Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 4:20 PM


PARENT, Michel1, LEFEBVRE, Rene2, LEBLANC, Yves3, LÉGARÉ, Guillaume4, CAMPEAU, Stephane3, LAMARCHE, Lise2, GIRARD, Frederic5, OUELLON, Thomas6, PARADIS, Daniel1 and PUGIN, Andre7, (1)Natural Resources Canada, Geological Survey of Canada, 490, de la Couronne, Québec, QC G1K 9A9, Canada, (2)Institut national de la recherche scientifique, INRS-ETE, 490, rue de la Couronne, Quebec, QC G1K 9A9, Canada, (3)Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres, 3351, boul. des Forges, C.P. 500, Trois-Rivieres, QC G9A 5H7, Canada, (4)Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres, C.P. 500, Trois-Rivieres, QC G9A5H7, Canada, (5)Dessau Soprin, Inc, 1060, University St, Room 600, Montreal, QC H3B 4V3, Canada, (6)Golder associes Ltee, 1170, boul. Lebourgneuf, Quebec, QC G2K 2E, Canada, (7)Natural Resources Canada, Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0E8,

During deglaciation, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean invaded the isostatically depressed St. Lawrence valley up to an elevation of about 200 m, an incursion known as the Champlain Sea. While previous research has extensively dealt with the paleogeography, chronology and paleoeocology of the Champlain Sea, little research has addressed the issue of deltaic sedimentation patterns and their relationships with regional groundwater resources. This paper summarizes the main findings of our research group over the last 10 years. As glacial isostatic unloading proceeded at a faster rate than eustatic sea level rise, early to middle Champlain Sea deltas consist of relatively simple offlap successions where deltaic lobes prograded on marine muds as relative sea level fell. Prominent, river-dominated sandy deltas were deposited at the mouth of meltwater-fed rivers and streams entering on the north shore of the marine basin while the wave-dominated deltas deposited on south shore of the marine basin were considerably smaller and thinner. The north shore deltas predominantly consist of a regressive succession of thick (> 30 m) deltaic lobes, consisting mainly of cross-stratified medium to coarse sand bodies interpreted as mouth bar sediments, and characterized by multiple avulsion events. These generally unconfined deltaic aquifers are locally split by lenticular beds of prodeltaic coarse silt deposited in adjacent low-energy settings and in relatively shallow embayments bordering the deltas. Such occurrences result in locally perched aquifer conditions.

Wave-dominated deltas of the south shore are relatively subdued features where deltaic sediments supplied by normal fluvial systems were redistributed by longshore drift driven by strong catabatic winds blowing southwestward along the southern edge of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Because of their moderate to low sediment supply rate, these deltas did not aggrade up to marine limit, hence their shallow thickness limits their usefulness as regional aquifers. Lastly, when eustatic sea level rise temporarily exceeded isostatic recovery around 6.5 ky (Laurentian Transgression), estuarine muds deposited in the St. Lawrence macrotidal environment covered late Champlain deltaic sediments up to about 15 m ASL, thus concealing a large 30 m thick aquifer in an urban setting.