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QUATERNARY RESEARCH 16, 263-292 (1981)

Pleistocene Glaciation in the Southern Lake District of Chile


STEPHEN C. PORTER
Quaternary Research Center, University of‘ Washington, Scuttle. Washington 98/95
Received December 23, 1980
Relative-age criteria permit deposits of successive Andean glacier advances in the southern Lake
District of Chile to be divided into four mappable drift sheets, the oldest two of which overlie
Tertiary bedrock along the eastern flank of the Cordillera de la Costa. Only the youngest drift
(Llanquihue) is datable by radiocarbon. During the most extensive ice advance of the last glaciation
the Lago Llanquihue glacier was about 95 km long and reached an estimated maximum thickness of
between 1000 and 1300 m. Glacier equilibrium lines at that time lay about 1000 m below their
present level and rose eastward with a gradient of about 5 m/km. Successive ice advances in the
Lago Llanquihue basin, which resulted in construction of end moraines and associated outwash
plains beyond the lake margin, culminated sometime before about 20,000 yr ago and between
20,000 and 19,000 yr ago. A later readvance, inferred from the sedimentary record of lake-level
fluctuations in the basin, had begun by about 15,000 yr ago and culminated shortly after 13,000 yr
ago. A comparable, but less-closely dated, record of ice advances is found northwest of Seno
Reloncavi and on Isla Chiloe. Deglaciation following the latest advance is likely to have been rapid,
for the major glacier lobes fronted on deep water bodies that would have promoted extensive
calving.

INTRODUCTION
The record of Quaternary glaciation in Isla Chilot? by R. F. Flint and C. J. Heusser
southern Chile is among the most extensive in 1976. During a second planned field sea-
and detailed in the Southern Hemisphere son, which I carried out in 1978 with Heus-
and it therefore is significant for global ser following the death of Professor Flint,
paleoclimatic reconstructions and inter- field mapping and stratigraphic studies
hemispheric comparisons of glacial chro- were extended north from Isla Child to the
nologies. The Lake District of Chile, area west and southwest of Lago Llan-
stretching from approximately 39 to 42”s quihue in the southern Lake District. The
latitude, has been the focus of several re- aim of these investigations was to synthe-
cent investigations. Glacial deposits are size the Quaternary stratigraphic record
widespread and well exposed there, and the and glacial history of a region that was re-
climate is conducive to preservation of or- peatedly invaded by large Piedmont ice
ganic matter suitable for radiocarbon dat- lobes (Llanquihue, Seno Reloncavi, Golfo
ing. Peat and other organic-rich sediments de Ancud, and northern Golfo Corcovado)
are interstratified with the glacial sediments from an extensive mountain ice field man-
and offer a means of obtaining paleo- tling the Cordillera de 10s Andes (Fig. 1).
environmental information about nonglacial During their fieldwork on Isla Chilot,
intervals. Heusser and Flint (1977) recognized three
The present investigation, an outgrowth offlapping layers of drift (Fuerte San
of earlier studies of the Quaternary Antonio, Intermediate, and Llanquihue)
palynology of southern Chile (Heusser, representing the last (Llanquihue) glacia-
1960, 1966, 1972a, b, 1974, 1976) and of the tion and two (or possibly more) older glaci-
glacial history of the adjacent Argentine ations. Radiocarbon dating suggested that
Andes (Flint and Fidalgo, 1964, 19691, the Llanquihue drift was deposited from at
began with a reconnaissance of the glacial least 43,000 to about 10,000 yr ago and that
geology and Quaternary paleoecology of the two older drifts are more than 57,000 yr
263
0033-5894/81/060263-30$02.00/O
Copyright 0 1981 by the University of Washington.
All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
264 STEPHEN C. PORTER

CORCOVADO

173"
FIG. 1. Cordillera of southern Chile and Argentina between 40 and 43”s latitude showing mapped
(solid ticked line) and inferred (dashed ticked line) limit of ice during maximum Llanquihue advance in
Chile and Nahuel Huapi advance in Argentina. Glacial limits for Isla Chiloe from Heusser and Flint
(1977); for Seno Reloncavi and Lago Llanquihue from present study; for Lago Rupanco, Lago
Puyehue, and Lago Ranco from Mercer (1976); and for Argentine Andes from Flint and Fidalgo (1964,
1969). Active volcanoes are indicated by star (Casertano, 1963).

old. The vegetation history during part of In the region around Lago Llanquihue,
each of these glaciations was inferred from Laugenie and Mercer (1973; Mercer, 1972,
pollen analysis of sediments associated 1976) mapped four end-moraine systems
with the three drifts. which they designated, from oldest to
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 265

