• The micromorphology of Paleoseismic soft sediment deformation structures in glacial deposits from three sample sites in Scotland /

      Taylor, John Michael.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2005-06-29)
      The nature of this research is to investigate paleoseismic deformation of glacial soft sediments from three sampling sites throughout the Scottish Highlands; Arrat's Mills, Meikleour and Glen Roy. The paleoseismic evidence investigated in this research will provide a basis for applying criteria to soft sediment deformation structures, and the trigger mechanisms that create these structures. Micromorphology is the tool used in this to investigate paleoseismic deformation structures in thin section. Thin section analysis, (micromorphology) of glacial sediments from the three sampling sites is used to determine microscale evidence of past earthquakes that can be correlated to modem-day events and possibly lead to a better understanding of the impact of earthquakes throughout a range of sediment types. The significance of the three sampling locations is their proximity to two major active fault zones that cross Scotland. The fault zones are the Highland Boundary Fault and the Great Glen Fault, these two major faults that parallel each other and divide the country in half Sims (1975) used a set of seven criteria that identified soft sediment deformation structures created by a magnitude six earthquake in Cahfomia. Using criteria set forth by Sims (1975), the paleoseismic evidence can be correlated to the magnitude of the deformation structures found in the glacial sediments. This research determined that the microstructures at Arrat's Mill, Meikleour and Glen Roy are consistent with a seismically induced origin. It has also been demonstrated that, even without the presence of macrostructures, the use of micromorphology techniques in detecting such activity within sediments is of immense value.
    • Pollen and grain size records in abyssal sediments of the northwest Pacific Ocean as proxies of Plio-Pleistocene climate change /

      Little, Martin Lewis.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2005-06-29)
      A distinctive period of global change occurred during the PUocene between the warm Miocene and subsequent Quaternary cooling. Samples from Ocean Drilling Project Site 11 79 (-5586 mbsl, 41°4'N, 159°57'E), Site 881 (-5765 mbsl, 47°6.133'N, 161°29.490'E) and Site 882 (-3255 mbsl, 50°22'N, 167°36'E) were studied to determine the magnitude and composition ofterrigenous flux to the western mid-latitude North Pacific and its relation to climate change in East Asia since the mid-Pliocene. Dust-sized particles (including pollen), sourced from the arid regions and loess plateaus in East Asia are entrained by prevailing westerly winds and transported to the midlatitude northwest North Pacific Ocean. This is recorded by peaks in the total concentration of pollen and spores, as well as the mean grain size of allochthonous and autochthonous silicate material in abyssal marine sediments. Aridification of the Asian interior due to the phased uplift of the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau created the modem East Asian Monsoon system dominated by a strengthening of the winter monsoon. The winter monsoon is further enhanced during glacials due to the expansion of desert and steppe environments at the expense ofwoodlands and forests recorded by the composition of palynological assemblages. The late Pliocene-Pleistocene glacials at ODP Sites 1 179, 881, and 882 are characterized by increases in grain size, magnetic susceptibility, pollen and spore concentrations around 3.5-3.3, 2.6-2.4, 1.7-1.6, and 0.9-0.7 Ma (ages based on magnetostratigraphic and biostratigraphic datums). The peaks during these times are relatively rich in pollen taxa derived primarily from steppe and boreal vegetation zones, recording cool, dry climates. The overall size increase of sediment and abundance of terrestrial palynomorphs record enhanced wind strength. The increase in magnitude of pollen and spore concentrations as well as grain size record global cooling and Northern Hemisphere glaciation. The peaks in grain size as well as pollen and spore abundance in marine sediments correlate with the mean grain size of loess in East Asia, consistent with the deflation of unarmoured surfaces during glacials. The transport of limiting nutrients to marine environments enhanced sea surface productivity and increased the rate of sediment accumulation.
    • Hydraulic and fluvial geomorphological models for a bedrock channel reach of the Twenty Mile Creek /

