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Quaternary geology in the Southern Ogilivie Ranges : Yukon Territory and an investigation of morphological, periglacial, pedological and botanical criteria for possible use in the chronology of morainal sequences. Ricker, Karl Edwin

Abstract

Five periods of ice advance in the North Klondike-upper Blackstone basins of the Ogilvie Mountains are recognized by the downvalley sequence of progressively older moraines. The youngest occurred during the last millennium and is represented by glacierets and fresh moraines. The other advances are of the Pleistocene Epoch; from youngest to oldest they are: Age I (valley glacier stage), Age II (transection glacier), Age IIA (transection glacier with piedmont) and Age III (mountain ice cap). Evidence for Age III is limited to the north slope of the ranges. Age IIA was recognized only on the north slope and may represent a slightly older pulse of the Age II. This chronosequence is tentatively correlated with those elsewhere in the northern Cordillera. Within the region an array of surficial elements indicates that a continuous and discontinuous mosaic of processes have operated interdependently during the Quaternary. A product of these processes is mapped under one of eight facies - attention being directed to the varieties of features associated with the glacial and periglacial cycles. Of the latter, active, inactive and degradational forms exist. Strong correlations between the distribution of some types of surficial features and the underlying bedrock geology are recognized. No changes in morphology, permafrost distribution, pebble weathering, pedogenesis and floral succession could be related to the ages of the Pleistocene moraines. The influence of permafrost on all ages of moraines, the variability in their environment of deposition, and an edaphic and climatic discontinuity produce greater differences than does the age factor. In the northern half of the study area, permafrost and associated phenomena were observed to greatly retard chemical alteration; on the other hand, they permit the development of only a vegetational and pedological "polyclimax", rather than a single mesic climax, in a time span of less than 11,000-15,000 years.

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