Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 319-330

First online:

The relationship between glacial activity and sediment production: evidence from a 4450-year varve record of neoglacial sedimentation in Hector Lake, Alberta, Canada

  • Eric M. LeonardAffiliated withDepartment of Geology, Colorado College

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A 4450-year sequence of varves, spanning the entire Neoglacialinterval, has been recovered from Hector Lake, Alberta. The varve record is compared to records of regional glacial history toevaluate therelationship between alpine glacial activity and sediment production. Glacial controls on sediment production vary with the timescale considered. Long-term variations in sedimentation rate, of centuries to millennial duration, reflect changes in ice extent of the same timescale. Superimposed on these long-term changes is decadal-scale variability that is complexly related to upvalley ice extent. Over the short term, high sedimentation rates may be associated with glacier maximum stands, or with periods of glacier advance or recession. Overthe last millennium at least, highest sedimentation rates appear to have been associated with transitional periods, preceding or post-dating maximum ice stands, rather than with times of maximum ice extent.

varves glacial history Canadian Rocky Mountains Holocene Neoglaciation glaciolacustrine sediments