Steep-sided, flat-floored linear valleys that lack well developed tributaries and end in amphitheater-like heads are eroded on the outwash plains of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island. The valleys are restricted from the mid to the distal ends of the outwash plains and show no connection to possible water sources at the updip end of the plains. Their distribution and morphology lead us to propose that they were eroded by groundwater seeps fed by proglacial lakes (the high hydrostatic heads of the lakes led to the elevation of the water table) dammed by the outwash plains and associated moraines. The valleys on Cape Cod were initiated by seeps along the foreset surfaces of sandy deltas emplaced in lakes in Nantucket Sound and Cape Cod Bay after these lakes drained. Those on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket islands were either eroded by seeps at the distal ends of outwash plain wedges emplaced atop the subareal continental shelf south of the islands or along the foreset surfaces of sandy deltas emplaced on a lake behind a peripheral crustal bulge south of the glacial front. Valley erosion terminated after the lakes were drained and the water table dropped. ?? 1994.
Additional publication details
Spring sapping origin of the enigmatic relict valleys of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Islands, Massachusetts