Late Pleistocene subaerial debris-flow facies of the Bow Valley, near Banff, Canadian Rocky Mountains

N EYLES, CH EYLES, AM MCCABE

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    39 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A thick late Pleistocene sequence, comprising multiple beds of massive diamict facies resting on outwash gravels, occurs along the Bow River, near Banff, Alberta. Diamicts have a simple sheet-like geometry which dip downvalley at between 5° and 10°, with largely conformable bedding contacts. The sediments are strongly bimodal in texture, consisting of clasts supported by a silty sand matrix. Prolate clasts show a weak a-axis alignment parallel and transverse to the trend of the Bow Valley with a weak imbrication. Clasts of soft sediment are common. The diamict sequence has a maximum thickness of 30 m, infills the valley floor over an area of approximately 12 km2 and buries a channelled topography cut on the surface of underlying outwash gravels. Abandoned braided channels, veneered by windblown sand containing volcanic tephra dated at 6600 yr bp, occur on the infill surface.Diamict facies were emplaced as subaerial debris flows derived by the mixing and remobilization of large volumes of outwash and glaciolacustrine sediment. Orientation data from clasts and a few basal grooves indicate that debris was derived upvalley and from adjacent valleyside slopes. A major episode of debris flow sedimentation may have been triggered by the abrupt drainage of lakes in tributary valleys as the Bow Valley glacier retreated. Downslope resedimentation of large volumes of sediment resulted in braided river aggradation downstream along the Bow River and can be dated to between 12 000 and 10 000 yr bp. Similar conditions probably occurred during deglaciation throughout the Canadian Cordillera and many other alpine areas, where poorly-sorted late glacial debris-flow facies have been mistaken for tills deposited directly by glaciers. The late glacial setting identified in this paper provides a basis of comparison with ancient continental glacial facies preserved in areas of active tectonism and high relief.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages465-480
    JournalSedimentology
    Volume35
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1988

    Fingerprint

    debris flow
    clast
    outwash
    Pleistocene
    valley
    mountain
    late glacial
    infill
    gravel
    glacial debris
    glaciolacustrine deposit
    sediment
    imbrication
    braided river
    sand
    valley glacier
    aggradation
    remobilization
    tephra
    deglaciation

    Cite this

    EYLES, N ; EYLES, CH ; MCCABE, AM. / Late Pleistocene subaerial debris-flow facies of the Bow Valley, near Banff, Canadian Rocky Mountains. In: Sedimentology. 1988 ; Vol. 35, No. 3. pp. 465-480.
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    title = "Late Pleistocene subaerial debris-flow facies of the Bow Valley, near Banff, Canadian Rocky Mountains",
    abstract = "A thick late Pleistocene sequence, comprising multiple beds of massive diamict facies resting on outwash gravels, occurs along the Bow River, near Banff, Alberta. Diamicts have a simple sheet-like geometry which dip downvalley at between 5° and 10°, with largely conformable bedding contacts. The sediments are strongly bimodal in texture, consisting of clasts supported by a silty sand matrix. Prolate clasts show a weak a-axis alignment parallel and transverse to the trend of the Bow Valley with a weak imbrication. Clasts of soft sediment are common. The diamict sequence has a maximum thickness of 30 m, infills the valley floor over an area of approximately 12 km2 and buries a channelled topography cut on the surface of underlying outwash gravels. Abandoned braided channels, veneered by windblown sand containing volcanic tephra dated at 6600 yr bp, occur on the infill surface.Diamict facies were emplaced as subaerial debris flows derived by the mixing and remobilization of large volumes of outwash and glaciolacustrine sediment. Orientation data from clasts and a few basal grooves indicate that debris was derived upvalley and from adjacent valleyside slopes. A major episode of debris flow sedimentation may have been triggered by the abrupt drainage of lakes in tributary valleys as the Bow Valley glacier retreated. Downslope resedimentation of large volumes of sediment resulted in braided river aggradation downstream along the Bow River and can be dated to between 12 000 and 10 000 yr bp. Similar conditions probably occurred during deglaciation throughout the Canadian Cordillera and many other alpine areas, where poorly-sorted late glacial debris-flow facies have been mistaken for tills deposited directly by glaciers. The late glacial setting identified in this paper provides a basis of comparison with ancient continental glacial facies preserved in areas of active tectonism and high relief.",
    author = "N EYLES and CH EYLES and AM MCCABE",
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    Late Pleistocene subaerial debris-flow facies of the Bow Valley, near Banff, Canadian Rocky Mountains. / EYLES, N; EYLES, CH; MCCABE, AM.

