North-Central Section - 50th Annual Meeting - 2016

Paper No. 20-14
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


CAMPBELL, Wesley J., MORRISON, Sean and JOHNSTON, John W., Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Water Institute, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave West, Waterloo, ON N2L3G1, Canada,

The purpose of this project is to construct a three dimensional stratigraphic model of Holocene age beach deposits where Lake Huron discharges into the St. Clair River. This location is also where the upper lakes (Superior, Michigan, and Huron) drain into the lower lakes (Erie and Ontario). The outlet of Lake Huron is unique because it is the only unregulated outlet (lacks flow control structures) in all of the Great Lakes. Since the outlet contains unconsolidated sediments and receives mobile sediment from up-drift, it is therefore susceptible to changes in sedimentation and/or erosion that may impact water conveyance. A preserved spit landform has been identified at the outlet in Point Edward, Ontario using air photos and a historic map of the area. This feature contains important clues regarding the natural patterns in historical erosion and sedimentation at the outlet. GIS software has been utilized to georectify air photos from 1955 and 1978, as well as a historical map (circa 1880) of the area onto current satellite imagery. From this analysis, the locations of possible paleo-remnants of the spit have been identified. Topographic information has been gathered from the National Topographic System as well as the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and imported into GIS software. Water well logs have been gathered from the Ontario Well Records, and imported into GIS software. Using a Python script, the well logs have been deciphered, organized, and plotted. Other data including St. Clair River Quaternary geology and bathymetry maps, and soil maps have been acquired to create one three-dimensional model of subsurface stratigraphy. This will help guide further studies investigating potential patterns in natural sediment plugging of the outlet of Lake Huron.