Skip to main content

Publications - Occasional Papers

Sediments and Sediment Processes in Kane Basin, a High Arctic Glacial Marine Basin

INSTAAR Occasional Paper 39

1982, 184 pp.

Textural parameters, mass physical properties, mineralogy, x-radiography, and chemistry were used to identify and delineate lithofacies in the sediments of Kane Basin. Q-mode factor analysis was used to group the sediments into compositionally similar factors. This resulted in three factors which account for 91.7% of the variance. Detailed studies of the parameters making up the factors as well as an examination of sediment fabric allowed placement of the sediments into the following lithofacies:

Recent
Factor I {Sediments dominated by ice rafting
{Sediments dominated by water transport

Relict
Factor II {Ellesmere Island till (till 1)
Factor III {Greenland till (till 2)

The sediments dominated by water transport occur near the Inglefield Land coast, and extend to the northwest. Sediments dominated by ice rafting are most abundant in the vicinity of the Humboldt Glacier. They are also present in the south central part of the Basin, northwest of Inglefield Land. The Ellesmere Island till (till 1) is found in the western Basin while the Greenland till (till 2) is located in the northeastern Basin along the topographic high, southwest of Washington Land, Greenland.
Examination of the areal and temporal (down core) distribution of the lithofacies indicates that the tills were deposited concomitantly. They differ primarily in terms of mineralogy and gravel composition. These differences reflect different source areas. Much of the Ellesmere Island till (till 1) originated from the materials making up the Tertiary outliers found in northeastern Ellesmere Island. The Greenland till (till 2) was derived from Paleozoic carbonate rocks of Washington Land, and the crystalline basement beneath the Humboldt Glacier.
The deposition of the tills was followed by a period when ice rafting was dominant. This was succeeded by an increase in the deposition of water-transported materials emanating primarily from Inglefield Land. Both ice rafting and water transport are going on at the present time.

PDF (16 MB)