      Smith, Ian D.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2005-06-29)
      Bedrock channels have been considered challenging geomorphic settings for the application of numerical models. Bedrock fluvial systems exhibit boundaries that are typically less mobile than alluvial systems, yet they are still dynamic systems with a high degree of spatial and temporal variability. To understand the variability of fluvial systems, numerical models have been developed to quantify flow magnitudes and patterns as the driving force for geomorphic change. Two types of numerical model were assessed for their efficacy in examining the bedrock channel system consisting of a high gradient portion of the Twenty Mile Creek in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. A one-dimensional (1-D) flow model that utilizes energy equations, HEC RAS, was used to determine velocity distributions through the study reach for the mean annual flood (MAF), the 100-year return flood and the 1,000-year return flood. A two-dimensional (2-D) flow model that makes use of Navier-Stokes equations, RMA2, was created with the same objectives. The 2-D modeling effort was not successful due to the spatial complexity of the system (high slope and high variance). The successful 1 -D model runs were further extended using very high resolution geospatial interpolations inherent to the HEC RAS extension, HEC geoRAS. The modeled velocity data then formed the basis for the creation of a geomorphological analysis that focused upon large particles (boulders) and the forces needed to mobilize them. Several existing boulders were examined by collecting detailed measurements to derive three-dimensional physical models for the application of fluid and solid mechanics to predict movement in the study reach. An imaginary unit cuboid (1 metre by 1 metre by 1 metre) boulder was also envisioned to determine the general propensity for the movement of such a boulder through the bedrock system. The efforts and findings of this study provide a standardized means for the assessment of large particle movement in a bedrock fluvial system. Further efforts may expand upon this standardization by modeling differing boulder configurations (platy boulders, etc.) at a high level of resolution.
    • Armourstone revetments : will standard design criteria prevent failure? /

      Van Riezen, Rhonneke Dyann.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2005-06-29)
      Bank stabilization structures are used to prevent the loss of valuable land within the urban environment and the decision for the type of structure used depends on the properties of the stream. In the urban areas of Southern Ontario there is a preference for the use of armourstone blocks as bank stabilization. The armourstone revetment is a free standing stone structure with large blocks of stone layered vertically and offset from one another. During fieldwork at Forty Mile Creek in Grimsby, Ontario armourstone failure was identified by the removal of two stones within one column from the wall. Since the footer stones were still in place, toe scour was eliminated as a cause of failure. Through theoretical, field, and experimental work the process of suction has been identified as a mode of failure for the armourstone wall and the process of suction works similarly to quarrying large blocks of rock off bedrock streambeds. The theory of lateral suction has previously not been taken into consideration for the design of these walls. The physical and hydraulic evidence found in the field and studied during experimental work indicate that the armourstone wall is vulnerable to the process of suction. The forces exerted by the flow and the resistance of the block determine the stability of the armourstone block within the wall. The design of the armourstone wall, high surface velocities, and short pulses of faster flowing water within the profile could contribute to armourstone failure by providing the forces needed for suction to occur, therefore adjustments to the design of the wall should be made in order to limit the effect.
    • Anomalous carbonate preservation in the abyssal North Pacific, ODP sites 882 and 1179: planktonic foraminiferal analysis, climate change and palaeogeomagnetism /

