Textual characteristics of coarse sediments in selected streams of the Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Fisher, James Edward.
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The streams flowing through the Niagara Escarpment are paved by coarse carbonate and sandstone sediments which have originated from the escarpment units and can be traced downstream from their source. Fifty-nine sediment samples were taken from five streams, over distances of 3,000 to 10,000 feet (915 to 3050 m), to determine downstream changes in sediment composition, textural characteristics and sorting. In addition, fluorometric velocity measurements were used in conjunction with measured -discharge and flow records to estimate the frequency of sediment movement. The frequency of sediments of a given lithology changes downstream in direct response to the outcrop position of the formations in the channels. Clasts derived from a single stratigraphic unit usually reach a maximum frequency within the first 1,000 feet (305 m) of transport. Sediments derived from formations at the top of waterfalls reach a modal frequency farther downstream than material originating at the base of waterfalls. Downstream variations in sediment size over the lengths of the study reaches reflect the changes in channel morphology and lithologic composition of the sediment samples. Linear regression analyses indicate that there is a decrease in the axial lengths between the intial and final samples and that the long axis decreases in length more rapidly than the intermediate, while the short axis remains almost constant. Carbonate sediments from coarse-grained, fossiliferous units - iii - are more variable in size than fine-grained dolostones and sandstones. The average sphericity for carbonates and sandstones increases from 0.65 to 0.67, while maximum projection sphericity remains nearly constant with an average value of 0.52. Pebble roundness increases more rapidly than either of the sphericity parameters and the sediments change from subrounded to rounded. The Hjulstrom diagram indicates that the velocities required to initiate transport of sediments with an average intermediate diameter of 10 cm range from 200 cm/s to 300 cm/s (6.6 ft./sec. to 9.8 ft./sec.). From the modal velocitydischarge relations, the flows corresponding to these velocities are greater than 3,500 cfs (99 m3s). These discharges occur less than 0.01 p~r cent (0.4 days) of the time and correspond to a discharge occurring during the spring flood.