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Bluenose Lake Moraine, Northwest Territories; a moraine with a glacial ice core


Bluenose Lake Moraine, Northwest Territories; a moraine with a glacial ice core



Geographie Physique et Quaternaire 53(2): 287-295



The Bluenose Lake Moraine, a moraine with a glacier ice core. South of Dolphin and Union Strait, N.W.T., massive ridges of bouldery till, up to 100 m high, delimit an ice frontal position to the east and north of Bluenose Lake. Major ridges are either massive or composite with linear longitudinal pattern on their crest. Up ice (east) from the ridges the most common landforms are boulder-covered hills, up to 60 m high, and hummocks interspersed with numerous lakes. In a well exposed section, sediment-rich ice is overlain by a bouldery till, more than 3 m thick, with a sandy to sandy silt matrix, columnar jointing and prismatic fissility. The icy sediments exhibit banding, folding and complex deformations, and include numerous boulders, cobbles, and pebbles. The upper contact of the icy sediments and the bouldery diamicton is sharp, subhorizontal and unconformable. These massive icy sediments are interpreted as basal glacier ice buried by the stacking of glacigenic debris, mostly till, carried at the base of a thrust-sheet in an area of compressive flow. This occurred in the ice frontal zone of an active Late Wisconsinan ice mass. It is postulated that if the regional climate was to warm to the point of melting the icy sediments which form the bulk of the Bluenose Lake Moraine the resulting landscape would be hummocky terrain similar to that which covers extensive regions in more southerly parts of Central Canada.

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