      Findlay, Duncan John.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2009-06-01)
      Samples for this study were obtained from the abyssal western North Pacific Ocean at Ocean Drilling Project Sites 882 (50°21.797'N, 167°35.999^E) and 1179 (41°4.787^N, 159°58.786'E). Despite their depth below the present day calcite compensation depth, ~250m and ~ 1.5km respectively, these late Pliocene-Pleistocene cores contained large quantities of carbonate, a small proportion of which is composed of well-preserved foraminiferal tests with minor to no signs of dissolution. This excellent preservation is unusual in light of their positions below the current calcite compensation depth. Globigerina bulloides, Globigerina quinqueloba, and Neogloboquadrina pachyderma are the dominant species at the more northerly Site 882, whereas A^. pachyderma, Globorotalia inflata, and G. bulloides dominate Site 1179. This species distribution is a direct reflection of their respective ambient oceanographic conditions. Cluster analysis of the identified foraminifera reveals four groups within Site 882, which are largely temperature and dissolution-controlled, documenting a fluctuating calcite compensation depth and lysocline as well as indicating a switch to cooler conditions at about 2 Ma. The ODP fauna, although similar to those collected in nearby sediment traps, have a slightly lower diversity, and are enriched in thick walled, non-spinose taxa. Abundance peaks of foraminifera throughout the cores agree well with the timing of brief suppression of the calcite compensation depth. These suppressions of the calcite compensation depth are related to increased surface water productivity commensurate with terrestrial fertilization of otherwise nutrient-poor gyre areas. Furthermore, these events sequestered CO2 from the atmosphere, contributing to late Cenozoic global cooling. The majority of the peaks correlate with times of incursions of cold deep Pacific water and rapid declines of continental ice volume, suggesting that North Atlantic Deep Water interference may change the source dominance of Pacific deepwater, leading to less acidic, saltier water conditions, requiring less CaC03 to reach saturation. Several foraminiferal carbonate peaks also correlate with geomagnetic reversals inferring some climatic control, perhaps through enhanced cosmic ray bombardment and subsequent increased cloud cover, and species selection.
    • Regional variations of deformation mechanisms in the Lorrain Quartzite near Whitefish Falls, Ontario, Canada /

      Marsh, Jennifer.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2009-06-15)
      The quartzite microfabric found in the Lorrain Formation was studied across the La Cloche syncline, along a regional north-south transect along highway 6, near Whitefish Falls, Ontario. The complete stratigraphic sequence across the syncline is preserved, and is present on each fold limb. The lithostratigraphic units with the smallest grains size and lowest mica content are located close to the core of the fold, while coarser grained mica and feldspar rich units are situated at the northern and southern most extent of the transect. Deformation mechanisms vary with lithology and with position across the fold. Pressure solution appears to be the dominant deformation mechanism in the feldspathic, micaceous and ferruginous units. In the finer grained, mica poor white medium grained and cherty sandstone units, grain boundary migration (GBM) characteristics show dominance over those of pressure solution and show high amounts of fracturing which cut migrated boundaries and therefore post date GBM. All samples across the fold display a preferred orientation of quartz c-axes. The senses of asymmetry of fabrics are found to be similar across the syncline, with the exception of the ferruginous sandstone unit. Formation of these similar fabrics synmietries can not be the result of strain related to first order folding. The mica content appears to be related to the percentage of quartz lost due to pressure solution as a result of strain; the more mica present, the less quartz was lost. Calculations based on the shape of initial grains suggest that conservatively 30% of the quartz volume has been dissolved out of the Lorrain quartzite, and potentially migrated hundreds of meters to other members of the Huronian Supergroup as there was no meso or macroscopic evidence observed in outcrop.
    • Bioindication of ozone using milkweed plants in Southern Ontario

      Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2010-03-09)
      Ambient (03) ozone concentrations were compared to ozone damage on milkweed plants to determine if there was a correlation. Eight survey sites of at least 100 plants each were located within 5 kilometers of Air Quality Index (AQI) stations in southern Ontario. Sites were visited nine times from June-September (2007) and milkweed leaves from 75 plants were assessed using methods pioneered in the United States. Ambient 0 3 results were calculated into SUM65, seasonal cumulative 0 3, and total 03. The 0 3 exposure indices SUM65 and cumulative 0 3 were tested statistically to determine which index is biologically relevant to milkweed as an 0 3 damage indicator species. The milkweed damage indices were incidence of leaves damaged per plant, incidence of plants damaged per site, and total 0 3• The incidence of plants injured per site was the best damage parameter with an F(1,28)=17.37, p=0.0003 for SUM65 and F(1,28)=7.5, p=O.0106 for cumulative 03 .. Milkweed plants showed quantifiable ozone damage with minimal spatial differences in damage and thus have potential use as a biomonitor species in southern Ontario.
    • Investigating the potential of thecamoebians (testate amoebae) as bio-indicators of impact of oil sands mining operations on freshwater environments in Northeastern Alberta, Canada

