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TitleIce-flow history of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in the southwest Northwest Territories: a Shield to Cordillera transect
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorPaulen, R CORCID logo; Smith, I RORCID logo; Ross, M; Hagedorn, G W; Rice, J MORCID logo
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Scientific Presentation 105, 2019, 1 sheet, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
MeetingGAC-MAC-IAH 2019 / AGC-AMC-AIH 2019; Québec, QC; CA; May 12-15, 2019
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is related to Ice-flow history of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in the southwest Northwest Territories: a Shield to Cordillera transect
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®)
ProvinceNorthwest Territories; British Columbia; Alberta
NTS85A; 85B; 85C; 85D; 85E; 85F; 85G; 95A; 95B; 95G; 95H
AreaGreat Slave Lake; Mackenzie River; Pine Point; Fort Resolution; Hay River; Fort Providence; Wood Buffalo National Park; Kakisa Lake; Sambaa K'e; Trout Lake; Liard River; Fort Liard; Cameron Hills; Kakisa; Jean Marie River; Slave River; Fort Smith; Horn Plateau
Lat/Long WENS-124.0000 -112.0000 61.7500 60.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; stratigraphy; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; field work; glacial history; glaciation; Wisconsinian glacial stage; ice flow; flow trajectories; deglaciation; ice retreat; sediment dispersal; dispersal patterns; depositional history; depositional environment; sedimentary structures; glacial deposits; glacial features; glacial landforms; glacial erosion; glacial striations; glacial grooves; glacial scours; lineations; tills; moraines; clays; glacial flutings; stratigraphic analyses; clasts; fabric analyses; pore pressures; Laurentide Ice Sheet; Canadian Shield; Canadian Cordillera; Western Canada Sedimentary Basin; Pine Point Mine; Great Slave Lake Ice Stream; Hay River Ice Stream; Marine Isotope Stage 3; ArcticDEM; ice-flow directions; ice streams; dispersal trains; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary; Paleozoic; Mesozoic; Cretaceous; Devonian; Precambrian
Illustrationslocation maps; geoscientific sketch maps; digital elevation models; photographs; rose diagrams; satellite images
ProgramGEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Mackenzie Corridor, Southern Mackenzie Surficial Mapping
Released2019 10 03
AbstractFieldwork conducted since 2010 by the Geological Survey of Canada under the GEM1 and GEM2 programs has revealed a more complex glacial history for the southern Great Slave Lake region of the Northwest Territories than was previously reported. New reconstructions of the Laurentide Ice Sheet paleo-ice flow history have been established from field observations of erosional and/or depositional ice-flow indicators (e.g., striae, bedrock grooves, till clast fabrics, and streamlined landforms), new geochronological constraints, and interpretations of glacial stratigraphy.
Three distinct ice-flow phases are consistently observed in areas proximal to the western margin of the Canadian Shield between the Slave River near Fort Smith and Hay River further west. These phases are 1) an oldest southwest flow; 2) a long-term sustained ice flow to the northwest ; and, 3) a youngest west-southwest flow during Late Wisconsin deglaciation, which includes extensions of the Great Slave Lake and Hay River ice streams further east than previous mapped. At Hay River approaching the eastern limit of soft Cretaceous bedrock of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, the ice flow pattern no longer shows the aforementioned consistent chronology. From Hay River to the Liard River, near the zone where the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheet coalesced, a thinning ice profile, topographic highlands such as the Cameron Hills and Horn Plateau, and the deep basin that Great Slave Lake currently occupies, played a significant role on the dynamics of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during early ice advance, retreat during Marine Isotope Stage 3, Late Wisconsin advance and deglaciation. Other factors, such as increased sediment supply and clay content from Cretaceous shale bedrock were also significant in influencing ice-sheet behaviour. The role of elevated porewater pressures over subglacial clay-rich sediments controlled the extent and dynamics of several discordant ice streams in upland and lowland regions within the study area.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This is the poster that was presented at GAC-MAC-IAH in Quebec City, May 2019. It summarizes the ice flow indicators for the southern NWT across the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, from the Canadian Shield to the Cordillera.

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