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The Origin and Distribution of Subbottom Sediments in Southern Lake Champlain

  • R. P. Freeman-Lynde (a1), D. R. Hutchinson (a2), D. W. Folger (a1), B. H. Wiley (a1) and M. J. Hewett (a1)...

Abstract

Three units, correlatable with recent Lake Champlain, late-glacial marine Champlain Sea, and proglacial Lake Vermont sediments, have been identified from about 200 km of high-resolution seismic reflection profiles and eight piston cores collected in southern Lake Champlain. Lake Vermont deposits are nonfossiliferous and range from thin to absent nearshore and on bedrock highs to more than 126 m thick near Split Rock Point. Champlain Sea sediments contain marine foraminifers and ostracodes and are fairly uniform in thickness (20–30 m). Recent Lake Champlain sediments range in thickness from 0 to 25 m. Average sedimentation rates for Lake Vermont are considerably higher (4–8 cm/yr) than those for the Champlain Sea (0.8–1.2 cm/yr) and Lake Champlain (0.14–0.15 cm/yr). Bedrock, till, and deltaic and alluvial deposits were also identified on the acoustic records but were not sampled. An unconformity separating Champlain Sea deposits from Lake Champlain deposits is associated with numerous benches at water depths of 20–30 m. These benches, the alluvial deposits, and the onset of deltaic deposition are probably associated with a low water level stillstand at the close of the Champlain Sea episode.

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