International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 89, Issue 3, pp 503–521 | Cite as

Characterisation of marine and lacustrine sediments in a drowned thermokarst embayment, Richards Island, Beaufort Sea, Canada

  • S. Solomon
  • P. J. Mudie
  • R. Cranston
  • T. Hamilton
  • S. A. Thibaudeau
  • E. S. Collins
Original Paper

Abstract.

A multidisciplinary study was made of lakes and lagoons in a thermokarst embayment on Richards Island, Canadian Beaufort Sea, in order to investigate the response of the Mackenzie Delta shoreline to changing hydrological influences. Seismo-acoustic profiles made from an amphibious vehicle, combined with sediment core data, show that the deepest lakes contain up to 10 m of transparent or stratified silty mud overlying the Kittigazuit sand basement. Palynological and microfossil data from 21 surface samples allow delineation of freshwater, saltmarsh, tidal flat and subtidal assemblages. These modern reference data allow distinction of freshwater and marine facies in the cores and subsequent interpretation of geochemical content (carbon, ammonia, sulphate). Radiocarbon dates and 137 Cs show that sedimentation rates have increased by an order of magnitude since drowning of the embayment during the past millennium, and that most of this sediment is from the Mackenzie River plume.

Beaufort Sea Mackenzie Delta Thermokarst lake Embayment Arctic Cesium radiocarbon Geochemistry Permafrost Acoustic stratigraphy 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Solomon
    • 1
  • P. J. Mudie
    • 1
  • R. Cranston
    • 1
  • T. Hamilton
    • 2
  • S. A. Thibaudeau
    • 3
  • E. S. Collins
    • 4
  1. 1.Geological Survey of Canada, Atlantic, Box 1006, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, B2Y 4A2
  2. 2.Geological Survey of Canada, Pacific, 9860 West Saanich Road, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada V8L 4B2
  3. 3.BHP Diamonds Inc., #1102, 4920 52nd Street, Yellowknife, N.W.T., Canada
  4. 4.Centre for Marine Geology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 3J5

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