Master of Environmental Studies (MES)
Geography & Environmental Studies
Faculty of Arts
The thesis addresses the post-glacial development of the Niagara Cuesta between Hamilton and Collingwood. Conventional thinking on the escarpment during the Holocene suggests that the present morphology developed rapidly following deglaciation due to periglacial processes (Straw, 1966/Tovell 1992). The disruption of the preglacial drainage pattern by drift has meant the escarpment has not been subject to extensive ﬂuvial action along its base, resulting in an extremely slow rate of retreat (Bird, 1980). The concept that the escarpment is a relict feature therefore pervades the modem literature. The apparent motion of the blocks at the face of the escarpment (Hintz, I997) suggests that in the absence of exogenetic processes, a slow development due to endogenetic processes has dominated the modem development of the escarpment. It has been suggested by Hewitt (1997), that the present morphology found at cliffed sections of the escarpment may be due to deformation within the shale layers. ln order to test this hypothesis, the strength properties of the rocks that form the escarpment were tested and compared to the gravitational stresses that would be experienced within the rock mass. The results indicate that both the Cabot Head Shale and the Queenston Shale possess compressive strengths that are below the principal gravitational stress expected within the escarpment. It is therefore concluded that in the absence of high conﬁning stresses. As would be expected near the cliff face, deformation within these formations is occurring.
Barlow, John, "The effect of rock creep on the morphology of steep-sloped sections of the Niagara Escarpment (Ontario)" (2000). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 418.