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  • 1
    Publication Date: 1993-01-01
    Description: Analyses of pollen, plant macrofossils, sediment mineralogy, geochemistry, and lithology of cores from Chappice Lake, southeastern Alberta, provide an outline of paleohydrological changes spanning the last 7300 radiocarbon years. Situated near the northern margin of the Great Plains, Chappice Lake is currently a small (1.5 km2), shallow (〈1 m), hypersaline lake. Results of this study suggest that the lake has experienced significant changes in water level and chemistry during the Holocene. From 7300 to 6000 BP the lake oscillated between relatively high stands and desiccation. From 6000 to 4400 BP it was smaller than present and ponded highly saline water. Although extreme water level variations of the preceding period had ceased, pronounced seasonal fluctuations persisted. Between 4400 and 2600 BP, lake level was more stable but gradually rising. Carbonates were a major component of the sediments deposited during this interval. A large, relatively fresh lake existed from 2600 to 1000 BP. Illite was the dominant mineral deposited during this period, but since then has been a minor constituent in a mineral suite dominated by detrital silicates. A series of low-water, high-salinity stands occurred between 1000 and 600 BP, although these low stands were not as pronounced as low-water intervals in the middle Holocene. Relatively high water levels were sustained from 600 BP until the late 1800s. The lake declined significantly in the last one hundred years, notably during the historically documented droughts of the late 1800s, 1920s, 1930s, and 1980s. The timing of paleohydrological events at Chappice Lake corresponds closely with well documented Holocene climatic intervals, such as the Hypsithermal, Neoglaciation, Medieval Warm Period, and Little Ice Age. In addition, historic lake-level fluctuations can be related directly to climate. As a result, the Chappice Lake sedimentary succession offers a rare opportunity to obtain a high-resolution, surrogate record of Holocene climate on the northern Great Plains, and to observe the response of lake chemistry and biota to significant environmental change. ©1993 Kluwer Academic Publishers
    Electronic ISSN: 1573-0417
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2015-11-26
    Description: We present an integrated approach to investigate the seismically triggered Madison Canyon landslide (volume = 20 Mm3), which killed 26 people in Montana, USA, in 1959. We created engineering geomorphological maps and conducted field surveys, long-range terrestrial digital photogrammetry, and preliminary 2D numerical modelling with the objective of determining the conditioning factors, mechanisms, movement behaviour, and evolution of the failure. We emphasise the importance of both endogenic (i.e. seismic) and exogenic (i.e. geomorphic) processes in conditioning the slope for failure and hypothesise a sequence of events based on the morphology of the deposit and seismic modelling. A section of the slope was slowly deforming before a magnitude-7.5 earthquake with an epicentre 30 km away triggered the catastrophic failure in August 1959. The failed rock mass rapidly fragmented as it descended the slope towards Madison River. Part of the mass remained relatively intact as it moved on a layer of pulverised debris. The main slide was followed by several debris slides, slumps, and rockfalls. The slide debris was extensively modified soon after the disaster by the US Army Corps of Engineers to provide a stable outflow channel from newly formed Earthquake Lake. Our modelling and observations show that the landslide occurred as a result of long-term damage of the slope induced by fluvial undercutting, erosion, weathering, and past seismicity, and due to the short-term triggering effect of the 1959 earthquake. Static models suggest the slope was stable prior to the 1959 earthquake; failure would have required a significant reduction in material strength. Preliminary dynamic models indicate that repeated seismic loading was a critical process for catastrophic failure. Although the ridge geometry and existing tension cracks in the initiation zone amplified ground motions, the most important factors in initiating failure were pre-existing discontinuities and seismically induced damage. Amplification played a secondary role. ©2015 Springer-Verlag Wien
    Print ISSN: 0723-2632
    Electronic ISSN: 1434-453X
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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