Cryostratigraphy of the Klondike "muck" deposits, west-central Yukon Territory
Four late Quaternary cryostratigraphic units are recognized in the unconsolidated valley-bottom deposits of the Klondike area, Yukon Territory. Three of the units, in ice-rich, loessal sediments of pre-Wisconsinan or Wisconsinan age, collectively compose the King Solomon Formation. They are overlain by a Holocene organic unit. The units are distinguished by their cryostratigraphic characteristics and oxygen-isotope ratios of included ground ice. The basal unit is the Last Chance Creek Member, a pre-Late Wisconsinan deposit, containing preserved ice wedges (δ18O ≈ -28 to -26‰; δD ≈ -225 to -209‰). The overlying Quartz Creek Member, a Late Wisconsinan unit, is dominated by organic-rich loess. Massive ice is noticeably absent, although the sediments are ice rich. The isotopic composition of ice in this unit is characteristic of full-glacial conditions (δ18O ≈ -32 to -29‰; δD ≈ -234 to -257‰). An abrupt change to warmer and wetter conditions at the end of glaciation, prior to the Holocene, is recorded by the ice-rich, colluviated Dago Hill Member (δ18O ≈ -28 to -21‰; δD ≈ -164 to -225‰), which began accumulating by 11.62 14C ka BP. Large ice wedges originate in this unit, and, in places, penetrate the underlying full-glacial sediments. Even higher δ18O and δD values occur for ice in the Holocene organic unit (δ18O ≈ -25 to -20‰; δD ≈ -164 to -189‰). The majority of the massive icy bodies in the King Solomon Formation are ice wedges, but pool ice and aggradational ice are also exposed, especially in the Dago Hill Member. Massive icy beds formed by groundwater intrusion into permafrost occur at the lower contact of the Quartz Creek Member.
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences|
Kotler, E., & Burn, C. (2000). Cryostratigraphy of the Klondike "muck" deposits, west-central Yukon Territory. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 37(6), 849–861.