• Paragenetic history of the Ordovician Trenton Group carbonates, Southwestern Ontario

      Colquhoun, Ian M.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1991-07-09)
      Geochemical examination of the rock matrix and cements from core material extracted from four oil wells within southwestern Ontario suggest various stages of diagenetic alteration and preservation of the Trenton Group carbonates. The geochemical compositions of Middle Ordovician (LMC) brachiopods reflect the physicochemical water conditions of the ambient depositional environment. The sediments appear to have been altered in the presence of mixed waters during burial in a relatively open diagenetic microenvironment. Conodont CAl determination suggests that the maturation levels of the Trenton Group carbonates are low and proceeded at temperatures of about 30 - 50°C within the shallow burial environment. The Trenton Group carbonates are characterized by two distinct stages of dolomitization which proceeded at elevated temperatures. Preexisting fracture patterns, and block faulting controlled the initial dolomitization of the precursor carbonate matrix. Dolomitization progressed In the presence of warm fluids (60 75°C) with physicochemical conditions characteristic of a progressively depleted basinal water. The matrix is mostly Idiotopic-S and Idiotopic-E dolomite, with Xenotopic-A dolomite dominating the matrix where fractures occur. The second stage of dolomitization involved hydrothermal basinal fluid(s) with temperatures of about 60 - 70°C. These are the postulated source for the saddle dolomite and blocky calcite cements occurring in pore space and fractures. Rock porosity was partly occluded by Idiotopic-E type dolomite. Late stage saddle dolomite, calcite, anhydrite, pyrite, marcasite and minor sphalerite and celestite cements effectively fill any remaining porosity within specific horizons. Based on cathode luminescence, precipitation of the different diagenetic phases probably proceeded in open diagenetic systems from chemically homogeneous fluids. Ultraviolet fluorescence of 11 the matrix and cements demonstrated that hydrocarbons were present during the earliest formation of saddle dolomite. Oxygen isotope values of -7.6 to -8.5 %0 (PDB), and carbon isotope values of - 0.5 and -3.0 %0 (PDB) from the latest stage dog-tooth calcite cement suggest that meteoric water was introduced into the system during their formation. This is estimated to have occurred at temperatures of about 25 - 40°C. Specific facies associations within the Trenton Group carbonates exhibit good hydrocarbon generating potential based on organic carbon preservation (1-3.5%). Thermal maturation and Lopatin burial-history evaluations suggest that hydrocarbons were generated within the Trenton Group carbonates some time after 300 Ma . Progressively depleted vanadium trends measured from hydrocarbon samples within southwestern Ontario suggests its potential use as a hydrocarbon migration indicator on local (within an oilfield) and on regional scales.
    • Microfacies analysis of the lower paleocene beda formation in Western Concession 59 and Block 59F, Sirte Basin, Libya /

      Amr, Ismail A.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1992-05-21)
      The rock sequence of the Tertiary Beda Formation of S. W. concession 59 and 59F block in Sirte Basin of Libya has been subdivided into twelve platformal carbonate microfacies. These microfacies are dominated by muddy carbonates, such as skeletal mudstones, wackestones, and packstones with dolomites and anhydrite. Rock textures, faunal assemblages and sedimentary structures suggest shallow, clear, warm waters and low to moderate energy conditions within the depositional shelf environment. The Beda Formation represents a shallowing-upward sequence typical of lagoonal and tidal flat environments marked at the top by sabkha and brackish-water sediments. Microfossils include benthonic foraminifera, such as miliolids, Nummulites, - oerculina and other smaller benthonics, in addition to dasycladacean algae, ostracods, molluscs, echinoderms, bryozoans and charophytes. Fecal pellets and pelloids, along with the biotic allochems, contributed greatly to the composition of the various microfacies. Dolomite, where present, is finely crystalline and an early replacement product. Anhydrite occurs as nodular, chickenwire and massive textures indicating supratidal sabkha deposition. Compaction, micr it i zat ion , dolomit izat ion , recrystallization, cementation, and dissolution resulted in alteration and obliteration of primary sedimentary structures of the Beda Formation microfacies. The study area is located in the Gerad Trough which developed as a NE-SW trending extensional graben. The Gerad trough was characterized by deep-shallow water conditions throughout the deposition of the Beda Formation sediments. The study area is marked by several horsts and grabens; as a result of extent ional tectonism. The area was tectonically active throughout the Tertiary period. Primary porosity is intergranular and intragranular, and secondary processes are characterized by dissolution, intercrystalline, fracture and fenestral features. Diagenesis, through solution leaching and dolomitization, contributed greatly to porosity development. Reservoir traps of the Beda Formation are characterized by normal fault blocks and the general reservoir characteristics/properties appear to be facies controlled.
    • Structural studies in the Southern Province, South of Sudbury, Ontario