      Neville, Lisa Ann; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2010-03-09)
      Thecamoebian (testate amoeba) species diversity and assemblages in reclamation wetlands and lakes in northeastern Alberta respond to chemical and physical parameters associated with oil sands extraction. Ecosystems more impacted by OSPM (oil sands process-affected material) contain sparse, low-diversity populations dominated by centropyxid taxa and Arcella vulgaris. More abundant and diverse thecamoebian populations rich in difflugiid species characterize environments with lower OSPM concentrations. These shelled protists respond quickly to environmental change, allowing year-to-year variations in OSPM impact to be recorded. Their fossil record thus provides corporations with interests in the Athabasca Oil Sands with a potential means of measuring the progression of highlyimpacted aquatic environments to more natural wetlands. Development of this metric required investigation of controls on their fossil assemblage (e.g. seasonal variability, fossilization potential) and their biogeographic distribution, not only in the constructed lakes and wetlands on the oil sands leases, but also in natural environments across Alberta.
    • Impact of considering the effects of latent heat on caldera-hosted hydrothermal systems

      Barnard, Melissa; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      To investigate the thennal effects of latent heat in hydrothennal settings, an extension was made to the existing finite-element numerical modelling software, Aquarius. The latent heat algorithm was validated using a series of column models, which analysed the effects of penneability (flow rate), thennal gradient, and position along the two-phase curve (pressure). Increasing the flow rate and pressure increases displacement of the liquid-steam boundary from an initial position detennined without accounting for latent heat while increasing the thennal gradient decreases that displacement. Application to a regional scale model of a caldera-hosted hydrothennal system based on a representative suite of calderas (e.g., Yellowstone, Creede, Valles Grande) led to oscillations in the model solution. Oscillations can be reduced or eliminated by mesh refinement, which requires greater computation effort. Results indicate that latent heat should be accounted for to accurately model phase change conditions in hydrothennal settings.
    • Flow regime prediction via froude number calculation in a rock-bedded stream

      Meyers, Michael J.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      Mathematical predictions of flow conditions along a steep gradient rock bedded stream are examined. Stream gage discharge data and Manning's Equation are used to calculate alternative velocities, and subsequently Froude Numbers, assuming varying values of velocity coefficient, full depth or depth adjusted for vertical flow separation. Comparison of the results with photos show that Froude Numbers calculated from velocities derived from Manning's Equation, assuming a velocity coefficient of 1.30 and full depth, most accurately predict flow conditions, when supercritical flow is defined as Froude Number values above 0.84. Calculated Froude Number values between 0.8 and 1.1 correlate well with observed transitional flow, defined as the first appearance of small diagonal waves. Transitions from subcritical through transitional to clearly supercritical flow are predictable. Froude Number contour maps reveal a sinuous rise and fall of values reminiscent of pool riffle energy distribution.
    • Structural analysis of interior layered deposits in north and south Coprates Chasma, Mars

      Racher, Heather; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      Interior layered deposits within an embayment in the northern as well as near the southern wall of Coprates Chasma in the Valles Marineris, Mars are studied using HRSC, CTX, HiRISE and CRISM data. In the northern embayment, layered deposits outcrop in three separate locations (a western deposit, a central deposit and an eastern deposit). The central layered deposit in the north has a stratigraphic thickness of 2 km. The western layered deposit abuts against the chasma wall appearing to have a relatively un-eroded depositional surface. The eastern deposit is near a landslide scar which appears to have exposed basement layering showing downward displacement. This northern embayment is suggested to have been an ancestral basin. The triangular edged deposit near the southern wall of Coprates Chasma has an elongated mound protruding from the central edge and is suggested to be the outer limits of a fault block which is back rotated 6° south. The rotation may be the result of the Valles Marineris opening.
    • The use of lichens as indicators of ambient air quality in Southern Ontario

