Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:05 AM


KOZLOWSKI, Andrew L., Geologic Survey, New York State Museum, 3140 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230, SMITH, Colby A., Geology, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center of the Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12208, KRUMDIECK, Newton W., New York State Geological Survey, New York State Museum, Albany, NY 12230 and STEFANIK, Paul, New York State Museum, Geological Suvey, 3140 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230,

Ongoing investigations of the New York Geological Survey into the stratigraphic framework of the Montezuma Wetland Complex at the northern end of the Cayuga trough have provided new insights into the deglacial history of Central New York. As the axial depression of Central New York the Cayuga Basin opens from a steep walled bedrock trough at the northern end of the Alleghany Plateau into the expansive drumlinized Ontario Lowlands. This geographic setting formed a focal point to record glacial oscillations of the Ontario Lobe of the Laurentide Ice sheet and meltwater drainage events.

The Northern end of the Finger Lakes have long been hypothesized as an important locality for both contributing to and potentially routing meltwater from elevated proglacial Lakes in the Great Lakes basins. Yet detailed physical stratigraphic data and age control has been lacking to test working hypotheses. Multiple ten centimeter diameter cores collected continuously from exploration boreholes up to 55 meters in depth and multiple excavations provides a wealth of new information regarding the hydrogeologic framework and the depositional history of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.

Recovered sediment samples between the surface and 5 meters depth provide an abundance of plant macro fossils and wood that provides a robust timeline of Holocene water level fluctuations and paleoecological conditions. Between 5 and 6.7 meters depth laminated peat containing an abundance of woody debris has consistently dated to the onset of the Younger Dryas Cold Interval. Wood recovered in sands at a depth of 8.2 meters date to 11,500 Yr BP. A 10 meter thick varve sequence beginning at 18 meters depth contains a 3.5 meter thick massive sand deposit. Twenty one couplets below the sand the varves grade into a massive clast rich diamicton that is 4 meters thick, below the diamicton coarse sand grades to finer sand and silt to an undetermined depth.

The Waterloo-Auburn Moraine system is in close proximity to the site as are numerous large meltwater channels to the north. Stratigraphic information from this study combined with newly created glacial land systems maps provides a context to evaluate the deglacial events in the region and possibly constrain the timing of large scale meltwater discharge events and the location of ice margins in Central New York.