A geochemical and paleoceanographic investigation using marine molluscs of the late Quaternary marine submergences Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia
Wassenaar, Leonard I.
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Sedjrrlents deposited in the Late Quaternary marine sUbrnergences that follov'ted the deglaciation of Ontario} Quebec., and 6ritlst-1 Columbia often contaln an abundant nlarlne invertebrate macrofauna. The rnacrofauna~ dotYllnated by aragonitic pelecypods} is fully preserved In their original mineralogy and cherrlistry 8S deternl1ned by x-ray dlffractlon., scannlng electron tl-,lcroscoDY., trace and r1l1 nor elet11ent analyses and stable isotopes. Ttle trace elernent and stable isotope geochen-Ilstry of chernlcal1y unaltered aragorlitlc molluscs can be used to determine paleoter1-lperatures and paleosallnltles." HO\Never} corrections need to be tllade \fvtlen deterrTIlnlng oxygen-isotope paleotenlperi:ttures due to the lnfluence of isotopically 11gtlt glaciol rneltv-laters and reduced sal1nltles. Ttle eastern Laurentide Ice Sheet probably had an o:~ygen lS0tOP1C composition as low as -8e) 0/00 (Sr1[IW). In additl0fl} corrections need to be rnade to the carbonlsotope values, before salinity deterrnlnatlons are t11ade., due to the reJjuctlon of the terrestrial carbon bl0rnass during glac1al maxlrna. Using geochernlcal data frot11 537 marlne n-'8crolnvertebrates frorTI 72 localities in soutt-,easter Ontarl0 and southern Quebec, it tras been deterrnined that the Late Quaternary Char1lplaln Sea \N6S density stratified along salinity and temperatlJre gradients. The deep-\h/aters of tt-,e Charnplaln Sea tlad salinities that ranged frorn 31 to 36 ppt} and terrlperatures of 00 to 5°C. Conversely.. the st1alloy./-\f*later regirrle of ttle Ctlarnplaln Sea tlad sal1nltles that ranged fron-, 24 to 33 ppt} Y.tltt1 terrlperatures ranglng from 5° to 15°C. Tr,8 rrlajorl rnlnor1 and trace e1et1-,ent geochernlcal analysls of 155 marine lnvertebrates frorn 4 10C611t1es of tt-,e Late Quaternary Ft. Langley Forrnatlon and Capl1ano Sedlments;. souttl\Nestern Brltlsh Columblal suggest l t~lat the 'waters of the o-,arlne lnundation that fol1o....ved the retreating Cordl11eran Ice Sheet had sal1nltles ranglng frorn 32 to 3f. DPt.