Cordilleran glacial history and paleoenvironmental reconstructions

Current Research Projects - B. Ward

Dr. Ward is a classical, field based Quaternary geologist whose research interests include sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleoenvironmental reconstructions, surficial mapping, drift prospecting and landslides. His present research is focussed on trying to resolve aspects of the stratigraphy of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet and associated paleoenvironmental reconstructions.

Glacial history of the Ruby Range in southwest Yukon

Graduate student Derek Cronmiller recently completed his examination the glacial history of the Ruby Range in southwest Yukon through stratigraphic analysis, surficial geology mapping, and surface exposure dating using 10Be. The geochemistry and morphology of placer gold contained within Gladstone Creek was analysed to determine its provenance and the influence of multiple glaciations on its depositional history. The project found evidence of significant ice production in the Ruby Range during late Pleistocene glaciations, adding important resolution to the understanding of the dynamics of the northern Cordilleran Ice Sheet. New surficial geology and glacial limits mapping was produced for the Yukon Geological Survey.

The effect of deglacial meltwater processes on kimberlite indicator mineral concentrations in glacial sediments

Drift prospecting is used to find kimberlites, the host rock for diamonds, in the Northwest Territories. However, deglacial meltwater processes that may rework and erode till are commonly overlooked during drift prospecting projects. The purpose of Patrick DesRosiers MSc is to quantify the effects of deglacial meltwater on kimberlite indicator mineral concentrations in meltwater corridor sediments. He is producing a detailed surficial geology map, determining landform genesis and refining the glacial history. The meltwater corridors contain glaciofluvial hummocks that are much sandier than the surrounding till. This can affect the normalization of concentration of sand sized kimberlite indicator minerals, possibly confounding drift prospecting interpretations.