      Redmond, Daniel J.; Department of Geological Sciences (Brock University, 1992-06-01)
      Rocks correlated with the Hough Lake and Quirke Lake Groups of the Huronian Supergroup form part of a northeasterly trending corridor that separates 1750 Ma granitic intrusive rocks of the Chief Lake batholith from the 1850 Ma mafic intrusive rocks of the Sudbury Igneous Complex. This corridor is dissected by two major structural features; the Murray Fault Zone (MFZ) and the Long Lake Fault (LLF). Detailed structural mapping and microstructural analysis indicates that the LLF, which has juxtaposed Huronian rocks of different deformation style and metamorphism grade, was a more significant plane of dislocation than the MFZ. The sense of displacement along the LLF is high angle reverse in which rocks to the southeast have been raised relative to those in the northwest. South of the LLF Huronian rocks underwent ductile defonnation at amphibolite facies conditions. The strain was constrictional, defined by a triaxial strain ellipsoid in which X > Y > z. Calculations of a regional k value were approximately 1.3. Penetrative ductile defonnation resulted in the development of a preferred crystallographic orientation in quartz as well as the elongation of quartz grains to fonn a regional southeast-northwest trending, subvertical lineation. Similar lithologies north of the LLF underwent dominantly brittle deformation under greenschist facies conditions. Deformation north of the LLF is characterized by the thrusting of structural blocks to form angular discordances in bedding orientation which were previously interpreted as folds. Ductile deformation occurred between 1750 and 1238 Ma and is correlated with a regional period of south over north reverse faulting that effected much of the southern Sudbury region. Post dating the reverse faulting event was a period of sedimentation as a conglomerate unit was deposited on vertically bedded Huronian rocks. Rocks in the study area were intruded by both mafic and felsic dykes. The 1238 Ma mafic dykes appear to have been offset during a period of dextral strike slip displacement along the major fault'). Indirect evidence indicates that this event occurred after the thrusting at 950 to 1100 Ma associated with the Grenvillian Orogeny.
    • Geochemistry and petrogenesis of the McElroy and Larder Lake assemblages, Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Northeastern Ontario

      Kimmerly, Christopher T.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1992-11-04)
      The McElroy and Larder Lake assemblages, located in the southern Abitibi Greenstone Belt are two late Archean metavolcanic sequences having markedly contrasting physical characteristics arid are separated from one another by a regional fault. An assemblage is an informal term which describes stratified volcanic and/or sedimentary rock units built during a specific time period in a similar depositional or volcanic setting and are commonly bounded by faults, unconformities or intrusions. The petrology and petrogenesis of these assemblages have been investigated to determine if a genetic link exists between the two adjacent assemblages. The McElroy assemblage is homoclinal sequence of evolved massive and pillowed fl.ows, which except for the basal unit represents a progressively fractionated volcanic pile. From the base to the top of the assemblage the lithologies include Fe-tholeiitic, dendritic flows; komatiite basaltic, ultramafic flows; Mg-tholeiitic, leucogabbro; Mg-tholeiitic, massive flows and Fe-tholeiitic, pillowed flows. Massive flows range from coarse grained to aphanitic and are commonly plagioclase glomerophyric. The Larder Lake assemblage consists of komatiitic, Mg-rich and Fe-rich tholeiitic basalts, structurally disrupted by folds and faults. Tholeiitic rocks in the Larder Lake assemblage range from aphanitic to coarse grained massive and pillowed flows. Komatiitic flows contain both spinifex and massive textures. Geochemical variability within both assemblages is attributed to different petrogenetic histories. The lithologies of the McElroy assemblage were derived by partial melting of a primitive mantle source followed by various degrees of crystal fractionation. Partial melting of a primitive mantle source generated the ultramafic flows and possibly other flows in the assemblage. Fractionation of ultramafic flows may have also produced the more evolved McElroy lithologies. The highly evolved, basal, dendritic flow may represent the upper unit 3 of a missing volcanic pile in which continued magmatism generated the remaining McElroy lithologies. Alternatively, the dendritic flows may represent a primary lava derived from a low degree (10-15%) partial melt of a primitive mantle source which was followed by continued partial melting to generate the ultramafic flows. The Larder Lake lithologies were derived by partial melting of a komatiitic source followed by gabbroic fractionation. The tectonic environment for both assemblages is interpreted to be an oceanic arc setting. The McElroy assemblage lavas were generated in a mature back arc setting whereas the Larder Lake lithologies were produced during the early stages of komatiitc crust subduction. This setting is consistent with previous models involving plate tectonic processes for the generation of other metavolcanic assemblages in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt.
    • Trilobites of the Upper Cambrian (Marjuman) Pika formation of the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains

      Melzak, Adam.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1993-07-09)
      The Upper Cambrian Pika Formation in the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains forms a complete lithologic Grand Cycle. The overall pattern of deposition is one of shallowing upwards from a subtidal, muddy, storm-influenced basin to a shallow carbonate bank. The Pika passes gradationally into the overlying inter- to supratidal siliciclastics of the Arctomys Formation. This transition probably reflects a fall in relative sea level. 2 Twenty seven collections from three sections yielded trilobites. The faunas are assigned to two low-diversity biofacies: the Marjumia - Spencella Biofacies and the GZyphaspis - menomoniid Biofacies. In contrast to biofacies of deeper, open-shelf environments, such as the Wheeler and Marjum formations of Utah, the Pika biofacies lack agnostid trilobites. Consequently, agnostid-based zonations defined elsewhere in North America cannot be applied to the Pika and a new sequence of three zones and one informal fauna is proposed for use in inner shelf facies. Eleven species belonging to six genera are described and illustrated. The species Marjumia bagginsi is new. Other genera present are: Bolaspidella, Knechtelia, GZyphaspis and Spencella, in addition to a number of indeterminate forms
    • Diagenesis and geochemical stratigraphy of Upper Pennsylvanian madera brachiopods, New Mexico