    In: Sedimentology, Vol. 35, No. 3, 06.1988, p. 465-480.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    N2 - A thick late Pleistocene sequence, comprising multiple beds of massive diamict facies resting on outwash gravels, occurs along the Bow River, near Banff, Alberta. Diamicts have a simple sheet-like geometry which dip downvalley at between 5° and 10°, with largely conformable bedding contacts. The sediments are strongly bimodal in texture, consisting of clasts supported by a silty sand matrix. Prolate clasts show a weak a-axis alignment parallel and transverse to the trend of the Bow Valley with a weak imbrication. Clasts of soft sediment are common. The diamict sequence has a maximum thickness of 30 m, infills the valley floor over an area of approximately 12 km2 and buries a channelled topography cut on the surface of underlying outwash gravels. Abandoned braided channels, veneered by windblown sand containing volcanic tephra dated at 6600 yr bp, occur on the infill surface.Diamict facies were emplaced as subaerial debris flows derived by the mixing and remobilization of large volumes of outwash and glaciolacustrine sediment. Orientation data from clasts and a few basal grooves indicate that debris was derived upvalley and from adjacent valleyside slopes. A major episode of debris flow sedimentation may have been triggered by the abrupt drainage of lakes in tributary valleys as the Bow Valley glacier retreated. Downslope resedimentation of large volumes of sediment resulted in braided river aggradation downstream along the Bow River and can be dated to between 12 000 and 10 000 yr bp. Similar conditions probably occurred during deglaciation throughout the Canadian Cordillera and many other alpine areas, where poorly-sorted late glacial debris-flow facies have been mistaken for tills deposited directly by glaciers. The late glacial setting identified in this paper provides a basis of comparison with ancient continental glacial facies preserved in areas of active tectonism and high relief.

    AB - A thick late Pleistocene sequence, comprising multiple beds of massive diamict facies resting on outwash gravels, occurs along the Bow River, near Banff, Alberta. Diamicts have a simple sheet-like geometry which dip downvalley at between 5° and 10°, with largely conformable bedding contacts. The sediments are strongly bimodal in texture, consisting of clasts supported by a silty sand matrix. Prolate clasts show a weak a-axis alignment parallel and transverse to the trend of the Bow Valley with a weak imbrication. Clasts of soft sediment are common. The diamict sequence has a maximum thickness of 30 m, infills the valley floor over an area of approximately 12 km2 and buries a channelled topography cut on the surface of underlying outwash gravels. Abandoned braided channels, veneered by windblown sand containing volcanic tephra dated at 6600 yr bp, occur on the infill surface.Diamict facies were emplaced as subaerial debris flows derived by the mixing and remobilization of large volumes of outwash and glaciolacustrine sediment. Orientation data from clasts and a few basal grooves indicate that debris was derived upvalley and from adjacent valleyside slopes. A major episode of debris flow sedimentation may have been triggered by the abrupt drainage of lakes in tributary valleys as the Bow Valley glacier retreated. Downslope resedimentation of large volumes of sediment resulted in braided river aggradation downstream along the Bow River and can be dated to between 12 000 and 10 000 yr bp. Similar conditions probably occurred during deglaciation throughout the Canadian Cordillera and many other alpine areas, where poorly-sorted late glacial debris-flow facies have been mistaken for tills deposited directly by glaciers. The late glacial setting identified in this paper provides a basis of comparison with ancient continental glacial facies preserved in areas of active tectonism and high relief.

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