New stratigraphic and geochronologic data from the Togiak Bay area of southwestern Alaska indicate that glaciers advanced from the southern Ahklun Mountains at least three and as many as six times prior to the late Wisconsin. The oldest glaciations are represented by glacial-marine sediment in coastal exposures on Hagemeister Island. The extent of amino acid (isoleucine) epimerization in fossil molluscs indicates that at least one, and possibly four, older middle Pleistocene glacial intervals are represented, with age estimates spanning ∼ 500-280 ka and averaging ∼ 400 ± 100 ka. The youngest glacial-marine drift on Hagemeister Island may correlate with the eruption of the Togiak tuya. A new 40 Ar/39 Ar age on basalt that overlies pillow lava indicates that the volcano erupted through glacial ice at least 300m thick 263 ± 22 ka. The youngest drift in the region overlies the Old Crow tephra (140 ± 10 ka) and a 70 ± 10 ka basaltic lava flow dated by thermoluminescence analysis of underlying baked sediment. The drift delimits flat piedmont lobes that spread out onto the continental shelf and terminated > 100 km from their source areas during the early Wisconsin (sensu lato). The glacial-geologic evidence suggests that major expansions of glaciers were out of phase with global ice volume.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes