Application of till geochemical and indicator mineral data to the interpretation of the thick till sequence at Muhos, northern Finland
Recent drilling at Muhos, northern Finland has revealed an exceptionally thick Quaternary sediment cover, overlying the unmetamorphosed Neoproterozoic Muhos Siltstone Formation in the Oulujoki River Valley. Here we report preliminary petrographical, geochemical and heavy mineral results from four till units from the Muhos drill-core.
The drilling site is located at 27 m asl, c. 1 km south of Oulujoki River and 30 km SE from the city of Oulu and the present shore of the Bothnian Bay of the Baltic Sea. The drilling at this site was performed with a GM 200 GTT drilling platform using 1 -m long sample tubes (HDPV, diameter 5 cm) inside the stainless steel cover tubes. The coring penetrated down to the siltstone bedrock 54 m below the ground surface and the sediment core recovery was over 75%. The sedimentary sequence from the ground surface down to the local siltstone bedrock consists of four till units interbedded with sand/silt/clay beds. The upper two till beds, Mu-1 and Mu-2, are interpreted as being deposited during the Weichselian Glaciation between 115 000–10 000 years ago, the third till bed Mu-3 during the Saalian and the lowest till bed, Mu-4, during the Saalian or pre-Saalian glaciations, i.e. till beds Mu-3 and Mu-4 prior to c. 130 000 years ago.
Petrography of the coarse fraction, geochemistry of the fine fraction and heavy minerals of the sand fraction were studied from all four till units and the Muhos siltstone samples. Coarse and fine fractions were separated by dry-sieving. The fine fraction was analysed by XRF and AAS. The mineralogical composition of the heavy fraction was studied by FESEM+EDS and SEM+EDS.
The lowest till bed Mu-4 can be divided into three subunits. On the basis of clast content, geochemistry of till fines the ice movement direction was from the NW or NNW during the deposition of the lowermost brown and red till units. The composition of the upper grey unit of till bed Mu-4 shows that the ice flow direction was from the WNW. Petrographical composition of till beds Mu-3 and Mu-2 indicates that the ice flow again was from the NW whereas the petrographical composition of the uppermost till bed Mu-1 suggests that the ice flow during this deposition phase was from the WNW. Younger till beds studied have in part also some reworked and re-deposited material from the older till beds.