youngest, Rio Frio, Colegual, Casma, and whereas clasts in drifts of Casma and Col-
Llanquihue. Only the Llanquihue moraines legual age had rinds about 2 cm thick; those
could be shown to date from the last glacial of Rio Frio age reached a thickness of about
age on the basis of available radiocarbon 4 cm. By contrast, Brtiggen (1950), who
dates. The older moraines, inferred to rep- studied these same moraine belts, found no
resent two or three earlier glacial ages, lay obvious difference in weathering among
beyond the range of radiocarbon dating. them, an observation Mercer (1976) attrib-
The Llanquihue deposits were interpreted uted to his possibly having examined only
as representing two ice advances, one more exposures of compact; impervious till.
than 40,000 yr old (more than 56,000 yr at Heusser and Flint (1976) found that the
Lago Ranco) and a later, more-extensive most useful criteria of relative age for dis-
advance during which the outermost tinguishing the three drift sheets on Isla
moraines at Lago Llanquihue and Lago Chiloe were depth of weathering, degree of
Rupanco were built about 19,500 yr ago. weathering of clasts, surface morphology,
Subsequent glacier recession within the relationship of drift to regional topography,
basin of Lago Llanquihue was inferred to degree of dissection, and bulk of associated
have been marked by a readvance about outwash. In their study, they referred to
13,000 yr ago, following which the ice re- deposits of the last glaciation (Llanquihue
treated into the Andean source region. Glaciation of Heusser (1974, pp. 291-292))
Vegetational changes in the vicinity of Lago as Llanquihue drift. A type section was
Llanquihue during and since the last (pre- designated for the oldest (Fuerte San
Llanquihue) interglaciation were recon- Antonio) drift and its characteristics were
structed by Heusser (1966, 1974), but prior described.
to the present investigation, information on The stratigraphic interpretation of pre-
the vegetation history of earlier intervals Llanquihue glacial deposits in this study
was not available. differs from that of Laugenie and Mercer
(1973; Mercer, 1976)), as discussed below,
STRATIGRAPHY AND CHRONOLOGY and warrants a new lithostratigraphic
Criteria of Relative Age nomenclature to supplant previous informal
designations that employed the same geo-
In earlier studies of glacial deposits in the graphic locality names for landforms
Lake District, subdivision of the glacial (moraine belts) as for the sediments which
record was based mainly on morphologic comprise them. In the present study, glacial
criteria (moraines or moraine belts) sup- deposits have been separated into mappa-
plemented by weathering criteria. For ble units termed drifts, described at type
example, Laugenie and Mercer (1973; sections, and assigned local geographic
Mercer, 1976) inferred that each recognized names. These are not lithostratigraphic
moraine belt west of Lago Llanquihue was units in the strict sense, for each drift sheet
characterized by a distinct surface drift is composed of a similar lithic mix of vol-
which they named informally after that belt. canic, plutonic, and sedimentary clasts; in
In their studies, a feature west of the main the case of the two oldest drifts, weathering
Llanquihue moraine system was identified is so intense that the lithology of many
as an end moraine “if at least part of it is clasts is not determinable. The glacial de-
composed of till.” The moraine belts were posits can be differentiated, however, on
also characterized on the basis of depth of the basis of age-dependent weathering and
overlying volcanic ash, degree of dissection erosional characteristics (including depth of
of landforms, and the comparative degree weathering, thickness of rinds on volcanic
of weathering. Mercer (1976) reported that clasts, intensity of limonitization, extent of
weathering of volcanic clasts in drift of MnO, deposition on clasts and in matrix,
Llanquihue age was barely perceptible and moraine morphology; Table l), into
266 STEPHEN C. PORTER

drift sheets that are believed to represent makes recognition of these facies difficult.
first-order glacial events, or glaciations In such cases, the weathered till and out-
(Porter, 1971; Burke and Birkeland, 1979). wash facies are both appropriately de-
Second-order events (= stades) within the scribed as diamictons. Intensely weathered
youngest glaciation are recognized on the outwash gravel, in which the sandy matrix
basis of landform assemblages and local has been altered to clay, may superficially
stratigraphic relationships, even though the resemble weathered tills of the same drift
degree of weathering of the deposits is sim- sheet. However, pebble- and cobble-size
ilar. clasts in outwash gravel typically are in
Weathering rinds proved to be among the contact with one another, and the inter-
most useful of the weathering parameters. stices between adjacent clasts are filled by
Rind measurements were restricted to vol- weathered matrix. By contrast, the clasts in
canic clasts and generally gave consistent tills infrequently are in contact and com-
and reproducible results when samples monly appear to “float” in a finer weath-
were collected near the top of a drift sheet. ered matrix. Outwash gravels, although
In the case of the three youngest drifts, generally poorly sorted, rarely contain
some variability in mean values is found if clasts larger than cobbles, whereas tills in-
samples are collected at random within a clude boulders with diameters exceeding 1
drift, for as a general rule the thickness of m. Even in thoroughly weathered outwash
rinds in any drift tends to decrease with in- units, relict cross-stratification and graded
creasing depth in the weathering profile. bedding can be discerned locally. Such
For example, in one exposure of Rio Llico features are common in outwash of the
till, clasts collected within 1.5 m of the top youngest drift sheet but were not observed
of the drift had a mean rind thickness of 9.4 in unweathered basal (lodgment) tills of that
mm, whereas a second sample from the drift. In most large outcrops such charac-
same outcrop taken at a depth of 3 to 4 m teristics serve to distinguish the two facies,
had a mean thickness of only 3.8 mm. In but in the case of small exposures, weath-
certain cases where a till overlies and in- ered diamictons often cannot be assigned
corporates clasts of an older weathered with confidence to one facies or the other.
outwash gravel, occasional rounded clasts Lahars from Volcan Calbuco overlie drift
with anomalously thick rinds may be en- of the last glaciation along the west and
countered in the till. Such rinds typically south margins of Lago Llanquihue and
match those in the underlying gravel, from across the region between the lake and
which the clasts are inferred to have been Seno Relocavi. Although they superficially
derived. Despite such possible internal resemble till, the lahars are different in sev-
variability, the range of sample means ob- eral respects: (1) clasts within lahars are
tained for each of the four drift sheets form overwhelmingly volcanic and include few
distinct populations that normally permit of the plutonic rock types that are common
unequivocal assignment of an exposed unit in the tills; (2) clasts are predominantly
to a specific drift (Table 1). The weathering- angular or subangular, whereas the tills
rind data provide a regionally consistent contain a high percentage of rounded to
stratigraphic picture that is supported by subrounded clasts; (3) in exposures a meter
other relative-age criteria (Table 1). or more high, a crude vertical grading is
The drift sheets include two principal often detectable; and (4) the upper surfaces
facies, till and outwash. For the youngest of lahars commonly are flat or nearly flat in
drifts, the facies distinction is straight- contrast to the hummocky character of the
forward, but for the two oldest drifts the younger tills. Although no pre-Llanquihue
intensity of weathering often obscures dis- lahars were identified, some may extend lo-
tinctive sedimentary characteristics and cally beyond the Llanquihue drift limit.
TABLE 1. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DRIFTS

