During the Vashon Stade of the Fraser Glaciation, about 15,000-13,000 yr B.P., a lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet occupied the Puget lowland of western Washington. At its maximum extent about 14,000 yr ago, the ice sheet extended across the Puget lowland between the Cascade Range and Olympic Mountains and terminated about 80 km south of Seattle. Meltwater streams drained southwest to the Pacific Ocean and built broad outwash trains south of the ice margin. Reconstructed longitudinal profiles for the Puget lobe at its maximum extent are similar to the modern profile of Malaspina Glacier, Alaska, suggesting that the ice sheet may have been in a near-equilibrium state at the glacial maximum. Progressive northward retreat from the terminal zone was accompanied by the development of ice-marginal streams and proglacial lakes that drained southward during initial retreat, but northward during late Vashon time. Relatively rapid retreat of the Juan de Fuca lobe may have contributed to partial stagnation of the northwestern part of the Puget lobe. Final destruction of the Puget lobe occurred when the ice retreated north of Admiralty Inlet. The sea entered the Puget lowland at this time, allowing the deposition of glacial-marine sediments which now occur as high as 50 m altitude. These deposits, together with ice-marginal meltwater channels presumed to have formed above sea level during deglaciation, suggest that a significant amount of postglacial isostatic and(or) tectonic deformation has occurred in the Puget lowland since deglaciation. ?? 1980.
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Ice-Sheet Glaciation of the Puget lowland, Washington, during the Vashon Stade (late pleistocene)