Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Geology

First Advisor

Jon C. Boothroyd

Abstract

Glacial Lake Narragansett, which occupied much of the southern portion of Narragansett Basin during Late Wisconsinan deglaciation, and was contiguous with glacial lakes in Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound, is the focus of this study. This dissertation examines the deposits of glacial lakes to develop a history of deglacial chronology, isostatic rebound, and climate change across the glaciated northeast. All of these issues are addressed in this dissertation. This work synthesizes the Late Wisconsinan deglacial evolution of Glacial Lake Narragansett using digital elevation models, sub-bottom seismic reflection, ground penetrating radar profiles, sediment cores and borehole stratigraphy. The impetus for the research was to fill a perceived gap in the understanding of the Quaternary geology of southern New England. While the spatial extent of the Late Wisconsinan Laurentide Ice Sheet and general timing of deglaciation is known, more detailed analyses of the nature and timing of deglaciation are needed, particularly near the terminal margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Improving the understanding of the timing and nature of deglaciation allows links to be made between the Laurentide Ice Sheet and northern hemisphere climate.

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