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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Special Publications


Arctic Geology and Geophysics: Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Arctic Geology — Memoir 8, 1982
Pages 297-307

The < 2 μm Fraction of Some High Arctic Glacial and Glacial Marine Sediments

Joseph H. Kravitz


Sediments are brought into Kane Basin by streams draining Inglefield Land, and to a lesser extent Washington Land and Ellesmere Island; by ice rafting from Humboldt Glacier and from the valley glaciers of Ellesmere Island. An examination of the < 2 μm fraction of the surficial layer of these sediments shows illite to be the dominant mineral. It decreases in abundance from east to west indicating the antecedent micas in the basement rocks underlying Humboldt Glacier are its main source. The greatest concentrations of expanding lattice clays are in a north-south trending strip on the western side of the Basin, decreasing to the east and west. Their source is a zone of relict sediment believed to be a till exposed on the floor of the Basin’s western trough. The most important occurrences of chlorite are in the western Basin in association with the exposed till, and in the northern part of Kane Basin across the topographic high. Kaolinite, the least common clay mineral present, occurs significantly only in the northern Basin in conjunction with relict sediment.

An investigation of the “rock flour” component (non hydrous alumino-silicate minerals and carbonate minerals) of the < 2 μm fraction shows a strong modern input from Humboldt Glacier. Rock flour decreases westward, increasing slightly near Ellesmere Island. Silicate minerals in the rock flour dominate the eastern Basin while carbonate minerals dominate the western side, thus identifying the principal rocks eroded by ice.

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