Stratigraphy of a Silt-cored Palsa, Atlin Region, British Columbia, Canada


  • Matti Seppälä



Cores, Drilling, Ground ice, Palsas, Palynology, Radiocarbon dating, Sedimentation, Atlin Lake region, British Columbia/Yukon


Palsas in the Fourth of July Creek valley, B.C., Canada are round- or oval-shaped single hummocks with cores of silty permafrost. Their height ranges from 0.5 to 3 m. The top layer of the studied palsa is only 7 cm peat. In the frozen silt core are found segregated ice lenses up to 15 cm thick. The 0.006-0.02 mm size fraction of the core material of the palsa constitutes 55%. Carbon fourteen datings of the organic material of two different layers in the core of the palsa gave 7470 ± 180 and 7990 ± 180 years B.P. Special attention is given to the unusual sequence of dates obtained and to the pollen stratigraphy. The material is explained by redeposition by flood water into a pond and later uplifting by frost. No evidence of mixing of the original bottom sediments is found.