Characteristic Llanquihue Drift Santa Maria Drift Rio Llico Drift Caracol Drift

Thickness (mm) of weathering


rinds on volcanic clasts in upper
part of till (n = 20)
Mean 0.5 L 10 17
Range o-2 1-6 6-14 13-21
Depth (m) of weathering profile
on till 1 2-3 4 3”
Surface morphology Obvious end-moraine crests, Broad, rolling drift plain, No obvious depositional Drift largely buried by
dead-ice terrain with un- some possible end mo- morphology, drift deep- younger drifts, no depo-
drained depressions, out- raines, integrated drain- ly dissected, integrated sitional morphology pre-
wash terraces age, outwash terraces drainage, no lakes served at surface
capped by thick loess
Degree of MnOx deposition Generally absent, but lo- Generally absent, but may Common as coatings on Pervasive, coats clast sock-
cally forms thin, discon- locally coat clasts, fill clasts and clast sockets ets, fills fissile partings
tinuous coatings on bot- small voids and partially fills small and voids
toms of clasts in upper voids and fissile partings
0.5 m of weathering pro-
tile
Development of iron-oxide Absent, or present as thin Limonite coating on clasts Limonite and (or) hematite Limonite and (or) hematite 0
X
coatings coatings in upper meter and along fissile partings; coating common on clasts staining pervasive i=
of deposits cements matrix in out- and fissile partings m
wash to depths of 5 m or
more
Dominant color of till
Dry Gray (2.5Y 6/l) Light-brownish-gray Grayish-brown Brown
(2.5Y 6/2) (2.5Y S/2) (IOYR S/3)
Moist Dark-grayish-brown Grayish-brown Olive-brown Brown
(2.5Y 412) (2.5Y 512) (2SY 4/4) (IOYR 4/3)
Thickness (m) of loess mantle <2 2-4 2-4 -

(I Maximum depth of exposure seen: overlies Tertiary bedrock at one site.


268 STEPHEN C. PORTER

Caracol Drift route V-610, it crops out beneath No Llico


till (Fig. 2, Lot. 1; Appendix Ia). Although
The oldest identified glacial drift crops the base of the drift is not exposed in this
out in the western part of the lowland and section, sandy outwash gravel inferred to
along the eastern slope of the Cordillera de correlate with the till unconformably over-
la Costa (Fig. 2). All exposures but one lie lies dipping cross-stratified Tertiary sand-
beyond the inferred limit of Santa Man’s till stone and siltstone 15 km to the north along
and inside the limit of Rio Llico till. In only route V-440; the gravel, in turn, is overlain
a few places was the drift found at the sur- by silt (loess?) and till of Rio Llico age.
face; generally it is buried by Rio Llico till Intense weathering characterized by a
or outwash. Caracol Drift is designated deep dusky-red to brownish color, thick
after the small community of that name, weathering rinds on stones, and extensive
near which, in a 7-m-deep borrow pit along development of MnO, serve to distinguish

-- Petrc
LLANQUIHUE \ ‘L

V\ 172930,

EXPLANATION
Drift Llmlt of drift Till Outw
Llanqulhue bndiv.) - - -
Llonqulhue Ill - - -
Llonqulhue II - T 7
Llanquihue I v - 7
Santo Marla T-TIT n 0
Rio LIICO -V----V- A A
Caracol l c
@ Borehok (depth to
bedrock,de,,th of

/ Melfwaler channel
Sv Submerged valley

FIG. 2. Glacial-geologic map of the southern Lake District.


PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 269

this unit from younger glacial sediments. sures of till of this unit, rather than on any
Till of the Caracol Drift is stony and appar- pronounced lithologic or morphologic
ently had a sandy matrix, but in most expo- boundary. It was determined from five
sures both the matrix and clasts have been traverses along roads that cross the lowland
chemically altered to clay. The brown color and rise up the eastern slope of the Cordil-
of the weathered till contrasts with the yel- lera de la Costa. Although the limit is inter-
lowish or grayish hues of younger deposits. polated between these traverses, it proba-
Although clasts include both granitic and bly is accurate to within several kilometers,
volcanic rock types, many are too weath- inasmuch as the bedrock topography would
ered for their lithology to be identified with have locally controlled the shape of the
certainty. Weathering rinds at the type sec- glacier margin and produced the inferred
tion range in thickness from 13 to 21 mm, minor lobations shown on the map. The po-
and average 17 mm; this range is also typi- sition of the drift limit indicates that within
cal at other outcrops of the drift. Weathered the mapped area an extensive Piedmont
rinds commonly spall off from a less-altered glacier filled the lowland between the
core when large clasts are removed from coastal mountains and the Andes during the
exposures. In some outcrops the till has culminating Rio Llico advance and proba-
well-developed subhorizontal fissility along bly reached the Pacific Ocean at or some-
which, and in the sockets of clasts, locally what north of Bahia Maullin.
dense MnO, is concentrated, thereby im- The type section of the drift is in a bor-
parting a dark cast to the sediment. In out- row pit on route V-440 near its junction
wash deposits of this age, MnO, mottling is with route V-46 (Fig. 2, Lot. 2; Appendix
widespread and iron oxide staining is Ib). In this section two stony tills, each at
common. least 3 m thick, are separated by a thin
The distribution of Caracol Drift indi- laminated silt. Although the tills are essen-
cates that ice spread westward from the tially indistinguishable in physical appear-
Andes as an extensive Piedmont glacier and ance and weathering properties, it is not
locally rose against the eastern slope of the clear whether they represent a single
coastal mountains. Based on the presently glaciation or two separated by a nonglacial
known distribution of the till, the glacier weathering interval. Other exposures of
was less extensive than that which sub- multiple tills having similar weathering
sequently deposited Rio Llico Drift. characteristics were not encountered dur-
ing this study, so the former interpretation
Rio Llico Drift is currently favored. However, additional
The next younger drift, which is also the field studies are needed to resolve this
most widespread of those identified, is question.
named for Rio Llico. The drift crops out at In most exposures the till is thoroughly
the surface through a l&km-wide belt along weathered to clay, as are small stones less
and east of the flank of the Cordillera de la than about 1 cm in diameter, and can easily
Costa near the head of Rio Llico and was be cut through with a knife or shovel. In
identified beneath younger drifts in out- many road cuts the drift forms a smooth
crops farther east to within l-2 km of the face with few or no projecting stones. Large
shore of Lago Llanquihue . The land surface clasts typically have solid cores surrounded
underlain by the drift is extensively and by weathered rinds that average about 10
deeply dissected, and the drainage net is mm thick and spa11 off when stones are re-
well integrated. Moraines, if they exist, are moved from the matrix. Limonite and (or)
not obvious features, for none were identi- MnO, commonly coats clasts and clast sock-
fied during the study. ets, and lenses and pods of MnO, that are
The mapped western limit of Rio Llico pervasive in the matrix generally impart a
Drift is based on the westernmost expo- purplish-gray cast to the drift. Lenses or
270 STEPHEN C. PORTER

