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Stratigraphy and Magnetic Polarity of the High Terrace Remnants in the Upper Ohio and Monongahela Rivers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio1

  • Robert B. Jacobson (a1), Donald P. Elston (a2) and John W. Heaton (a3)

Abstract

A synthesis of previous work and new data on the stratigraphy of high terraces of the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers upstream from Parkersburg, West Virginia, indicates a correspondence between terrace histories in the ancient Teays and Pittsburgh drainage basins. Four terraces are identified in each. Sediments of the lower three alluvial and slackwater terraces, correlated with Illinoian, early Wisconsin, and late Wisconsin glacial deposits, have been traced along the modern Ohio River through the former divide between the Teays and Pittsburgh basins. Sediments in the fourth terrace, the highest well-defined terrace in each basin, were deposited in two ice-dammed lakes, separated by a divide near New Martinsville, West Virginia. Some deposits of the highest slackwater terrace in both the Teays and Pittsburgh basins have reversed remanent magnetic polarity. This, and the stratigraphic succession in the two basins, suggests that both were ponded during the same glaciation. Reversed polarity in these terrace sediments restricts the age of the first ice-damming event for which stratigraphic evidence is well-preserved to a pre-Illinoian, early Pleistocene glaciation prior to 788,000 yr ago. In contrast, slackwater sediments in the Monongahela River valley, upstream from an outwash gravel dam at the Allegheny-Monongahela confluence, have normal remanent magnetic polarity, corroborating correlation with an Illinoian ponding event.

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Stratigraphy and Magnetic Polarity of the High Terrace Remnants in the Upper Ohio and Monongahela Rivers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio1

  • Robert B. Jacobson (a1), Donald P. Elston (a2) and John W. Heaton (a3)

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