Examination of sediments along the north shore of Lake Erie at Mohawk Bay reveals a relationship between the formation of intensely brecciated diamictons and the presence of sand-block intraclasts. It is postulated that the sand blocks were subglacially deposited within a meltwater environment, and later frozen prior to being eroded and transported within a mobile subglacial debris layer. On immobilization the frozen sand blocks, encased within the diamicton, acted as a heat sink creating cryostatic stresses within the surrounding diamicton as a result of the advance of a frost front and related frozen ‘fringe’. The effect of these anisotropic stresses resulted in porewater migration to the frost front. Subsequent development of intense brecciation occurred as aureoles around the sand intraclasts due to localized high tensile stresses causing fracturing within the fine-grained matrix of the diamicton.