layers of tine silt that are locally interstrati- overlain in turn by about 3 m of loess and
lied with till commonly are penetrated by colluvium (Fig. 2, Lot. 3; Appendix Ic).
closely spaced veins of MnOe. The compact stony Santa Maria till ap-
Like the still-younger Santa Maria Drift, pears much less weathered than either the
the Rio Llico lies beyond the range of Caracol or Rio Llico tills, but is charac-
radiocarbon dating. Nonbedded silts lying terized by a yellowish-brown color due
within and directly above Rio Llico till were largely to limonite that coats clasts and
sampled at two localities for paleomagnetic clast sockets and penetrates the matrix, es-
analyses, and in both cases the samples had pecially along fissile partings. Rinds on vol-
normal polarity. However, like the bound- canic clasts in the upper part of the weath-
ing tills, the silts are strongly weathered, so ering profile average about 2 mm thick
the paleomagnetic signal may be unreliable. (Table 1). Most clasts are solid and little
weathered, except for the external rinds,
Santa Matia Drift and in contrast to those in the older tills
A widespread drift lies at the land surface project from vertical exposures. Although
across much of the lowland between Lago the clasts in porous outwash gravels often
Llanquihue, Seno Relocavi, and the belt of are little weathered, the sandy matrix typi-
Rio Llico Drift east and south of the Cor- cally is loosely cemented by limonite, in
dillera de la Costa. It is named for Rio Santa places to a depth of at least 10 m. MnO, is
Maria, a minor tributary of Rio Maullin present in some outcrops as partial coatings
west of Puerto Varas. Till of this drift on clasts and clast sockets, or as dissem-
underlies gently rolling terrain throughout inated blebs in the upper part of the weath-
the outcrop belt, and dissected outwash ering profile, but it is not as obvious or per-
gravels form terraces along major stream vasive as in the two older drifts.
valleys. Linear and arcuate interfluves Three of the end-moraine systems de-
within this belt of drift could represent scribed by Laugenie and Mercer (1973) lie
broad end-moraine crests, as inferred by within the belt of Santa Maria Drift and if
Laugenie and Mercer (1973), but strati- correctly identified suggest that the drift
graphic exposures through these generally may have resulted from more than a single
broad subdued crests are few and shallow, ice advance. Because no difference in the
so it is not always clear if, in fact, the ridges age of the uppermost glacial sediments
are end moraines modified by mass wasting within this belt was discernable using
and erosion or result from dissection of a relative-age criteria, the surface drift was
relatively low-relief drift plain. The western mapped as a single unit. However, distin-
limit of the drift approximately parallels guishing between drifts of successive
that of the Rio Llico Drift, but lies some 7 to glaciations becomes more difficult with in-
14 km farther east in the area mapped (Fig. creasing age because the weathering rate
2). This distribution indicates that during very likely decreases exponentially as a
deposition of the outermost Santa Marfa function of time (Colman, 1981). Therefore,
till, the glacier was a broad coalescent possibly the Santa Marta Drift records sev-
Piedmont system consisting of ice from the eral glaciations.
Llanquihue, Seno Relocavi, and Golfo de Minimum limiting dates for Santa Maria
Ancud source areas. Drift come from an exposure along the
The type section of Santa Marta Drift is south side of route V-55 just west of the Pan
designated as a road cut on the north side of American Highway where wood and adja-
route V-50 directly beneath San Ambrosio cent peat overlying Santa Mafia till were
cemetery, some 24 km west of Puerto dated as >39,900 yr old (I-4170 and I-5032;
Varas. In this section, 2 m of Santa Maria Mercer, 1976) (Fig. 3 and Table 2). Finite
till overlies weathered sediments probably ages of 32,000 5 700 yr (TK-70) on wood
belonging to the Rio Llico Drift and is from the same horizon and of 23,300 + 300
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 271

LAG0

LLANQUIHUE

0.700fl300

Calbuco

SENO
I
RELONCAVi

FIG. 3. Radiocarbon dates associated with glacial drifts around Lago Llanquihue and Seno
Reloncavi. Designation of ice limits same as for Figure 2.
TABLE2. RADIOCARBON DATESFROMTHELAGOLLANQUIHUE-SENORELONCAV~REGION

