Paper No. 13-2
Presentation Time: 1:50 PM
WOODY THOMPSON’S LEGACY: HIS SOLUTIONS RAISE NEW PROBLEMS
Woody Thompson, has been an inspiration for me for over 25 years. Woody is as astute an observer of glacial landforms and stratigraphy as I’ve had the pleasure of calling a collaborator. His 1989 paper on delta elevations in Maine formed the foundation for my interpretation of features, which I interpreted to be deltas, along the course of the Katahdin esker in the valley of the Penobscot River’s East Branch. But what is the meaning of nips (possible shorelines) about 4 m below the tops of some of the deltas? Do they reflect meltwater pulses? And what intriguing information is hidden in Woody’s coordinated delta surface elevations, formed time-transgressively as the land was rebounding, ice was retreating (decreasing the gravitational attraction of the ice sheet on the sea along the Maine coast), and global sea level was rising? Woody also documented a 1000 year reservoir correction near Portland at ~13 ka. Can this be reconciled with my correlation of the Pond Ridge and Pineo Ridge moraines with cold snaps recorded in the GISP core at 16.1 and 15.7 ka, implying a 500 – 600 year correction at 16.1 ka? Somewhat later, Woody introduced me to LiDAR images revealing a puzzling juxtaposition of flutes, eskers, DeGeer moraines, and bedrock ridges northwest of Belfast. What were the conditions at the glacier bed that gave rise to these different landforms? Thus, as any scientist would wish, Woody has laid the ground work for more research into new questions, and that’s not only the measure of a skillful scholar, it’s also what makes scientific research forever fascinating.