Mapping of Arctic Canada?s Seafloor: Contributions to Global Change Science, Sustainable Resource Development, Safe Navigation of the Northwest Passage, Geohazards and Arctic Sovereignty
Late-Quaternary glacial dynamics and deglaciation pattern in Clyde Fjord, Northeastern Baffin Island
Eastern Baffin Island, Arctic Canada, is cut by dozens of fjords that acted as pathways for ice during Quaternary glaciations. The maximal extent of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) in this region is still controversial as different glaciation models have been proposed during the last decades. Spatial and temporal variability of glacial fluctuations on Baffin Island in the late Quaternary makes it difficult to have a reliable reconstruction. A higher quantity of studies with high-resolution bathymetric and seismic data in the fjords of the region might be one of the best option in order to improve models of the extent of the LIS on the Baffin shelf. Targeting new area of interest, such as Clyde Fjord, a 120 km-long fjord, will expand our knowledge of glacial fluctuations and provide a better understanding of Late wisconsinan glacial dynamics on eastern Baffin Island.
This project aims to determine the effects of climate variability on the LIS in the area of Clyde Inlet since the Late wisconsinan glaciation, ca. 21 000 years ago. To realize this, more specific objectives are to: 1) reconstruct the configuration of the LIS during the Last Glacial Maximum; 2) define the dynamics of the Late wisconsinan LIS ice flow in the region; 3) identify standstills and readvances during deglaciation; and 4) connect the marine moraine systems in Clyde Fjord with those in adjacent lowlands and plateau.
In order to achieve these objectives, we will use high-resolution swath bathymetry combined with seismic profiles and sediment cores. A first phase of field work has been conducted in September 2016 to collect multibeam and Chirp data. A second phase is scheduled in the summer of 2017 to complete the bathymetric and seismic coverage of Clyde Fjord and to collect sediment cores. High resolution satellite images and aerial photographs of the sector will be used to identify and interpret terrestrial ice-contact deposits and landforms.