      Gao, Yongwen.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1994-07-09)
      Owing to the fact that low-Mg calcite fossil shells are so important in paleoceanographic research, 249 brachiopod, cement and matrix specimens from two neighboring localities (Jemez Springs and Battleship Rock), of the Upper Pennsylvanian Madera Formation were analyzed. Of which, about 86% of the Madera brachiopods are preserved in their pristine mineralogy, microstructure and geochemistry. Cement and matrix samples, in contrast, have been subjected to complete but variable post-deposition~1 alteration. It is confirmed that the stable isotope data of brachiopods are much better than that of matrix material in defining depositional parameters. Because there is no uniform or constant relationship between the two data bases (e.g., from 0.1 to 3.0%0 for 0180 and from 0.2 to 6.7%0 for 013C in this study), it is not possible to make corrections for the matrix data. Regarding the two stratigraphic sections, elemental and petrographic analyses suggest that Jemez Springs is closer to Penasco Uplift than Battleship Rock. Seawater at Jemez Springs is more aerobic, and the water chemistry is more influenced by continental sources than that at Battleship Rock. In addition, there is a relatively stronger dolomitization in the mid-section of the Battleship Rock. Results further suggest that no significant biogenic fractionation or vital effects occurred during their shell secretion, suggesting that the Madera brachiopods incorporated oxygen and carbon isotopes in equilibrium with the ambient seawater. This conclusion is not only drawn from the temporal and spatial analyses, but also supported by brachiopod inter-generic comparison (Composita and Neospirifer) and statistical analysis ( t-test).
    • Sedimentology and micromorphology of drumlin sediments at Chimney Bluffs State Park, New York, United States of America

      Dreger, Derek Leslie.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1994-07-09)
      The drumlin sediments at Chimney Bluffs, New York appear to represent a block-inmatrix style glacial melange. This melange comprises sand stringers, lenses and intraclasts juxtaposed in an apparently massive diamicton. Thin section examination of these glacigenic deposits has revealed microstructures indicative of autokinetic subglacial defonnation which are consistent with a deformable bed origin for the diamicton. These features include banding and. necking of matrix grains, oriented plasma fabrics and the formation of pressure shadows at the long axis ends of elongate clasts. Preservation of primary stratification within the sand intraclasts appears to suggest that these features were pre-existing up-ice deposits that were frozen, entrained, then deposited as part of a defonning till layer beneath an advancing ice sheet. Multi-directional micro-shearing within the sand blocks is thought to reflect the frozen nature of the sand units in such a high strain environment. It is also contended that dewatering of the sediment pile leading to the eventual immobilisation of the defonning till layer was responsible for opening sub-horizontal fissures within the diamicton. These features were subsequently infilled with mass flow poorly sorted sands and silts which were subjected to ductile defonnation during the waning stages of an actively deforming till layer. Microstructures indicative of the dewatering processes in the sand units include patches of fine-grained particles within a coarser-grained matrix and the presence of concentrated zones of translocated clays. However, these units were probably confined within an impermeable diamicton casing that prevented massive pore water influxes from the deforming till layer~ Hence, these microstructures probably reflect localised dewatering of the sand intraclasts. A layered subglacial shear zone model is proposed for the various features exhibited by the drumlin sediments. The complexity of these structures is explained in terms of ii superposing deformation styles in response to changing pore water pressures. Constructional glaciotectonics, as implied by the occurrence of sub-horizontal fissuring, is suggested as the mechanism for the stacking of the sand intraclast units within the diamicton. The usefulness of micromorphology in complimenting the traditional sedimentology of glacigenic deposits is emphasised by the current study. An otherwise massive diamicton was shown to contain microstructures indicative of the very high strain rates expected in a complexly deforming till layer. . It is quite obvious from this investigation that the classification of diamictons needs to be re-examined for evidence of microstructures that could lead to the re-interpretation of diamicton forming processes. RESUME Le pacquet de sediments drumlinaire de Chimney Bluffs, New York, represent un "bloc-en-matrice" genre de melange glaciale. Des structures microscopique comprennent l'evidence pour la defonnation intrinseque attribuee a l'origine lit non resistant du drumlin. PreselVation des structures primaires au coeur des blocs arenaces suggere que ceux sont des depots preexistant qui furent geles, entraines et par la suite sedimentes au milieu d'une couche de debris sous-glaciaires en voie de deformation. Des failles microscopiques a l'interieur des blocs arenaces appuient aussi l'idee d'un bloc cohesif (c'est-a-dire gele) au centre d'un till non resistant. Des implications significatives s'emergent de cette etude pour les conditions sous-glaciaire et les processus de la formation des drumlin.
    • The sedimentology of the Bloomington fan complex: an element of the Oak Ridges Moraine, Southern Ontario

      Paterson, Jens Tore.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1995-07-09)
      The Oak Ridges Moraine is a major physiographic feature of south-central Ontario, extending from Rice Lake westward to the Niagara Escarpment. While much previous work has largely postulated a relatively simple the origin of the moraine, recent investigations have concentrated on delineating the discernible glacigenic deposits (or landform architectural elements) which comprise the complex mosaic of the Oak Ridges Moraine. This study investigates the sedimentology of the Bloomington fan complex, one of the oldest elements of the Oak Ridges Moraine. The main sediment body of the Bloomington fan complex was deposited during early stages of the formation of the Oak Ridges Moraine, when the ice subdivided, and formed a confined, interlobate lake basin between the northern and southern lobes. Deposition from several conduits produced a fan complex characterized by multiple, laterally overlapping, fan bodies. It appears that the fans were active sequentially in an eastward direction, until the formation of the Bloomington fan complex was dominated by the largest fan fed by a conduit near the northeastern margin of the deposit. Following deposition of the fan complex, the northern and southern ice margins continued to retreat, opening drainage outlets to the west and causing water levels to drop in the lake basin. Glaciofluvial sediment was deposited at this time, cutting into the underlying fan complex. Re-advancing northern ice then closed westerly outlets, and caused water levels to increase, initiating the re-advance of the southern ice. As the southern ice approached the Bloomington fan, it deposited an ice-marginal sediment complex consisting of glacigenic sediment gravity flows, and glaciolacustrine and glaciofluvial sediments exhibiting north and northwesterly paleocurrents. Continued advance of the southern ice, overriding the fan complex, ii produced large-scale glaciotectonic deformation structures, and deposited the Halton Till. The subaqueous fan depositional model that is postulated for the Bloomington fan complex differs from published models due to the complex facies associations produced by the multiple conduit sources of sediment feeding the fans. The fluctuating northern and southern ice margins, which moved across the study area in opposite directions, controlled the water level in the interlobate basin and caused major changes in depositional environments. The influence of these two lobes also caused deposition from two distinct source directions. Finally, erosion, deposition, and deformation of the deposit with the readvance of the southern ice contributed further to the complexity of the Bloomington fan complex.
    • Environmental assessment and biomonitoring of the Twelve Mile Creek watershed, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

