, D J
SourceGEOHAB 2016 - Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping: marine environment mapping and interpretation - from the coast to the deep ocean, abstract booklet; 2016 p. 148
Year2016
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20160002
PublisherGeoHab
MeetingGEOHAB 2016 - Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping; Winchester; GB; 2-6 May 2016
Documentbook
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthern offshore region; Nunavut
NTS25I; 25J/08; 25J/09; 25J/10; 25J/14; 25J/15; 25J/16; 25N/01; 25N/08; 25N/09; 25N/10; 25O/01; 25O/02; 25O/03; 25O/04; 25O/05; 25O/06; 25O/07; 25O/11; 25O/12; 25P
AreaFrobisher Bay; Baffin Island; Canadian Arctic Archipelago
Lat/Long WENS -69.0000 -64.0000 63.7500 62.0000
Subjectsmarine geology; regional geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; macrotidal environment; seafloor topography; bedrock topography; submarine features; submarine ridges; basins; landslides; landslide deposits; marine sediments; postglacial deposits; muds; glacial deposits; glacial features; moraines; moraine, de geer; glacial history; glaciation; ice flow; deglaciation; ice retreat; sedimentary structures; megaflutes; iceberg gouging; seismicity; geological mapping; geological hazards; glaciomarine sediments; ice-flow directions; translational landslides; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary; Paleozoic; Ordovician
ProgramMarine Geohazards, Public Safety Geoscience
AbstractFrobisher Bay, a macrotidal inlet of the Labrador Sea in southeastern Baffin Island, is 230 km long and varies in width from 40 km at its southeastern extremity to 20 km at its northwest end. It lies within the territory of Nunavut, which has the land area equivalent to Western Europe, but with a population of only ~30,000. Competing industrial uses of ocean space in Frobisher Bay, coupled with concern for habitat protection, has led to the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office and the Geological Survey of Canada, in partnership with Memorial University Marine Habitat Mapping Group, ArcticNet and the Government of Nunavut, to undertake a regional seafloor geoscience mapping program to provide the scientific knowledge of geohazards and seabed geology to underpin and manage future development. Because of constraints of climate, vessel availability, and logistics, the mapping coverage is sparse in some areas, but nevertheless provides insights into geological processes.
The inner bay is characterized by narrow, NW-SE trending bedrock ridges with slopes up to 30°, mantled by glaciomarine sediment, with postglacial mud confined to linear basins. Superimposed glacial megaflutes demonstrate ice flow down the bay during the last glacial cycle; arrays of De Geer moraines point to incremental retreat of the grounded margin towards the NW. In shallow coastal areas the seafloor is imprinted by iceberg furrows and pits, mostly relic, with a modern population down to depths of 80 m. The truly distinguishing aspect of the inner bay is the large number of translational submarine slides developed on ridge flanks, typically with steep headwalls, erosional chutes, long runouts, and low-relief depositional lobes with compressional ridges. In contrast, the outer bay has low relief, and the gently-dipping Ordovician bedrock is mantled with glaciomarine sediments, imprinted by iceberg furrows in places.
The presence of numerous translational slides in this Arctic embayment is distinctive and anomalous. Most of the submarine slides preserved on the seabed in the inner part of the bay appear to occur within post-glacial sediments. In Atlantic Canada, mass transport is generally confined to the continental slopes and fjords, with the most intensive activity in the Late Glacial. In Frobisher Bay, seismic activity and macrotidal location might contribute to the abundant seabed instability in the region.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Frobisher Bay, a macrotidal inlet of the Labrador Sea in southeastern Baffin Island, is 230 km long and varies in width from 40 km at its southeastern extremity to 20 km at its northwest end. Because of constraints of climate, vessel availability, and logistics, the mapping coverage is sparse in some areas, but nevertheless provides insights into geological processes.
GEOSCAN ID297883