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Geomorphic and dendroecological impacts of slushflows in central Gaspé Peninsula (Québec, Canada)

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Slushflows are rare phenomena in southeastern Canada. Here we report for the first time the occurrence of slushflows in a subalpine environment in eastern Canada (Mt. Albert, Gaspé Peninsula, Québec). Because nothing is known of their frequency- magnitude in the area, we reconstructed the chronology of slushflow events over the past century using dendrogeomorphic techniques based on impact scars, reaction wood and traumatic resin ducts. Slushflows contributed to the formation of a tongue-shaped accumulation of 17900 m2 at the outlet of a firstorder drainage basin. The slushflow boulder tongue was composed of heterogeneous-sized, angular and unoriented clasts, which are markedly different from the sediments of an adjacent alluvial fan. Although movements were initiated above the subalpine forest limit, slushflows induced forest fragmentation along the treed slope. Three slushflow events were identified over the past century, in 1925, 1964 and 1988, respectively, which indicate exceptional initiation conditions and considerable geomorphic activity of individual events.

Keywords: dendroecology; slushflow; southeastern Canada; treering analysis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Module de Géographie and Centre d'Études Nordiques, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Rimouski, Québec, Canada 2: Département de Géographie and Centre d'Études Nordiques, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada,

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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