Laboratory Locality
number Date Sample material and stratigraphic position (Fig. 3) Reference
I-10.53 890 + 250 Peat in bog on Llanquihue II outwash (?) Alerce III Heusser, 1966, p. 293
I-1047 3,610 rf- 250 Peat in bog on Llanquihue I drkt Alerce I Heusser, 1966, p. 293
I-1048 4,950 + 400 Peat in bog on Llanquihue I drift Alerce I Heusser, 1966, p. 293
I-1060 6,760 + 300 Peat in bog on Llanquihue III drift Calbuco Heusser, 1966, p. 293
I-1049 7,360 k 300 Peat in bog on Llanquihue I drift Alerce I Heusser, 1966, p. 291
LJW-427 7,660 2 90 Peat clast in gravel beneath Llanquihue I (?) till Puerto Varas -
I-1061 7,880 + 750 Peat in bog on Llanquihue III drift CaIbuco Heusser, 1966, p. 291
I-1054 8,600 + 300 Peat in bog on Llanquihue II outwash (?) AIerce III Heusser, 1966, p. 291
I-1055 9,410 + 400 Peat in bog on Llanquihue II outwash (?) Alerce III Heusser, 1966, p. 291
I-1050 10,520 * 300 Peat in bog on Llanquihue I drift Alerce I Heusser, 1966, p. 291
I-1056 10,820 + 800 Peat in bog on Llanquihue II outwash (?) AIerce III Heusser, 1966, p. 291
I-1063 10,820 2 900 Peat in bog on Llanquihue III drift CaIbuco Heusser, 1966, p. 288
I-1064 11,300 k 250 Peat in bog on Llanquihue II drift Los PeUines Heusser, 1966, p. 291
I-1067 11,800 2 400 Peat in bog on Llanquihue II drift Los PeIlines Heusser, 1966, p. 279, 288
I-1062 12,165 + 900 Peat in bog on Llanquihue III drift Calbuco Heusser, 1966, p. 288
I-1065 12,165 + 400 Peat in bog on Llanquihue II drift Los Pellines Heusser, 1966, p. 279, 288
I-1051 12,500 2 800 Peat in bog on Llanquihue I drift Alerce I Heusser, 1966, p. 288
RL-1183 12,500 2 370 Peat in outlet channel cut in Llanquihue II outwash Puerto Octay -
UW-480 13,145 % 235 Peat in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas -
and lahars
RL-122 13,170 + 290 Wood in peat above Llanquihue II drift Los Pellines C. J. Heusser, pers. commun., 1979
GX-4169 13,200 2 320 Peat in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas Mercer, 1976, p. 155
and lahars
GX-2947 13,300 k 550 Peat in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas Mercer, 1976, p. 155
and lahars
GX-4170 13,750 2 295 Peat in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas Mercer, 1976, p. 155
and lahars
TK-74 13,900 2 120 Wood from beneath till of Llanquihue III (?) age Puerto Montt Kobayashi et al., 1974, p. 383
UW-48 1 13,965 * 235 Peat in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas -
and lahars
UW-421 14,200 + 135 Peat beneath lake sediments and Llanquihue III till Punta Penas -
GX-2948 14,250 + 400 Peat in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas Heusser, 1974, p. 308
and lahars
uw-479 14,485 2 120 Peat in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas -
and lahars
I-5033 14,820 2 230 Peat in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas Mercer, 1972, p. 1118; 1976, p. 154
and lahars
QL-1335 15,050 2 100 Wood in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas -
and lahars
UW-422 15,220 2 160 Plant fragments at base of clay beneath lake sediments Punta Penas -
and Llanquihue III tiIl
W-948 15,400 2 400 Wood beneath lake sediments and Llanquihue III till Punta Penas Ives et al., 1964, p. 69
GX-5275 15,715 Ik 440 Peat in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas J. H. Mercer, pers. commun., 1978
and lahars
RL-1185 15,800 * 550 Peat in outlet channel cut in Llanquihue II outwash Puerto Octay -
I-1052 16,085 2 800 Basal peat in bog on Llanquihue I (?) drift Alerce I Heusser, 1966, p. 280, 288.
RL-113 16,270 2 360 Wood in Llanquihue III terrace beneath lake sediments Puerto Varas Mercer, 1972, p. 118; 1976, p. 154
and lahars
RL-1184 16,580 2 730 Peat in outlet channel cut in Llanquihue II outwash Puerto Octay -
RL-120 17,370 f 670 Near-basal peat in outlet channel cut in Llanquihue II Puerto Octay Mercer, 1972, p. 1118
outwash
GX-5274 18,170 f 650 Basal peat in outlet channel cut in Llanquihue II Puerto Octay J. H. Mercer, pers. commun., 1978
outwash
uw-418 18,900 -e 370 Basal peat in outlet channel cut in Llanquihue II Puerto Octay -
outwash
RL-116 20,100 t so0 Peat clast in Llanquihue 11 outwash beneath Frutillar Alto Mercer, 1972, p. 1118
Llanquihue II till
TK-71 23,300 k 300 Wood from silt underlying Llanquihue I till above Puerto Varas Mercer, 1976, p. 148; Kobayashi
nonglacial sediments and Santa Mana till et al., 1974, p. 382
TK-72 26,000 2 400 Wood in Llanquihue I (?) drift Puerto Montt Kobayashi et al., 1974, p. 383
QL-1338 29,600 k 350 Gyttja beneath Llanquihue I or II (?) gravel Puerto Octay -
I-6618 30,400 k 1150 Peat clast in stratified drift beneath Llanquihue till Los Pellines Heusser, 1974. p. 311
uw-419 30,700 k 1300 Peat clast in gravel beneath Llanquihue I (‘7) till Frutillar Alto -
uw-430 31,700” 1000 Peat clast in gravel beneath Llanquihue I (?) till Frutillar Alto -
TK-70 32,000 ” 700 Wood from base of Llanquihue I till above nonglacial Puerto Varas Mercer. 1976, p. 148
sediments and Santa Matia till
U W-425 32,800 t 1600 Peat clast in Llanquihue II outwash beneath Frutillar Alto
Llanquihue II till
QL-1339 37,400 i so0 Gyttja beneath Llanquihue I or II (?) gravel Puerto Octay -
QL-1337 42,400 ” 500 Wood (in situ stump) in nonglacial sediments beneath Punta Penas -
Llanquihue I or II (?) drift
- 47,600 %t Wood (in situ stump) in nonglacial sediments beneath Punta Pelluco C. Klohn, pers. commun. to
Llanquihue drift C. J. Heusser, 1977
QL-1336 Wood in nonglacial sediments between Santa Matia Puerto Varas
and Llanquihue tills
274 STEPHEN C. PORTER

