Marine geomorphology study of post-glacial landscapes and the sea level implications: using multibeam bathymetry from Goletas Channel - Hardy Bay - Shusharti Bay, northeast Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada




Molloy, Byron James

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The submarine geomorphology of Goletas Channel - Hardy Bay - Shusharti Bay is a record of environmental change, defined by sediment deposition since the late Pleistocene draped over glacially sculpted physiography. Sea level change, contiguous with waning ice extent at the termination of the Fraser Glaciation, triggered an oceanographic transition within Goletas Channel from a low energy closed embayment to a higher energy open channel environment. Morphologic evidence of lower sea level position is observed from sequence stratigraphy in Hardy Bay and suggests regression to 74 m below present. Stratigraphy also shows a correlation between sea level transgression and turbidity current flows in northwest Goletas Channel, and although triggering mechanisms remain elusive, they are likely related to reworking of glacial sediments concomitant to initial open channel conditions. Holocene sediment accumulation has been highest in southeast Goletas Channel, represented by mud with interstitial gas, and has been reworked by tidal currents into contourite structures. A combination of high-resolution multibeam bathymetry, seismic and core samples are used to study the geomorphology of the region.



Coastal geomorphology, sea level, Fraser glaciation, turbidity current, terrace