      Tulumello, Patricia; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      The inverse relationship between arboreal lichen species richness and sulphur dioxide in ambient air has been thoroughly documented in the literature. Previous work in southern Ontario has shown that lichen bioindication can identify areas of potential concern regarding air quality. The EMAN suite of l i chens was applied in the City of Samia by surveying 458 Sugar Maple trees, in order to test the applicability of lichen bioindication under conditions of high mean S02 levels and high species richness values. The results of the survey were explored using Geographic Information Systems. A spatial relationship between lichen community variables, the Bluewater Bridge and the highway was identified. Lichen species richness, lichen percent cover and Index of Atmospheric Purity values were higher along the bridge and highway. No strong gradients were found between other known pollution sources and no lichen deserts were identified. The most common community grouping consisted of Physcia millegrana Degel, Candelaria concolor (Dicks) B. Stein, Physcia aipolia (Ehrh ex Humb.) Furnrohr; all of which are known nitrophytes. The relationship between substrate pH and lichen species richness was examined. Sites with a known source of anthropogenic chemical contamination were found to have a correlation of l=0.8 between lichen species richness and pH. The inverse was found for sites with no known source of contamination with a correlation of r 2 =-0.72. The findings suggest that species richness may be influenced by altering substrate pH which promotes the growth of nitrophytic species capable of tolerating high S02 levels.
    • Integrating vitrinite reflectance, rock-eval pyrolysis, flourescence microscopy and palynology of the Athabasca oil sands, Kearl Lake area, northeastern Alberta

      Sihra, Kamalpreet; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2011-05-17)
      Three cores from the Kearl Lake Oil Sands area within the Athabasca deposit of northeastern Alberta have been analyzed to understand the thermal history of the McMurray and Clearwater formations of the Lower Cretaceous Mannville Group. The approach involves the integration of vitrinite reflectance (VR), Rock-Eval pyrolysis, fluorescence microscopy, and palynology. Mean VR varies between 0.21 and 0.43% Ro and indicates thermally immature levels equivalent to the rank of lignite to sub-bituminous coal. Although differing lithologies have influenced VR to some extent (i.e., coals and bitumen-rich zones), groundwater influence and oxidation seem not to have measurably altered YR. Rock-Eval analysis points to Type III/IV kerogen, and samples rich in amorphous organic matter (ADM) show little to no fluorescence characteristics, implying a terrestrial source of origin. Palynology reveals the presence of some delicate macerals but lack of fluorescence and abundant ADM suggests some degradation and partial oxidation of the samples.
    • Micromorphology of Last Glacial Maximum Grounding line sediments around the Antarctic Peninsula

      Arnold, Holly; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2012-10-12)
      Sediments recovered from seven Last Glacial Maximum grounding lines sites, around the Antarctic Peninsula, were analyzed using micromorphology. This is the first evidence that grounding line sediments from around the Antarctic Peninsula have complex deformational histories and subglacial origins. It was determined that grounding zone wedge contain multiple units, or diamicton layers, with homogenized boundaries. The multiple diamicton units / layers are due to the accretionary formation of a grounding line wedge. All the sediments were deposited via deformation, and continual reincorporation, homogenization of lower diamicton layers by upper diamicton layers produced what macroscopically appeared to be a single massive diamicton unit. The morainal ridge that was sampled, alternatively, is composed of a single unit, or diamicton layer, that was subglacial in origin and believed to have been pushed out to form a ridge that was subsequently deformed via glacial push.
    • Freshwater dinoflagellates as proxies of cultural eutrophication: a case study from Crawford Lake, Ontario

      Krueger, Andrea M; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2013-01-24)
      Crawford Lake, Ontario, provides an ideal natural laboratory to study the response of freshwater dinoflagellates to cultural eutrophication. The anoxic bottom waters that result from meromixis in this small (2.4 ha) but deep (24 m) lake preserve varved sediments that host an exceptional fossil record. These annual layers provide dates for human activity (agriculture and land disturbance) around the lake over the last millennium by both Iroquoian village farmers (ca. A.D. 1268-1486) and Canadian farmers beginning ~A.D. 1883. The well established separate intervals of human activity around Crawford Lake, together with an abundance of available data from other fossil groups, allow us to further investigate the potential use of the cyst of freshwater dinoflagellates in studies of eutrophication. Cyst morphotypes observed have been assigned as Peridinium willei Huitfeldt-Kaas, Peridinium wisconsinense Eddy and Peridinium volzii Lemmermann and Parvodinium inconspicuum (Lemmermann) Carty. The latter two cyst-theca relationships were determined by culturing and by the exceptional preservation of thecae of P. inconspicuum in varves deposited at times of anthropogenic reductions in dissolved oxygen.
    • DEFORMATION OF INTERIOR LAYERED DEPOSITS (ILD) AND THEIR ASSOCIATED LANDFORMS IN WEST CANDOR CHASMA, MARS: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE TIMING OF ILD DEPOSITION

      Birnie, Colin; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2013-02-22)
      On Mars, interior layered deposits (ILD) provide evidence that water was once stable at the surface of the planet and present in large quantities. In West Candor Chasma, the ILD and their associated landforms record the depositional history of the chasma, and the deformation of those deposits provide insight into the stresses acting on them and the chasma as a whole. The post ILD structural history of West Candor is interpreted by analyzing the spatial relationships and orientation trends of structural features within the ILD. Therecording of stresses through brittle deformation of ILDs implies that the ILD had been lithified before the stress was imposed. Based on the prominent orientation trends of deformation features, the orientation of the stress regime acting upon the ILD appears to be linked to the regime that initially created the chasma-forming faults. An additional minor stress orientation was also revealed and may be related to large structures outside west Candor Chasma. The late depositional history of Ceti Mensa is herein investigated by examining the attributes and spatial relationship between unique corrugated, linear formations (CLF). The CLFs appear to be aeolian in origin but display clear indications of brittle deformation, indicating they have been Iithified. Evidence of lithification and the mineral composition of the surrounding material support the interpretation of circulating water in the area.
    • Palynology and foraminiferal geochemistry of the Lower Pleistocene Olduvai Subchron (ca. 1.8 Ma) in DSDP Hole 603C, western North Atlantic

      Fischer, Eva Iman; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2013-04-02)
      Marine palynology and benthic and planktonic foraminiferal geochemistry are combined to reveal long- and short-term (Milankovitch-scale) paleoceanographic changes across the upper half of the Olduvai Subchron (ca. 1.86--1.77 Ma, lower Pleistocene) in DSDP Hole 603C from the lower New Jersey continental rise. Planktonic foraminiferal Mg/Ca ratios reveal annual sea-surface temperatures between 14.5° and 25°C, whereas modern values vary between 16° and 20°e. Despite evidence of downslope transport in much of the studied interval, dinoflagellate cyst and acritarch assemblages appear to reflect fluctuating temperate to subtropical water masses. These assemblages comprise both neritic and oceanic species, and are marked by a transition upsection from warm conditions, dominated by Lingulodinium machaerophorum, Polysphaeridium zoharyi and Cymatiosphaera? invaginata, to cooler conditions dominated by Filisphaera filifera. Combining dinoflagellate cyst proxies with planktonic foraminiferal geochemistry allows downslope transport events to be recognized during glacial episodes, and events dominated by intensified bottom-water circulation during interglacial episodes. Sixtytwo in-situ dinoflagellate cyst and acritarch taxa were recorded including several not previously described.
    • Spectral Reflectance Characteristics of Kimberlite Indicator Minerals and Other Selected Mineral Grains