yr (TK-71) from a lower horizon were re-


garded by Mercer as probably due to con-
tamination of samples. An additional date
of 57,800 ti$@ yr (QL-1336) on wood
from this same locality provides a still-older
minimum age for the underlying till. How-
ever, modern rootlets penetrate the expo-
sure, so contamination of the sample can-
not be ruled out; introduction of only 1 part
in 1000 of modern carbon would make an
infinitely old sample have an apparent age
of about 55,000 yr. Accordingly, like dates
obtained earlier, this date should be re-
garded as only a minimum, and not neces-
sarily a close minimum, age for the under-
lying Santa Matia ‘Drift.
Interdrift Sediments
In some exposures two or more drifts rest
in superposition, the contacts marked by
erosional unconformities. However, in
places the drifts are separated by sediments
of nonglacial origin, sometimes as much as
several meters thick. The sediments differ
in character from exposure to exposure, but
they commonly include well-sorted silt or
fine sand, rubbly silt, and peat and organic
silts. The sediments typically are weath-
ered, the degree of weathering being related
to the relative stratigraphic position within
the drift sequence. The silts are thought to
consist mainly of loess, but some thin and
persistent yellowish-red units are believed
to be weathered tephra layers. In some
cases, the latter contain recognizable
pumice lapilli. Buried soils within the loess-
ial silts indicate periods of relative land-
scape stability. Rubbly units are interpreted
as colluvium consisting of mixtures of loess
and reworked underlying drift. Peats and
organic silts are generally compact and
hard, and in places contain pieces of wood,
occasionally as much as 40 cm in diameter.
Inter-till peats at Punta Penas and Punta
Pelluco on the north shore of Seno
Reloncavi contain stumps of trees rooted in
place and are associated with clayey silts
and sandy gravels of lacustrine and fluvial
character. A reference section displaying
many of these general characteristics was
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 275

measured between Llanquihue till and Peat found as clasts in gravelley outwash
Santa Maria till in an exposure along route and till of Llanquihue age and having 14C
V-SO near the Pan American Highway (Fig. ages in the range of 32,800 + 1600 to 30,400
2, Lot. 4; Appendix Id). ? 1150 yr apparently formed during a
As yet too little is known about the re- nonglacial (interstadial?) interval prior to
gional distribution and continuity of the the Llanquihue ice advances that deposited
intertill sediments to infer much about their the enclosing drift.
origin or the environmental conditions
which they reflect. Although intervals of Llanquihue Drift
loess accumulation may generally have Sediments of the last glaciation were
been related to glacial episodes and repre- named Llanquihue Drift by Mercer (1976,
sent deflation of aggrading outwash sur- p. 146) following Heusser’s (1974) designa-
faces, loess also apparently accumulated tion of the last major expansion of the
during the last interglaciation. Analysis of Andean glacier complex in the Lake Dis-
fossil pollen from eolian silts that lie above trict as the Llanquihue Glaciation. The drift
Santa Matia till at Nueva Braunau, about 8 is named for Lago Llanquihue which is
km west of Puerto Varas, indicates that the bordered by arcuate moraine systems that
silts record a warm, dry interglacial climate delineate the lobate margin of the youngest
and a landscape that was largely unforested ice cap (Fig. 2). Much of the moraine belt
(Heusser, 1981). Buried soils associated has been affected by land clearance, graz-
with the intertill sediments may record all ing, and farming, but the depositional mor-
or part of interstades or interglaciations phology is little modified. Outwash forms
when depositional activity was restricted broad, gently sloping plains west of the
and relative landscape stability promoted Llanquihue moraine system, and underlies
soil formation. In some instances, the upper terraces along principal .streams.
parts of interstadial or interglacial weath- Subdivision of Llanquihue Drift on the
ering profiles may have been largely re- basis of lithologic or weathering differences
moved during subsequent ice advances. was not possible, but morphostratigraphic
No radiometric dates are available for and sedimentologic criteria permit it to be
sediments between the Caracol and Rio separated within the mapped area into three
Llico Drifts or between the Rio Llico and units of stadial rank informally designated
Santa Mar-la Drifts; however, because dates Llanquihue I, II, and III. These are inferred
for organic matter in sediments between the to relate to at least three, or possibly four,
Llanquihue and Santa Marta Drifts are gen- episodes of glacier advance and (or) read-
erally beyond the range of the radiocarbon Vance, the ages of which are bracketed by
method, so too would be those of any sam- radiocarbon dates.
ples from the older interdrift units. The
Llanquihue I Drift
radiocarbon dates from inter-till sediments
on route V-50, which have already been Llanquihue I moraines lie within about 5
discussed, indicate that the basal sediments km of the shore of Lago Llanquihue and
at that site are more than 57,800 ?z$g yr old. generally form the outermost moraine arc,
Wood from intertill sediments beneath although locally the drift limit apparently is
Llanquihue Drift at Punta Penas has been marked by moraines of the subsequent
dated as 42,400 t 500 yr old (QL- 1337), Llanquihue II advance. Similar moraines
whereas a wood sample from Punta Pel- built at the limit of the Seno Reloncavi
luco, which occupies a similar stratigraphic glacier during the last glaciation lie about 10
position, is >40,000 yr old (UW-423). At km northwest of the marine embayment
the former site, which is awash at high tide, and are believed to correlate with the Llan-
contamination of wood by marine or- quihue I moraines of the Lago Llanquihue
ganisms is probable. lobe; locally they are characterized by
276 STEPHEN C. PORTER

