Temporary ice-dammed glacial lakes formed high in the landscape in several westward sloping valleys on the east side of the Connecticut Valley lowland during late Wisconsinan deglaciation. These lakes were impounded by a lengthy lobe of ice that extended farther south in the lowland than at upland retreatal ice-margin positions (fig. 1). The formation, lowering, and drainage of these ice-dammed lakes successively preceded the extension of glacial Lake Hitchcock northward in the Deerfield Basin as the ice lobe retreated to the north of the Holyoke Range. Detailed surficial geologic mapping of the Shutesbury Quadrangle (Stone, J.R., 1978), along with regional compilation for the Surficial Materials Map of Massachusetts (Stone, J.R. and others, 2018), and ongoing compilation of the Quaternary Geologic Map of Massachusetts has established the extent of these lake deposits and locations of their meltwater- carved spillways. However, recently obtained Lidar-derived high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) images provide new evidence for mapping of previously unrecognized features not visible on traditional 1:24,000-scale, 10-ft contour interval topographic maps. The newly mapped features have less than 10 ft (3 m) of relief and are believed to be successive lateral moraines left behind by the west-northwesterly retreating Connecticut Valley ice lobe. On the Fieldtrip, we will examine deltaic deposits of ice-dammed glacial lakes in the valleys of Amethyst Brook in the town of Pelham and Roaring Brook in Shutesbury and Leverett, as well as their associated meltwater-carved spillways and feeding meltwater channels. Physical aspects of the low ridges interpreted as lateral moraines will be examined on the ground. Much of the landscape in Pelham, Shutesbury, and Leverett is forested, much is classified as open space, and there are many trails.
|Title||Lateral moraines, ice-dammed lakes, and meltwater-carved channels in the Pelham, Shutesbury, Leverett area of west-central Massachusetts: A record of Connecticut Valley ice lobe retreat|
|Authors||Janet R. Stone, Mary L. DiGiacomo-Cohen|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Florence Bascom Geoscience Center|