A Study of Glacial Geomorphology in the Northern Torngat Mountains, Labrador


  • Olav Løken




Glacial geomorphology, Torngat Mountains, Labrador


This study was begun in 1959 and continued during the field season of 1960, when my wife Inger-Marie acted as assistant and we spent a little over 9 weeks in the field from early July to mid-September. Base camp was set up at the northern end of Eclipse Channel and from there several journeys of 3- to 8-day duration were made. North Aulatsivik Island and the area to the north toward Telliaosilk Fiord were studied. Lack of a canoe prevented the crossing of Eclipse River, and the area to the south of it could therefore not be visited. Study of the post-glacial emergence shows a discontinuous displacement of the strand-line. Three well-developed strand-lines were found at 40 to 56, 26 to 36, and 15.5 metres above sea-level. The two higher ones slope to N. 25° E. at a gradient of 1:1000 and 1:1650 respectively for the higher and lower. Isobase-directions for these two levels are found to be approximately 115-295°, and a map with contour lines showing the former sea-levels has been prepared. The lowest strand-line shows no tilt and is regarded as horizontal. An equal-distance diagram has been plotted and shows that a major transgression took place in northern Labrador prior to the formation of the lowest strand-line. At Port Burwell the sea level rose some 12 metres above the level it had during the formation of the next higher strand-line. Fossil marine molluscs were found in the base-camp area up to 32 metres above sea-level. A shell sample taken at 29 metres has been submitted for radio-carbon dating through the Geographical Branch, Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. The result will provide the first absolute date for any late- or post-glacial event on the Labrador coast. ...