Sedimentary Signatures of the Waterloo Moraine, Ontario, Canada

  1. Michael J. Hambrey3,
  2. Poul Christoffersen3,4,
  3. Neil F. Glasser3 and
  4. Bryn Hubbard3
  1. H. A. J. Russell1,
  2. D. R. Sharpe1 and
  3. A. F. Bajc2

Published Online: 24 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304435.ch7

Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products

Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products

How to Cite

Russell, H. A. J., Sharpe, D. R. and Bajc, A. F. (2007) Sedimentary Signatures of the Waterloo Moraine, Ontario, Canada, in Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products (eds M. J. Hambrey, P. Christoffersen, N. F. Glasser and B. Hubbard), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304435.ch7

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Centre for Glaciology, Institute of Geography & Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales, Ceredigion SY23 3DB, UK

  2. 4

    Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1ER, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0E8, Canada

  2. 2

    Ontario Geological Survey, 933 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury, ON, P3E 6B5, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 14 DEC 2007

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 39 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Isabel Montanez

Series Editor Information

  1. University of California, Davis, USA

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405183000

Online ISBN: 9781444304435



  • sedimentary signatures of Waterloo Moraine, Ontario, Canada;
  • Waterloo Moraine - stratified moraine with area of ∼400 km2 and thickness of 60 m;
  • moraines forming prominent element of southern Ontario landscape;
  • geological setting and previous work;
  • medium- and large-scale cross-stratification;
  • medium-scale planar-tabular cross-strata;
  • large-scale low-angle clinoforms;
  • antidune stratification;
  • depositional environments of Waterloo moraine;
  • Waterloo – Oak Ridges moraine comparison


The Waterloo Moraine is a stratified moraine with an area of ∼400 km2 and thickness of 60 m. Its sedimentary record contains evidence of high-magnitude meltwater discharge and rapid sedimentation. Sedimentary structures and sediment architecture are presented from several sites that record depositional events of subcritical flows, supercritical flows and hydraulic jumps. The sedimentological signature of these events is: (i) a variety of large scale cross-strata, (ii) climbing cross-stratification, (iii) antidune cross-stratification and (iv) steep-walled scours with diffusely graded fills. These depositional signatures can be attributed to two depositional environments. A conduit or esker setting is interpreted for the observed large-scale cross-beds with bimodal and openwork gravel, whereas a subaqueous fan setting is inferred for the remainder of the studied deposits. The subaqueous fan setting is interpreted in terms of the jet-efflux model where rapid streamwise deceleration of the inertia-dominated jet is recorded by antidunes produced by supercritical flow; steep-walled scours and diffusely graded fills formed beneath hydraulic jump processes; and climbing dunes record subcritical flow. The paper demonstrates that stratified deposits of the Waterloo Moraine consist of organized deposits that can be interpreted within the current understanding of flow dynamics and depositional sedimentary facies models. This provides a step toward improved understanding of the spatial heterogeneity of the moraine sediment and development of predictive models for improved understanding of the hydrogeological character of the Waterloo Moraine.