      Campbell, Ian T.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1996-07-09)
      In light of the heavy reliance of the people of the Niagara Peninsula on the T\\'elve Mile Creek (TMC) watershed for recreational activities and for municipal and industrial uses ( e.g., drinking water, shipping and discharge of effluents), it was deemed prudent to assess the envirol1tnental health of the system by analysing the sediments total and exchangeable metal, and TPH contents. The MOEE has set guidelines with limits for the protection and management of aquatic sediments, and the sediments from the headwaters of the TMC have total metal and TPH (subset of O&G) contents well below the lower provincial limits. Areas of environmental concern where total metal contents in sediments, either individually or collectively, exceed the guideline, are the south side of Lake Gibson, the Old WeIland Canal, a segment of TMC just south of the QEW and Martindale Pond. The total metal content of sediments does not in all instances identify areas of biological concern. Instead, it has been found that the exchangeable metal fraction of sediments is a better indicator of metal availability and thus potential accumulation in organisms. In some instances, the exchangeable metal fraction agrees with the total metal fraction defining areas of environmental concern, but it does vary from site to site reflecting the natural variability of the ambient environment. Overall, the exchangeable metal fraction of sediments appears to be a better indicator of anthropogenic pollution and ecosystem impact. A histochemical study of Anodon.ta sp., Elliptio sp. and zebra mussels (Dreissena polyn'101pha) was done in conjunction with passive biomonitoring of zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis) from the Twelve Mile Creek watershed and Lake 51. Clair (Jeanette's Creek, Chatham, Ontario). The highest concentrations of divalent metals such as Cu, Ni, Cd, and Zn, and trivalent Al appear to accumulate in gill and kidney tissues. Metal contents of organ tissues in Anodonta sp. vary with size class. Organ metal content varies among size classes, thus requiring consideration of size in biomonitoring studies. Shucked zebra and quagga mussel tissues, exhibited similar size class to Al content trends. In addition they reflected the Al content trends of top (approximately 10 cm) most sediments in the Twelve Mile Creek watershed. Quagga mussels appear to have higher Al concentrations than zebra mussels, thus suggesting that quagga mussels may be better passive biomonitors of AI. Cd content in zebra mussel tissues, seemed to increase with size class trends. This was not demonstrated in the quagga mussel tissues. This suggests that Cd may be regulated by quagga mussels and not by zebra mussels, and that zebra mussels may be better passivebiomonitors of Cd than are quagga mussels. Zebra mussel, quagga mussel, Anodonta sp., and Elliptio sp. were used in a two part, active (translocated) biomonitoring study of the Twelve Mile Creek watershed. There was no statistical difference in death rates between zebra and quagga mussels after 65 days of biomonitoring. However there does appear to be a difference of death rates between sites. Unfortunately the data base did not permit us to differentiate between sites. Relative to Port Colborne Harbour (Port Colborne, Ontario), the Twelve Mile Creek watershed appears to be elevated in bioavailable AI. An area near the terminus of the Twelve Mile Creek appears to be an area of environmental concern since mussels seemed to have accumulated relatively large concentrations of Cd, Zn, and Pb. In addition to possible metal loading from a nearby outfalls, or possible upstream outfalls, road salt runoff from storm sewers may have contributed to metal accumulation through cation exchanges processes. Similar trends in cumulative quagga mussel metal concentrations during the two time periods (65 and 159 days), suggest that quagga mussels may reach equilibrium within 65 days of translocation. Differences in bioaccumulated metal concentrations of the two dreissenid species demonstrate that active biomonitoring studies must use a variety of organisms to adequately assess the environmental situation of specific waterways and/or bodies.
    • Patterns of faunal change at an upper Cambrian trilobite extinction event, Nolichucky Formation, Tennessee and Virginia

