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ABSTRACT

Single-layer and massive boulder beds, which include boulder pavements, are sporadically distributed in the glaciogenic Permo-Carboniferous Dwyka Formation. These matrix-supported beds consist of moderately to poorly sorted, rounded boulders, cobbles and pebbles with a clast composition similar to those in the underlying or overlying diamictite. Alternatively, the clasts are composed of monolithic basement rock-types. The clasts show a long-axis orientation which, in the case of the boulder pavements, is parallel to the striae on the pavements.

The various types of boulder beds have a similar mode of deposition and their subglacial origin is evidenced by the clast orientation, clasts with stoss and lee sides, stacking of clasts, and the development of a cleavage in the matrix due to horizontal stresses exerted by the boulders in the subglacial sediment. Subglacial streams, kame mounds, subaqeously winnowed till, or boulder beaches supplied the coarse debris which was entrained in the basal ice by plastic flow and regelation. Selective lodgement of the transported boulders occurred down-glacier when the basal thermal conditions changed from cold-freezing to warm-melting. The formation of the different types of boulder beds is thought to depend primarily on the concentration of coarse debris in the basal ice.