kettle-and-kame topography with small dates provide lower limiting ages for the
lakes and bogs. Exposures in Llanquihue I Llanquihue I advance. The wood beneath
moraines indicate that they typically con- Llanquihue I till west of Puerto Varas hav-
sist of stony, compact till, the clasts of ing an age of 57,800 Zi$$ yr may indicate
which are mostly well rounded; in places that the till is less than this age; but because
the till directly overlies proglacial outwash the date should be regarded as a minimum
gravel from which the rounded clasts are due to possible contamination, it is not de-
presumed to have been derived. The finitive. Two further dates of 29,600 +- 350
moraines are breached in places by melt- yr (QL-1338) and 37,400 ? 500 yr B.P.
water channels floored with outwash that (QL-1339) from west of Puerto Octay for
grades back to the Llanquihue II and III gyttja lying beneath Llanquihue gravel
moraines (Fig. 2). The highest Llanquihue which in turn is overlain by Llanquihue II
outwash terraces west of the outer moraine till may offer additional limiting ages for the
belt are related to this advance. Llanquihue I advance. However, it is not
Although stratigraphic sections and re- clear whether the gravel is of Llanquihue I
lationships of the Llanquihue Drift were or II age; if the former, then the younger
discussed by previous workers, no type date is a lower limiting age for the advance.
section was described. Such a section is Llanquihue I drift is older than basal or-
here designated in a road cut along route ganic sediments in two meltwater channels
V-50 near its junction with the Pan Ameri- northwest of Puerto Octay that cross the
can Highway (Fig. 2, Lot. 5). In this sec- Llanquihue I moraine, but although the
tion, stony Llanquihue till overlies nongla- oldest date of 18,900 + 370 yr (UW-418) is
cial sediments and tills of the Santa Maria thought to provide a close minimum age for
and Rio Llico Drifts (Appendix Ie). In this Llanquihue II drift, it does not closely limit
and other exposures obvious weathering of the age of the older drift.
Llanquihue till extends to a depth of a A possible limiting date for the Llan-
meter or less and consists mainly of quihue I advance in Seno Reloncavi comes
yellowish-brown limonite staining and dis- from wood in nonglacial sediments at Punta
continuous MnO, staining on clasts and Penas (42,400 & 500; QL-1337) that under-
clast sockets. Some mica-rich granites are lies sediments predating the Llanquihue III
weathered through, but volcanic clasts advance and outwash of probable Llan-
have rinds averaging ~0.5 mm thick (Table quihue II or I age. Wood found in ice-
1). Outwash gravels show a similar degree contact stratified drift of possible Llan-
of alteration, with weathering generally quihue I age at Punta Pelluco is >40,000 yr
being confined to the top meter. (UW-423) and >45,600 yr old. A rooted
Llanquihue I drift is not yet closely stump from beneath the Llanquihue Drift at
dated. Lower limiting dates are available this locality was dated 47,600 ?Eg yr. In
from several sites west of Lago Llanquihue, both places, however, the stratigraphic as-
but all are ambiguous. Wood in basal till at signment of the deposits is open to ques-
the type section is >4O,OOfl yr old (UW-420; tion.
Appendix Ie). Even if the till is of Llan- A minimum age for the outermost drift of
quihue I age, which is not certain, the date the Seno Reloncavi lobe comes from basal
tells nothing about the age of the enclosing sediments of the Alerce I bog which are
till. Peat clasts in possible Llanquihue I till 16,085 +_ 800 yr old (I-1052). However, the
east of Frutillar Alto have finite ages of age of the drift under the bog is not known
30,700 + 1300 and 31,700 & 1000 yr (UW- with certainty, and could be either Llan-
419 and UW-430). The till underlies silty till quihue I or Llanquihue II.
of Llanquihue II age that forms the land Collectively these dates indicate that the
surface and was tentatively regarded in the Llanquihue I drift was deposited more than
field as Llanquihue I in age; if true, then the about 19,000 yr ago (the minimum age of
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 277