      Cuggy, Michael Brian.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1996-07-09)
      During the Upper Cambrian there were three mass extinctions, each of which eliminated at least half of the trilobite families living in North American shelf seas. The Nolichucky Formation preserves the record of one of these extinction events at the base of the Steptoean Stage. Sixty-six trilobite collections were made from five sections In Tennessee and Virginia. The lower Steptoean faunas are assigned to one low diversity, Aphelaspis-dominated biofacies, which can be recognized in several other parts of North America. In Tennessee, the underlying upper Marjuman strata contain two higher diversity biofacies, the Coosella-Glaphyraspis Biofacies and the Tricrepicephalus-Norwoodiid Biofacies. At least four different biofacies are present in other parts of North America: the Crepicephalus -Lonchocephalus Biofacies, the Kingstonia Biofacies, the Cedaria Biofacies, and the Uncaspis Biofacies. A new, species-based zonation for the Nolichucky Formation imcludes five zones, three of which are new. These zones are the Crepicephalus Zone, the Coosella perplexa Zone, the Aphelaspis buttsi Zone, the A. walcotti Zone and the A. tarda Zone. The Nolichucky Formation was deposited within a shallow shelf basin and consists largely of subtidal shales with stormgenerated carbonate interbeds. A relative deepening is recorded In the Nolichucky Formation near the extinction, and is indicated In some sections by the appearance of shale-rich, distal storm deposits above a carbonate-rich, more proximal storm deposit sequence. A comparable deepening-upward sequence occurs near the extinction in the Great Basin of southwestern United States and in central Texas, and this suggests a possible eustatic control. In other parts of North America, the extinction IS recorded In a variety of environmental settings that range from near-shore to slope. In shelf environments, there is a marked decrease in diversity, and a sharp reduction in biofacies differentiation. Although extinctions do take place in slope environments, there IS no net reduction in diversity because of the immigration of several new taxa.
    • Sedimentology and stratigraphy of the Lower Silurian Grimsby formation, in subsurface, Lake Erie and Southwestern Ontario

      Benincasa, Anthony Joseph.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1996-07-09)
      Since the first offshore Lake Erie well was drilled in 1941, the Grimsby and Thorold formations of the Cataract Group have been economically important to the oil and gas industry of Ontario. The Cataract Group provides a significant amount of Ontario's gas production primarily from wells located on Lake Erie. The Grimsby - Thorold formations are the result of nearshore estuarine processes influenced by tides on a prograding shelf and are composed of subtidal channel complexes, discrete tidal channels, mud flats and non-marine deposits. Deposition was related to a regressive - transgressive cycle associated with eustatic sea level changes caused by the melting and resurgence of continental glaciation centred in Africa in the Late Ordovician/Early Silurian. Grimsby deposition began during a regression with the deposition of subtidal channel complexes incised into the marine deposits of the Cabot Head Formation. The presence of mud drapes and mud couplets suggest that these deposits were influenced by tides. These deposits dominate the lower half of the Grimsby. Deposition continued with a change from these subtidal channel complexes to laterally migrating, discrete, shallow tidal channels and mud flats. These were in turn overlain by the non-marine deposits of the Thorold Formation. Grimsby - Thorold deposition ended with a major transgression replacing siliciclastic deposition with primarily carbonate deposition. Sediment was sourced from the east and southeast and associated with a continuation of the Taconic Orogeny into the Early Silurian. The fluvial head of the estuary prograded from a shoreline that was located in western New York and western Pennsylvania running NNE-SSW and then turning NW-SE and paralleling the present day Lake Erie shoreline. iii The facies attributed to the Grimsby - Thorold formations can be ascribed to the three zones within the tripartite zonation suggested by Dalrymple et ale (1992) for estuaries, that is, a marine-dominated facies, a mixed energy facies, and a facies that is dominated by fluvial processes. Also, sediments within the Grimsby - Thorold are commonly fining upwards sequences which are common in estuarine settings whereas deltaic deposits are normally composed of coarsening upwards sequences in a vertical wedge shape with coarser material near the head. The only coarsening observed was in the Thorold Formation and attributed to non-marine deposition by palynological evidence. The presence of a lag deposit at the base of the sediments of the Grimsby Thorold formations suggests that they were incised into the Cabot Head Formation. Further, the thickness of Early Silurian sediments located between the top of the Queenston Formation, where Early Silurian sedimentation began, to the top of the Reynales - Irondequoit formation are constant whether the Grimsby - Thorold formations are present or not. Also, cross-sections using a sand body located in the Cabot Head Formation for correlation further imply that the Grimsby Formation has been incised into the previous deposits of the Cabot Head.
    • Geochemistry and mineralogical association of heavy metal contaminants in fine grained sediment, Welland River, Southern Ontario /

      Scriver, Christian M.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1997-05-21)
      This investigation of geochemistry and mineralogy of heavy metals in fine grained (<63^m) sediment of the Welland River was imdertaken to: 1) describe metal dispersion patterns relative to a source, identify minerals forming and existing at the outfall region and relate sediment particle size to chemistry; 2) to delineate sample handling, preparation and evaluate, modify and develop analytical methods for heavy metal analysis of complex environmental samples. Ajoint project between Brock University and Geoscience Laboratories was initiated to test a contaminated site of the Welland River at the base of Atlas Speciality Steels Co. Methods were developed and utilized for particle size separation and two acid extraction techniques: 1) Partial extraction; 2) Total extraction. The mineralogical assessment identified calcite, dolomite, quartz and clays. These minerals are typical of the carbonate-shale rock basement of the Niagara Peninsula. Minerals such as, mullite and ferrocolumbite were found at the outfall region. These are not typical of the local geology and are generally associated with industrial pollutants. Partial and total extraction techniques were used to characterize the sediments based on chemical distribution, elemental behaviour and analytical differences. The majority of elements were lower in concentration in the partial extraction technique; suggesting these elements are bound in an acid extractable phase (exchangeable, organic and carbonate phases). The total extraction technique yielded higher elemental concentrations taking difficult oxides and silicates into solution. Geochemical analyses of grain size separates revealed that heavy metal (Co, Ni, V, Mn, Fe, Ba) concentrations did not increase with decreasing grain size. This is a function of the anthropogenic mill scale input into the river. The background elements (Sc, Y, Sr, Mg, Al and Ti) showed an increase in concentration to the finest grain size suggesting that it is directly related to the local mineralogy and geology. Dispersion patterns ofmetals fall into two distinct categories: 1) the heavy metals (Co, Cu, Ni, Zn, V and Cr), and 2) the background elements (Be, Sc, Y, Sr, Al and Ti). The heavy metals show a marked increase in the outfall region, while the background elements show a significant decrease at the outfall. This pattern is attributed to a "dilution effect" ofthe natural sediments by the anthropogenic mill scale sediments. Multivariant statistical analysis and correlation coefficient matrix results clearly support these results and conclusions. These results indicate the outfall region ofthe Welland River is highly contaminated with to heavy metals from the industrialized area of Welland. A short distance downstream, the metal concentrations return to baseline geochemical levels. It appears, contaminants rapidly come out of suspension and are deposited in close proximity to the source. Therefore, it is likely that dredging the sediment from the river may cause resuspension of contaminated sediments, but may not distribute the sediment as far as initially anticipated.
    • Sedimentology and taphonomy of storm-generated shell beds from the Verulam formation (Ordovician), Lakefield and Gamebridge quarries, Southern Ontario, Canada /

