Boulder clay

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Boulder clay

Post  tungduong_9102 on 26th January 2011, 00:53

Boulder clay, in geology, is a deposit of clay, often full of boulders, which is formed in and beneath glaciers and ice-sheets wherever they are found, but is in a special sense the typical deposit of the Glacial Period in northern Europe and North America. Boulder clay is variously known as till or ground moraine (German Blocklehme, Geschiebemergel or Grundmoraene; French argile blocaux, moraine profonde; Swedish Krosstenslera). It is one of the group of poorly sorted materials described by the non-genetic term diamicton. It is usually a stiff, tough clay devoid of stratification; though some varieties are distinctly laminated. Occasionally, within the boulder clay, there are irregular lenticular masses of more or less stratified sand, gravel or loam. As the boulder clay is the result of the abrasion (direct or indirect) of the older rocks over which the ice has travelled, it takes its color from them; thus, in Britain, over Triassic and Old Red Sandstone areas the clay is red, over Carboniferous rocks it is often black, over Silurian rock it may be buff or grey, and where the ice has passed over chalk the clay may be quite white and chalky (chalky boulder clay). Much boulder clay is of a bluish-grey color where unexposed, but it becomes brown upon being weathered.

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