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TitleTiming and paleogeographic reconstruction of Glacial Lake Low in western Labrador
AuthorPaulen, R CORCID logo; Rice, J MORCID logo; Ross, MORCID logo; Lian, O B
SourceGeoconvention 2020 abstracts; 2020 p. 1-4 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200034
PublisherGeoconvention Partnership
MeetingGeoconvention 2020; September 21-23, 2020
DocumentWeb site
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNewfoundland and Labrador
NTS13E/03; 13E/04; 13E/05; 13E/06; 13E/11; 13E/12; 13E/13; 13E/14; 13L/03; 13L/04; 13L/05; 13L/06; 13L/11; 13L/12; 13L/13; 13L/14; 23H; 23I
AreaLabrador; Smallwood Reservoir; Churchill River
Lat/Long WENS -66.0000 -63.0000 55.0000 53.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; geophysics; Nature and Environment; Science and Technology; proglacial lakes; paleogeography; glacial history; deglaciation; ice retreat; isostatic rebound; beach ridges; paleodrainage; remote sensing; photogrammetric surveys; airphoto interpretation; glacial deposits; tills; Glacial Lake Low; Laurentide Ice Sheet; glaciolacustrine beach sediments; glaciolacustrine littoral sediments; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs
ProgramGEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Hudson/Ungava, Northeastern Quebec-Labrador, surficial geology
Released2020 09 01
The timing and configuration of retreating ice margins are important to understanding the demise of past ice sheets, and glacial lakes are a key component of this reconstruction (Jansson, 2003; Dyke, 2004). Glacial Lake Low was a previously unidentified proglacial lake of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that formed north of the headwaters of the Churchill River, in lowlands now occupied by the Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador. Glacial Lake Low formed within a re-entrant into the retreating ice sheet in the Churchill River valley, constrained by a low elevation drainage divide with its outlet at the Churchill River. This glacial lake occupied a basin south of the modern drainage divide along the Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador border. This lake was named after Albert P. Low (1861-1942) of the Geological Survey of Canada, who first recognized in the 1890s that the final disintegration of the continental ice sheet occurred generally in this region (Low, 1896).
Although relatively shallow, glacial Lake Low formed extensive beach ridges that were identified through surficial mapping which indicates the maximum washing limit of the lake was ~ 485 m asl (above sea level). The glacial lake drained following minor isostatic rebounding that resulted in the drainage divide between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans migrating northwest, allowing meltwater to flow south into the Churchill River valley. Waters then ponded in the former basins of Ossokmanuan, Lobstick, and Michikamau lakes, which were merged by the construction of the Smallwood Reservoir, created in 1974 with the damming of the Churchill River at Churchill Falls.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This is a scientific presentation and conference paper outlining the discovery and setting of a previously unmapped glacial lake in Labrador. Timing was constrained using optical dating methods. This information is important for past ice sheet reconstructions and configuration.

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