      McFarland, Sean.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1997-05-21)
      The Verulam Formation (Middle Ordovician) at the Lakefield Quarry and Gamebridge Quarry, southern Ontario, is comprised of five main lithofacies. These include shoal deposits consisting of Lithofacies 1, winnowed crinoidal grainstones and, shelf deposits consisting of: Lithofacies 2, wackestones, packstones, grainstones, and rudstones; Lithofacies 3, laminated calcisiltites; Lithofacies 4, nodular wackestones and mudstones; and, Lithofacies 5, laminated mudstones and shales. The distribution of the lithofacies was influenced by variations in storm frequency and intensity during a relative sea level fall. Predominant convex-up attitudes of concavo-convex shells within shell beds suggest syndepositional reworking during storm events. The bimodal orientations of shell axes on the upper surfaces of the shell beds indicates deposition under wave-generated currents. The sedimentary features and shell orientations indicate that the shell beds were deposited during storm events and not by the gradual accumulation of shelly material. Cluster and principal component analysis of relative abundance data of the taxa in the shell beds, interbedded nodular wackestones and mudstones, and laminated mudstones and shales, indicates one biofacies comprised of three main assemblages: a strophomenid (Sowerbyelladominated) assemblage, a transitional mixed strophomenid-atrypid assemblage and an atrypid (Zygospira-dominatQd) assemblage. The occurrence of the strophomenid, the strophomenid-atrypid and atrypid assemblages were controlled by storm-driven allogenic taphonomic feedback.
    • Geological image processing of petrographic thin sections using the rotating polarizer stage

      Goodchild, J. Scott.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1998-07-09)
      One of the fundamental problems with image processing of petrographic thin sections is that the appearance (colour I intensity) of a mineral grain will vary with the orientation of the crystal lattice to the preferred direction of the polarizing filters on a petrographic microscope. This makes it very difficult to determine grain boundaries, grain orientation and mineral species from a single captured image. To overcome this problem, the Rotating Polarizer Stage was used to replace the fixed polarizer and analyzer on a standard petrographic microscope. The Rotating Polarizer Stage rotates the polarizers while the thin section remains stationary, allowing for better data gathering possibilities. Instead of capturing a single image of a thin section, six composite data sets are created by rotating the polarizers through 900 (or 1800 if quartz c-axes measurements need to be taken) in both plane and cross polarized light. The composite data sets can be viewed as separate images and consist of the average intensity image, the maximum intensity image, the minimum intensity image, the maximum position image, the minimum position image and the gradient image. The overall strategy used by the image processing system is to gather the composite data sets, determine the grain boundaries using the gradient image, classify the different mineral species present using the minimum and maximum intensity images and then perform measurements of grain shape and, where possible, partial crystallographic orientation using the maximum intensity and maximum position images.
    • The sedimentology of the lower Silurian whirlpool sandstone in subsurface Lake Erie, Ontario

      Johnson, Michael Fergus.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1998-07-09)
      The lower Silurian Whirlpool Sandstone is composed of two main units: a fluvial unit and an estuarine to transitional marine unit. The lowermost unit is made up of sandy braided fluvial deposits, in shallow valleys, that flowed towards the northwest. The fluvial channels are largely filled by cross-bedded, well sorted, quartzose sands, with little ripple crosslaminated or overbank shales. Erosionally overlying this lower unit are brackish water to marine deposits. In the east, this unit consists of estuarine channels and tidal flat deposits. The channels consist of fluvial sands at the base, changing upwards into brackish and tidally influenced channelized sandstones and shales. The estuarine channels flowed to the southwest. Westwards, the unit contains backbarrier facies with extensive washover deposits. Separating the backbarrier facies from shoreface sandstone facies to the west, are barrier island sands represented by barrier-foreshore facies. The barrier islands are dissected by tidal inlets characterized by fining upward abandonment sequences. Inlet deposits are also present west of the barrier island, abandoned by transgression on the shoreface. The sandy marine deposits are replaced to the west by carbonates of the Manitoulin Limestone. During the latest Ordovician, a hiatus in crustal loading during the Taconic Orogeny led to erosional offloading and crustal rebound, the eroded material distributed towards the west, northwest and north as the terrestrial deposits of the fluvial Whirlpool. The "anti-peripheral bulge" of the rebound interfered with the peripheral bulge of the Michigan Basin, nulling the Algonquin Arch, and allowing the detritus of the fluvial Whirlpool to spread onto the Algonquin Arch. The Taconic Orogeny resumed in the earliest Silurian with crustal loading to the south and southeast, and causing tilting of the surface slope in subsurface Lake Erie towards the ii southwest. Lowstand terrestrial deposits were scoured into the new slope. The new crustal loading also reactivated the peripheral bulge of the Appalachian Basin, allowing it to interact with the bulge of the Michigan Basin, raising the Algonquin Arch. The crustal loading depressed the Appalachian basin and allowed transgression to occur. The renewed Algonquin Arch allowed the early Silurian transgression to proceed up two slopes, one to the east and one to the west. The transgression to the east entered the lowstand valleys and created the estuarine Whirlpool. The rising arch caused progradation of the Manitoulin carbonates upon shoreface facies of the Whirlpool Sandstone and upon offshore facies of the Cabot Head Formation. Further crustal loading caused basin subsidence and rapid transgression, abandoning the Whirlpool estuary in an offshore setting.
    • Continental margin architecture : the palynological signature of glacioeustasy /

