North-Central Section - 49th Annual Meeting (19-20 May 2015)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:50 AM


HORTON, Jennifer, Department of Environmental Sciences, The University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft St, Toledo, OH 43606, FISHER, Timothy G., Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, KARAFFA, Marni D., Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University, 611 North Walnut Grove Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, LOOPE, Henry M., Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University, 611 N. Walnut Grove Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405 and LEPPER, Kenneth, Department of Geosciences, North Dakota State University, P.O. Box 6050, Dept. 2745, Fargo, ND 58108-6050,

Understanding the timing and rate of ice retreat in the Great Lakes Region is critical to understanding any relationship between ice lobes and climate during the Late Wisconsinan time period. The purpose of this study was to constrain the age of the Sturgis Moraine, an end moraine of the Saginaw Lobe in south-central Michigan using minimum-limiting radiocarbon and OSL ages.

Previous correlations between till stratigraphy and end moraines suggest that the Sturgis Moraine formed between 15.5 14C and 16.1 14C kyr BP, but with little direct supporting chronologic data. To date the Sturgis Moraine, Livingstone sediment cores were collected from three scour lakes within tunnel channels at the distal side of the moraine. Scour lakes were preferred over kettle lakes to minimize any organic accumulation lag from meltout of buried ice. Basal ages from gravelly sand in these cores are 13.7±0.06, 13.75±0.08, and 13.3±0.06 14C kyrs BP. These ages are similar to basal ages from Clear Lake (13.3±0.03 14C kyrs BP), a kettle lake on the distal side of the Valparaiso Moraine of the Lake Michigan Lobe, and the Hyre (13.69±0.05 14C kyrs BP) and Kenan (13.88±0.07 14C kyrs BP) sites from kettle lakes on the distal side of the Fort Wayne Moraine of the Huron Erie Lobe. The minimum-limiting ages for the Sturgis Moraine presented in this study suggest a younger ice margin and smaller Saginaw re-entrant than currently envisioned.

OSL dated sand dunes from within an outwash valley distal of the Saginaw Moraine (14.3±0.6 and 14.1±0.5 ka) and from dunes that migrated out of the valley (12.6±0.4, 12.3±0.4, 12.4±0.5 and 12.0±0.4 ka) appear to record two separate aeolian activation periods. These ages agree with other sand dune chronologies from northwest Indiana and northwest Ohio suggesting regional variation in climate at these times. The radiocarbon and OSL ages from this study provide a minimum age of 13.8 kyr BP for deglaciation at the Sturgis Moraine.