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TitleCharacterization of the seabed and postglacial sediments of inner Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island, Nunavut
AuthorDeering, R; Misiuk, B; Bell, T; Forbes, D LORCID logo; Tremblay, T; Telka, A; Aitken, A; Campbell, CORCID logo
SourceCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office, Summary of Activities 2018, 2018 p. 139-152 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180272
PublisherCanada-Nunavut Geoscience Office
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®)
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience Marine Geohazards
Released2018 12 28
AbstractLimited baseline knowledge about the marine geology of the seabed of inner Frobisher Bay poses a challenge to coastal and seabed infrastructure for the City of Iqaluit. Over the past four years, the area covered by targeted, high-resolution multibeam bathymetric mapping has increased around the southeastern part of Baffin Island, allowing to better characterize the seafloor of the basin. Inner Frobisher Bay is shown to have a primarily muddy bottom, but with a complex overall morphology. Adding to the complexity caused by bedrock structure are various deglacial features, including several recessional moraines. Several marine geohazards have reshaped postglacial sediments, as evidenced by fields of pockmarks, seabed scours formed by sea ice and icebergs, and greater than or equal to 246 submarine slope failures. An extensive coring and acoustic sub-bottom profiling survey has revealed the deglacial stratigraphic succession underlying the seabed, as well as sediments resulting from submarine slope failures, which facilitates sedimentary analysis and age control. Typical of other deglacial environments, the sediments show a decreasing amount of glacial influence over time, with inputs into the embayment becoming more local in character as ice retreated. Radiocarbon dates from cores agree with the established deglacial chronology for the region. Analysis of submarine slope-failure cores shows different styles of failed stratigraphic units and, along with multibeam bathymetric mapping, demonstrates that these features range considerably in ages (1000-5500 cal. yr. BP). Although a baseline characterization of inner Frobisher Bay is presented here, further analysis is currently underway to better understand this complex basin and the processes that shaped it.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
There is a need for a better understanding of the seabed of inner Frobisher Bay to support infrastructure development in the City of Iqaluit. This paper presents a baseline characterization of seabed morphology, sediments, and marine geohazards in the region. The inner bay has a mostly muddy bottom which has been reshaped by glacial erosion and glacial and proglacial deposition, fluid escape processes creating pockmarks, sea-ice and iceberg scour, and at least 246 submarine slope failures of varying age, as revealed in a detailed mapping and coring effort over 4 years. More detailed analysis is in progress to better understand the processes and associated geohazards operating in this complex Arctic basin.

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