      Gostlin, Kevin Earl.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1999-05-21)
      Palynomorphs from two siliciclastic margins were examined to gain insights into continental margin architecture. Sea level change is thought to be one of the primary controls on continental margin architecture. Because Late Neogene glacioeustasy has been well studied marine sediments deposited during the Late Neogene were examined to test this concept. Cores from the outer shelf and upper slope were taken from the New Jersey margin in the western North Atlantic Ocean and from the Sunda Shelf margin in the South China Sea. Continental margin architecture is often described in a sequence stratigraphic context. One of the main goals of both coring projects was to test the theoretical sequence stratigraphic models developed by a research group at Exxon (e.g. Wilgus et al., 1988). Palynomorphs provide one of the few methods of inferring continental margin architecture in monotonous, siliciclastic marine sediments where calcareous sediments are rare (e.g. New Jersey margin). In this study theoretical models of the palynological signature expected in sediment packages deposited during the various increments of a glacioeustatic cycle were designed. These models were based on the modem palynomorph trends and taphonomic factors thought to control palynomorph distribution. Both terrestrial (pollen and spores) and marine (dinocysts) palynomorphs were examined. The palynological model was then compared with New Jersey margin and Sunda Shelf margin sediments. The predicted palynological trends provided a means of identifying a complete cycle of glacioeustatic change (Oxygen Isotope Stage 5e to present) in the uppermost 80 meters of sediment on the slope at the New Jersey margin. Sediment availability, not sea meters of sediment on the slope at the New Jersey margin. Sediment availability, not sea level change, is thought to be the major factor controlling margin architecture during the late Pleistocene here at the upper slope. This is likely a function of the glacial scouring of the continents which significantly increases sediment availability during glacial stages. The subaerially exposed continental shelf during the lowstand periods would have been subject to significant amounts of erosion fi:om the proglacial rivers flowing fi-om the southern regions of the ice-sheet. The slope site is non-depositional today and was also non-depositional during the last full interglacial period. The palynomorph data obtained fi-om the South China Sea indicate that the major difference between the New Jersey Margin sites and the Sunda Shelf margin sites is the variation in sediment supply and the rate of sediment accumulation. There was significantly less variation in sediment supply between glacial and interglacial periods and less overall sediment accumulation at the Sunda Shelf margin. The data presented here indicate that under certain conditions the theoretical palynological models allow the identification of individual sequence stratigraphic units and therefore, allow inferences regarding continental margin architecture. The major condition required in this approach is that a complete and reliable database of the contemporaneous palynomorphs be available.
    • Environmental assessment of Lake Gibson sediments, water quality, and soils of the Niagara Region

      Placko, Joanne.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 1999-07-09)
      In light of the fact that literature on toxicity of heavy metals in non-acidified freshwater systems is sparse, this project was initiated to conduct an environmental assessment of Lake Gibson. Chemistry of soils from adjacent areas and vineyards in the region provide a comparative background database. Water quality determinations were used to identify and highlight areas of environmental concern within the Lake Gibson watershed. A Shelby Corer was used to obtain 66 sediment cores from Lake Gibson. These were sectioned according to lithology and color to yield 298 samples. A suite of 122 soil samples was collected in the region and vicinity of Lake Gibson. All were tested for metals and some for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH). Evaluation of the results leads to the following conclusions: 1. Metal concentrations ofAI, Cd, Cu, Cr, Pb, Ni, Fe and Zn in soils from the Niagara Region are well below background limits set by the Ministry of the Environment and Energy (MOEE) for provincial soils. 2. There is a spatial and depth difference for some of the metals within the various soils. The Cr, Ni and Pb contents of soils vary throughout the region (p<O.05). In addition, Pb contents tend to be highest in surficial soil samples (p<O.05), an observation consistent with deposition by airborne particulates. 3. The Ni contents of sediments from Lake Gibson fall below the LEL (Lower Effect Level) guideline specified by the MOEE for aquatic ecosystems. 4. All other metal contents exceed the LEL, and in some instances they also exceed the SEL (Severe Effect Level) guideline. In this instance acute toxicity testing of 11 the sediments is required to assess impact on the aquatic biota. 5. Specifically, effluents and discharges from outfalls, roadways, railways and industrial activities are all degrading the local ecosystem. 6. Mineral oil and greases are a major environmental concern in the sediments of Lake Gibson. Ofthe 240 samples tested for TPH, 200 samples exceed the MOEE Open Water Disposal Guideline of 1,500 mg/kg. 7. Four areas within Lake Gibson are especially degraded with respect to TPH. One area is just downstream from the Old WeIland Canal divergence point and waterfall. Other areas of concern are located just south of Beaverdams Road and just west ofthe Ontario Hydro control pipes; south ofthe Village ofBeaverdams. The fourth area of environmental concern and TPH impact is located between Highway 406 and Merrittville Highway.
    • Postglacial water levels in the Great Lakes Region in relation to Holocene climate change : Thecamoebian and Palynological evidence /

