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The Quaternary stratigraphy and sedimentology of the King River Valley, Western Tasmania


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Fitzsimons, SJ 1988 , 'The Quaternary stratigraphy and sedimentology of the King River Valley, Western Tasmania', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis is concerned with the Quaternary deposits of the King Valley in western
Tasmania, Australia. The aims of the study were to describe the character and map the
extent of the glacial deposits, to determine the stratigraphy and age of the deposits
associated with each glacial advance, to compare the inferred processes and patterns of
sediment genesis with the depositional processes observed at the margins of modern
glaciers, and to formulate a model of environmental changes associated with the glaciations.
Deposits were mapped at a scale 1: 25,000 using morphostratigraphic, lithostratigraphic
and biostratigraphic units. The stratigraphic classification and mapping defined thirteen
formations from four glaciations. The last or Margaret Glaciation consisted of two main ice
advances. The first appears to have occurred before 48ka; the second culminated after 191ca
and had ended by 12ka. The Henty Glaciation, of middle Pleistocene age consisted of three
ice advances. Two of the advances are separated by a long interval of lake sedimentation.
The preceding Governor Glaciation, also of middle Pleistocene age, consisted of two ice
advances. The glacial sediments are separated by organic sediments that record an
interstadial climate. The Linda Glaciation is probably early Pleistocene in age. Its deposits
are separated from younger glacial sediments by organic sediments that record the
sucessional development of temperate rainforest during the Regency Interglacial. Linda
Glaciation deposits are underlain by non-glacial sediments that are probably of late Pliocene
Detailed descriptions of the glacial sediments on which the stratigraphy was based have
enabled elements of the dynamics and debris paths of the King Glacier to be reconstructed.
These reconstructions suggest that the dominant sedimentary environment was supraglacial
and that the debris was derived from the basal transport zone. Two of the more unusual
patterns in the sediments are lithological stratification of erratic clasts in some tills and a
widespread series of sedimentary wedges that resemble but differ from ice-wedge casts. The chronology of the King Valley glaciations is estimated using a variety of relative dating
methods that were applied to the deposits in their stratigraphic setting. The absence of
reliable dating methods has meant that correlation of glacial events in Tasmania is largely
based on comparing weathering characteristics. Wider correlation with glacial events in
other Southern Hemisphere mid-latitude areas is not possible without accurate dating of the

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Fitzsimons, SJ
Keywords: Geology, Stratigraphic, Sediments (Geology), Geology
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1988 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1988. Includes bibliography. 2 col. folded maps in pocket

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