      McMahon, Matthew; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2013-04-09)
      High chromium content in kimberlite indicator minerals such as pyrope garnet and diopside is often correlated with the presence of diamonds. In this study, kimberlite indicator minerals were examined using visible light reflectance spectroscopy to determine if chromium content can be correlated with spectral absorption features. The depth of absorption features in the visible spectral region were correlated with the molecular percentage of chromium and other first series transition metal elements obtained by electron microprobe data. In the visible part of the spectrum, chromium is evident by 3 absorption features in the pyrope reflectance spectrum; one isolated and narrow feature at the wavelength 689 nm was used to correlate with the chromium mol %. The isolation of this feature in the pyrope spectra is advantageous since it is not directly affected by other proximal absorption bands that could be caused by other transition metals. Analysis of the feature indicates that as grain volume increases the depth of the absorption feature will also increase. Clustering grain volumes into fractions yields better correlation between absorption depth and mol % chromium. Other types of garnet (almandine, grossular, spessartine) and kimberlite indicator minerals (olivine, diopside, chromite, ilmenite) were analyzed to determine if other absorption features could be used to predict the proportion of specific transition metal elements. Diopside in particular illustrates the same isolated chromium absorption feature as pyrope and may indicate mol percent but needs further study with larger sample sets.
    • Determining rotational direction of rotation structures using prolate shaped grains within till

      Mandri, Christina M.; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2013-04-09)
      Micromorphology is used to analyze a wide range of sediments. Many microstructures have, as yet, not been analyzed. Rotation structures are the least understood of microstructures: their origin and development forms the basis of this thesis. Direction of rotational movement helps understand formative deformational and depositional processes. Twenty-eight rotation structures were analyzed through two methods of data extraction: (a) angle of grain rotation measured from Nikon NIS software, and (b) visual analyses of grain orientation, neighbouring grainstacks, lineations, and obstructions. Data indicates antithetic rotation is promoted by lubrication, accounting for 79% of counter-clockwise rotation structures while 21 % had clockwise rotation. Rotation structures are formed due to velocity gradients in sediment. Subglacial sediments are sheared due to overlying ice mass stresses. The grains in the sediment are differentially deformed. Research suggests rotation structures are formed under ductile conditions under low shear, low water content, and grain numbers inducing grain-to-grain interaction.
    • CENTRAL NORTH ATLANTIC PALEOCEANOGRAPHY DURING THE MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE (ca. 726–603 ka): INSIGHTS FROM THE DINOFLAGELLATE CYST RECORD

      Mantilla Duran, Fernando; Department of Earth Sciences (Brock University, 2013-08-07)
      Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1313, located at the northern boundary of the subtropical gyre in the central North Atlantic, lies within the southern part of the ice-rafted debris belt. Seventy-three palynological samples were studied from an uninterrupted interval ca. 726–603 ka (upper Marine Isotope Stage [MIS] 18 through lower MIS 15) to resolve conflicting paleoceanographic interpretations. Glacial stages were characterized by high productivity surface waters reflecting a southward shift of the Arctic Front. Sea surface salinities (SSSs) and sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were obtained by transfer functions using the Modern Analogue Technique. The lowest SSTs of 9ºC (±1.3) and 10ºC (±1.3) were recorded in glacial MIS 16 and MIS 18 respectively. However, these reconstructions are influenced by abundant heterotrophic taxa and may reflect elevated nutrient levels rather than lowered temperatures. Reworked palynomorphs uniquely indicate a Cretaceous as well as Paleozoic provenance for the first Heinrich-like events.