Volume 9, Number 1 (1982)
Applied Quaternary Geology Symposium

Glacial Dispersal - Principles and Practical Applications

W. W. Shilts
Sedimentology and Mineral Tracing Section, Terrain Sciences Division, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

Published 1982-03-03

How to Cite

Shilts, W. W. (1982). Glacial Dispersal - Principles and Practical Applications. Geoscience Canada, 9(1). Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/GC/article/view/3285


Glacial dispersal, the process of glacial erosion, transportation and deposition, has distorted the bedrock signatures on overlying surficial sediments and soils in most of Canada. Buffering components, such as carbonate minerals, which mitigate the effects of acid rain have been dispersed across Precambrian terrane in eastern Ontario in patterns that reflect several principles of glacial dispersal. Dispersal trains of boulders, minerals, and trace elements may enhance the size of mineral exploration targets by several times. By using appropriate analytical strategies and knowledge of dispersal, the source mineralizations can be found, as illustrated by an example of dispersal of nickel from the District of Keewatin. One other way dispersal principles have been applied has been to calculate the volume of material dispersed from a particular source outcrop. Dividing that volume by outcrop area yields average depth of glacial erosion, an important parameter to consider in selecting minimum depths for burial of long-lived radio-active waste.