Raised Marine Features, Radiocarbon Dates, and Sea Level Changes, Eastern Melville Peninsula, Arctic Canada


  • L.A. Dredge




Beaches, Glacial landforms, Ice scouring, Landforms, Palaeogeography, Physical geography, Radiocarbon dating, Sea level, Sedimentation, Sediments (Geology), Topography, Deglaciation, Melville Peninsula, Nunavut


Radiocarbon dates from eastern Melville Peninsula indicate that deglaciation of western Foxe Basin occurred about 6900 years ago, although late ice persisted in an area northwest of Hall Lake and on the central plateau. Relative sea level was as high as 144 m above present at that time. Two new well-controlled sea level curves depict emergence as an exponential decay function. Marine limit elevations and nested curves indicate a major ice-loading centre in south-central Foxe Basin. These data and archaeological dates suggest a secondary recent rebound centre in the northern part of the basin. Flights of raised beaches, prevalent in the area, are composed of angular limestone fragments and suggest that frost-riving occurs in shallow foreshore environments. The prominent wash line near the marine limit suggests that Foxe Basin had less sea ice cover prior to 6000 years ago but that coastal processes have been similar to present since that time.

Key words: Arctic, coasts, archaeology, radiocarbon dating, glacial history, emergence, sea level, geomorphology