      Sarvis, Adam Patrick.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2000-07-14)
      Various lake phases have developed in the upper Great Lakes in response to isostatic adjustment and changes in water supply since the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Georgian Bay experienced a lowstand that caused a basin wide unconformity approximately 7,500 years ago that cannot be explained by geological events. Thecamoebians are shelled protozoans abundant in freshwater environments and they are generally more sensitive to changing environmental conditions than the surrounding vegetation. Thecamoebians can be used to reconstruct the paleolimnology. The abundance of thecamoebians belonging to the genus Centropyxis, which are known to tolerate slightly brackish conditions (i.e. high concentrations of ions) records highly evaporative conditions in a closed basin. During the warmer interval (9000 to 700 yBP), the Centropyxis - dominated population diminishes and is replaced by an abundant and diverse Difflugia dominate population. Historical climate records from Tobermory and Midland, Ontario were correlated with the Lake Huron water level curve. The fossil pollen record and comparison with modem analogues allowed a paleo-water budget to be calculated for Georgian Bay. Transfer function analysis of fossil pollen data from Georgian Bay records cold, dry winters similar to modem day Minneapolis, Minnesota. Drier climates around this time are also recorded in bog environments in Southem Ontario - the drying of Lake Tonawanda and inception of paludification in Willoughby Bog, for instance, dates around 7,000 years ago. The dramatic impact of climate change on the water level in Georgian Bay underlines the importance of paleoclimatic research for predicting future environmental change in the Great Lakes.
    • Dinocyst biochronology and palynofacies : inferred systems tract character of Miocene sequences from New Jersey mid-Atlantic transect (ODP legs 174A and 174AX) /

      Tiffin, Sarah Heather.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2001-07-14)
      One of the main objectives of the mid-Atlantic transect is to improve dating resolution of sequences and unconfonnity surfaces. Dinoflagellate cysts from two Ocean Drilling Program boreholes, the onshore Leg 174AX Ocean View Site and Leg 174A continental shelf Site 1071, are used to provide age estimates for sequences and unconfonnities fonned on the New Jersey continental margin during the Miocene epoch. Despite the occasional lack of dinocysts in barren and oxidized sections, dinocyst biochronology still offers greater age control than that provided by other microfossils in marginal marine environments. An early Miocene to late Miocene chronology based on ages detennined for the two study sites is presented. In addition, .palynofacies are used to unravel the systems tract character of the Miocene sequences and provide insight into the effects of taphonomy and preservation of palynomorphs in marginal marine and shelf environments under different ~ea level conditions. More precise placement of maximum flooding surfaces is possible through the identification of condensed sections and palynofacies shifts can also reveal subaerially exposed sections and surfaces not apparent in seismic or lithological analyses. The problems with the application of the pollen record in the interpretation of Miocene climate are also discussed. Palynomorphs provide evidence for a second-order lowering of sea level during the Miocene, onto which higher order sea level fluctuations are super-imposed. Correlation of sequences and unconfonnities is attempted between onshore boreholes and from the onshore Ocean View borehole to offshore Site 1071.
    • Analytical modelling of bacterial migration and accumulation with rate-limited sorption in discrete fractures

      Yazicioglu, Meliha Beyza.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2002-07-09)
      An analytical model for bacterial accumulation in a discrete fractllre has been developed. The transport and accumlllation processes incorporate into the model include advection, dispersion, rate-limited adsorption, rate-limited desorption, irreversible adsorption, attachment, detachment, growth and first order decay botl1 in sorbed and aqueous phases. An analytical solution in Laplace space is derived and nlln1erically inverted. The model is implemented in the code BIOFRAC vvhich is written in Fortran 99. The model is derived for two phases, Phase I, where adsorption-desorption are dominant, and Phase II, where attachment-detachment are dominant. Phase I ends yvhen enollgh bacteria to fully cover the substratllm have accllillulated. The model for Phase I vvas verified by comparing to the Ogata-Banks solution and the model for Phase II was verified by comparing to a nonHomogenous version of the Ogata-Banks solution. After verification, a sensitiv"ity analysis on the inpllt parameters was performed. The sensitivity analysis was condllcted by varying one inpllt parameter vvhile all others were fixed and observing the impact on the shape of the clirve describing bacterial concentration verSllS time. Increasing fracture apertllre allovvs more transport and thus more accllffilliation, "Vvhich diminishes the dllration of Phase I. The larger the bacteria size, the faster the sllbstratum will be covered. Increasing adsorption rate, was observed to increase the dllration of Phase I. Contrary to the aSSllmption ofllniform biofilm thickness, the accllffilliation starts frOll1 the inlet, and the bacterial concentration in aqlleous phase moving towards the olitiet declines, sloyving the accumulation at the outlet. Increasing the desorption rate, redllces the dliration of Phase I, speeding IIp the accllmlilation. It was also observed that Phase II is of longer duration than Phase I. Increasing the attachment rate lengthens the accliffililation period. High rates of detachment speeds up the transport. The grovvth and decay rates have no significant effect on transport, althollgh increases the concentrations in both aqueous and sorbed phases are observed. Irreversible adsorption can stop accllillulation completely if the vallIes are high.