A Late Pleistocene Low Sea-Level Stand of the Southeast Canadian Offshore

  • Gordon B. J. Fader
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 256)


A widespread, submarine, low sea-level stand is interpreted to occur at a present depth of 110–120m across the Scotian Shelf and is dated at 15 ka BP. Evidence in support of this position includes: 1) absence of fine-grained muddy sediments above and their abundance below 110m; 2) the distribution of well-sorted sand and rounded gravel clasts above the low sea-level position in contrast to the widespread occurrence of angular clasts below; 3) the occurrence of terraces cut into both bedrock and glacial sediments at 110–120m water depth; 4) the occurrence of unconformities on glacial sediments dated from 40-15 ka BP which exist as erosional remnants above the low sea-level position; 5) the distribution of continuous deposits of till below and its general absence above the low sea-level stand; 6) the relative distribution of relict versus modern iceberg furrows at the seabed above and below the low sea-level stand; and 7) the occurrence of a subaerially desiccated crust above 110m water depth and its absence below. The low sea-level position occurs at approximately the same depth across the outer continental shelf. This suggests that the glaciers had retreated from the shelf before the maximum lowering and that differential warping has not occurred since its formation, otherwise the low stand would be discontinuous. It also supports the idea that for the offshore area of the southeast Canadian continental shelf, glacial isostatic rebound was largely over by the time the low sea-level stand was formed.


Nova Scotia Sand Ridge Glacial Sediment Scotian Shelf Outer Continental Shelf 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon B. J. Fader
    • 1
  1. 1.Atlantic Geoscience Centre Geological Survey of CanadaBedford Institute of OceanographyDartmouthCanada

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