Bennett, M. R., Huddart, D. and Thomas, G.S.P., 2002. Facies Architecture Within a Regional Glaciolacustrine Basin: Copper River, Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews, 21 (20-22), pp. 2237-2279.
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This paper defines the principal architectural elements present within the Pleistocene, glaciolacustrine basin-fill of the Copper River Basin in Alaska. The Copper River drains an intermontane basin via a single deeply incised trench through the Chugach Mountains to the Gulf of Alaska. This trench was blocked by ice during the last glacial cycle and a large ice-dammed lake, referred to as Lake Atna, filled much of the Copper Basin. Facies analysis within the basin floor allows a series of associations to be defined consistent with the basinward transport of sediment deposited along calving ice margins and at the basin edge. Basinward transport involves a continuum of gravity driven processes, including slumping, cohesive debris flow, hyperconcentrated/concentrated density flows, and turbidity currents. This basinward transport results in the deposition of a series of subaqueous fans, of which two main types are recognised. (1) Large, stratified, basin floor fans, which extend over at least 5 km and are exposed in the basin centre. These fans are composed of multiple lobes, incised by large mega-channels, giving fan architectures that are dominated by horizontal strata and large, cross-cutting channel-fills. Individual lobes and channel-fills consist of combinations of: diamict derived from iceberg rainout and the ice-marginal release of subglacial sediment; multiple units of fining upward gravels which grade vertically into parallel laminated and rippled fine sands and silts, deposited by a range of density flows and currents derived from the subaqueous discharge of meltwater; and rhythmites grading vertically into diamicts deposited from a range of sediment-density flows re-mobilising sediment deposited by either iceberg rainout or the ice-marginal release of sediment. (2) Small, complex, proximal fans, which extend over less than 2 km, and are exposed in the southern part of the basin. These fans are composed of coalescing and prograding lobes of diamict and gravel deposited both directly by subaqueous meltwater and from sediment-density flows. These lobes are cross-cut by a range of sand and gravel-filled troughs and channels cut by subaqueous outwash, and either overlie or are overlain by horizontal sheets of gravel and diamict deposited from a range of sediment-density flows. The fans are, therefore, characterised by a complex, and laterally variable facies, architecture. Water depth, proglacial topography, stability of meltwater portals and sediment supply may all be important in determining the type of subaqueous fan present at any one location. We suggest that the Copper River basin-fill is dominated by packages of sediment containing multiple subaqueous fans with individual fans separated by units of diamict. Each sediment package is in turn separated from the next by a palaeo-landsurface shaped by interstadial/interglacial fluvial processes and by volcanic debris flows.
|Subjects:||Geography and Environmental Studies|
Science > Earth Sciences
|Group:||School of Applied Sciences > Centre for Conservation, Ecology and Environmental Change|
|Deposited By:||INVALID USER|
|Deposited On:||23 Jan 2009 10:49|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:05|
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