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Glacio-Periglacial Landforms within the Susquehanna Great Bend Area of New York and Pennsylvania

  • Cuchlaine A.M. King (a1) and Donald R. Coates (a2)

Abstract

Previous attention has been called to the morphology of the glaciated Appalachian Plateau, including periglacial phenomena (Coates, 1970; Conners, 1969). This paper deals with an unusually well-developed hierarchy of small landforms in the Great Bend area of the Susquehanna River. Essential properties of these features include: (1) concentration in N-S valleys, (2) till composition, (3) concavo-convex form, sometimes ending in a hill on the valley floor, (4) alternation with steep, truncated bedrock spurs, (5) a col in the interfluve at their head. These characteristics could be explained by the following sequence of events. A prior fluvial landscape was eroded with tributary streams forming lateral valleys that head in cols along the divides. The main stream flowed south between interlocking spurs. Ice then widened the valley, leaving truncated spurs and a straightened stream. Deposition of locally derived till filled tributary valleys, similar to till shadows (Coates, 1966). In periglacial conditions, while nivation was widening the tributary valley heads, solifluction in the unstable till was forming the concavo-convexities that alternate with the truncated bedrock spurs. The hierarchy of forms range from minor convexities to small hills on the main valley floor. Thus, the features are primarily of periglacial origin, but owe their development and position to prior subaerial and glacial events. The cycle may have occurred during more than a single glacial episode. The recession of bedrock spurs and the valley floor convexity of the till features have caused a reversal in stream sinuosity of the main valley.

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Glacio-Periglacial Landforms within the Susquehanna Great Bend Area of New York and Pennsylvania

  • Cuchlaine A.M. King (a1) and Donald R. Coates (a2)

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