A four stage evolution of the White Channel gravel: Implications for stratigraphy and palaeoclimates

Robert Lowther, Jeff Peakall, Robert Chapman, Matthew Pound

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Abstract

Although the White Channel gravel (WCG) of the Klondike district, Yukon, contains gold placers which have been exploited for over a century, few sedimentological studies have been undertaken. This study reports a four stage evolution of the WCG, comprising: i. An initial downcutting period which preferentially retained gold particles on the base of the strath. ii. An aggradational stage in which gold concentration occurred within sedimentary features. iii. A lacustrine layer representing a depositional hiatus. iv. A final, more rapidly aggrading fluvial stage. Identification of the lacustrine layer has clarified the evolution of the WCG depositional fluvial systems. Architectural element analysis and detailed sedimentological observations have been synthesized to gain a clearer understanding of the spatial variations within the WCG. Additionally, the identification of plant species from pollen within the lacustrine layer provides irrefutable evidence that the Klondike district was at least 7°C warmer during the Pliocene compared to the present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-118
JournalYukon Exploration & Geology
Volume2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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