The study-area lies in south-central New Hampshire, and is bordered on the west by the Merrimack River, the principal north-south drainage route of central New Hampshire. The classical two tills of New England outcrop in the area. In a unique exposure of the sandy upper till, a loose ablation unit overlies a compact basal unit. Both upper till facies overlie a sheared section of dense, olive-gray lower till.
Outwash sequences mapped in the study-area are progressively younger to the north, indicating backwastage of the Wisconsinan ice sheet.
Primary structures in proglacial Lake Merrimack sediments include contorted bedding, buckled laminae, and folds. A large slumped section in lake sediments exhibits three distinct deformation zones, characterized by brittle, ductile, and unconsolidated deformation. Cross-cutting relationships establish four fold generations and a deformation sequence in the slumped section. Slip in each fold generation was along nearly parallel slip-lines, as deduced from analyses of fold rotation senses.
The primary and slump deformation features contrast sharply with the intense style of deformation of lake beds below till at an apparent ice readvance cut. The deduced drag fold slip-line agrees with till fabric point maxima and dip-slip on one group of thrust faults. A southerly movement of readvancing ice is inferred.
The study-area was deglaciated about 13,000 years ago, according to a proposed deglaciation model for New Hampshire. The model is based on Nye's theoretical glacier surface gradient, and evidence for active retreat of the Wisconsinan ice sheet.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Deglaciation events in part of the Manchester South 7.5 degrees quadrangle south-central New Hampshire