the younger Llanquihue II drift), but the Llanquihue II moraines can be traced dis-
lower age limit is uncertain, On the basis of continuously southwest of Puerto Montt
several dates, the advance could have oc- (Fig. 2). However, unlike the silt-rich
curred after about 30,000 yr ago, but the moraines of the Llanquihue lobe, this drift
older suite of dates in the range of 40,000 to is mainly stony till, the clasts of which
58,000 yr, all of which could be regarded as come from reworked proglacial outwash
only minimum dates, leaves open the pos- gravel.
sibility that the drift is much older. The Close bracketing ages are available for
weathering characteristics, which are es- the Llanquihue II drift in the Lago Llan-
sentially indistinguishable from those of the quihue basin. A peat clast in stratified drift
Llanquihue II drift, seem to favor a young of probable Llanquihue II age (J. H.
age, but the occurrence under the till of Mercer, pers. commun., 1980) near Los
well-preserved logs that are >39,000 and at Pellines is 30,400 + 1150 yr old (I-6618) and
least 57,800 yr old suggests an older age. provides a lower limiting age. Other lower
The question will remain unresolved until limiting dates come from peat clasts in a
additional stratigraphic studies and radio- borrow pit at Frutillar Alto where proglacial
metric dating are undertaken. outwash underlies stony till forming the
distal slope of the Llanquihue II moraine.
Llanquihue II Drijii One clast is 32,800 -t 1600 yr old (UW-425),
Llanquihue II moraines are best devel- but another has an age of only 20,100 +- 500
oped between the towns of Puerto Octay yr (RL-116; Mercer, 1976), indicating that
and Llanquihue where they are fronted by the advance culminated after about 20,000
flat outwash surfaces that pass westward yr ago. The northernmost and higher of the
through breaches in the Llanquihue I two meltwater channels near Puerto Octay
moraines to form intermediate terraces that drained proglacial Lago Llanquihue
along Rio Maullin and its eastern tributaries during early recession of the ice from the
(Fig. 2). Where the ice overrode proglacial Llanquihue II moraine is floored by peat,
outwash, the till is stony and resembles the base of which has an age of 18,170 +
Llanquihue I till, but in many exposures 650 yr (GX-5274); a sample obtained earlier
near and behind the crest of the moraine from just above the base of this same de-
system the till consists largely of lake sedi- posit was dated 17,370 + 670 yr (RL-120;
ments that have been strongly sheared and Mercer, 1972, 1976). A nearby, but some-
folded. A typical sequence is exposed in a what lower spillway is also floored by peat
reference section east of Frutillar Alto (Fig. having a basal age of 18,900 2 370 (UW-
2, Lot. 6; Appendix If). Similar deformed 418). Outwash in which these spillway
lake sediments are found within the Llan- channels are cut is graded to the Llan-
quihue II moraine system west of Puerto quihue II ice limit, and the samples there-
Varas and between Frutillar and Puerto fore provide minimum ages for that ad-
Octay. Locally abundant dropstones in the vance. Together, the dates suggest that the
laminated sediments suggest that following outermost Llanquihue II drift was depos-
the Llanquihue I advance the glacier re- ited between about 20,000 and 19,000 ‘“C
treated into, but did not evacuate, the lake yr ago.
basin, and that a thick lacustrine section No close limiting ages for the Llanquihue
was deposited west of the calving ice mar- II drift are available from the Seno
gin. During the Llanquihue II advance, the Reloncavi area. A date of 10,820 + 900 yr
unconsolidated lake sediments were pushed (I-1063) was obtained from clayey sedi-
up, deformed, and deposited as part of the ments about 1 m above the base of the
Llanquihue II moraines. Alerce III bog by Heusser (1966). Although
A moraine system of the Seno Reloncavi the site lies in an area underlain by Llan-
glacier that is inferred to correlate with quihue II outwash, it also is an area that has
278 STEPHEN C. PORTER

been affected by late-glacial and postglacial 14,200 -t 135 yr ago, but the actual time of
lahars from Volcan Calbuco and it is un- deposition of the till is not known. A
certain whether the bog rests directly on minimum date for deglaciation following
outwash gravel or on a laharic breccia of the Llanquihue III advance of the Golfo de
younger age. Ancud lobe comes from Heusser’s (1966)
Calbuco site, where basal bog sediments
date to 12,165 + 900 yr ago (I-1062).
Only two Llanquihue moraine systems A record of events at the time of the
are recognized around the west side of Llanquihue III advance is also found along
Lago Llanquihue, but a third system has the margin of Lago Llanquihue. Mercer
been mapped inside the Llanquihue II (1976) described a succession of lake sedi-
moraines of the Seno Reloncavi lobe (Fig. ments and associated peat in the vicinity of
2). This system is characterized by exten- Puerto Varas which he interpreted as indi-
sive dead-ice terrain with numerous lakes cating an interval of ice withdrawal from
and bogs, especially in the zone where the the end moraines west of the town during
Seno Reloncavi and Golfo de Ancud lobes the “Varas interstade.” Subsequent sub-
merged. Along the north shore of the Golfo mergence of peats was inferred to mark a
de Ancud and on Isla Puluqui, elongate readvance of the glacier, possibly to a posi-
drumlinoid hills oriented northwest define tion within the lake, culminating about
former ice-flow directions across the mar- 13,000 yr ago. Restudy of the Puerto Varas
gin of the marine embayment. localities, together with additional 14C dat-
Stratigraphic evidence related to the ing, substantiates this series of events, but
Llanquihue III advance is found in the also allows the possibility of a somewhat
coastal exposure at Punta Penas where a more complex history of ice-marginal fluc-
thick section of laminated lake sediments is tuations .
exposed (Figs. 2 and 3). Radiocarbon dates A prominent terrace lying at about 74 m
of a thin bed of peat at the base of the altitude in the Puerto Varas embayment
lake sediments and plant fragments in a rises along the south side of the lake to
clay directly above indicate that organic about 100 m at Laguna La Poza, and de-
sedimentation took place from at least scends northward to about 70 m altitude at
15,400 r+_400 yr ago (W-948; see also UW- the outlet of the lake near Llanquihue
422: 15,220 +- 160 yr) to 14,200 + 135 yr ago (Figs. 2 and 4). Beyond the outlet, it can be
(UW-421), after which time rising lake wa- followed discontinuously past Puerto
ters, presumably due to advancing ice in the Octay, rising in that direction. North of
basin, terminated peat deposition and led to Llanquihue the terrace is underlain mainly
lacustrine sedimentation. Stony till of pre- by ice-contact stratified drift and has the
sumed Llanquihue III age unconformably appearance of a kame terrace. The southern
overlies the lake sediments, which are segment, however, is different in character,
strongly sheared and deformed near the for fluvial ice-contact sediments and lake
contact, at the south end of the Punta Penas clays are capped by at least three laharic
exposure. An additional sample of wood breccias that coarsen eastward from Puerto
collected west of Puerto Montt (13,900 + Varas toward Laguna La Poza, and evi-
120 yr; TK-74) may come from approxi- dently originated at Volcan Calbuco. The
mately the same stratigraphic horizon, morphology and stratigraphy indicate that
while a rooted stump beneath drift of prob- when the terrace formed, the lake basin was
ably Llanquihue III age at Quemchi on the filled with ice as far as the present shoreline
east coast of Isla Chilot is 14,200 yr old (C. and that meltwater flowed along the ice
Laugenie, pers. commun. to J. H. Mercer, front to the Rio Maullin outlet. Further-
1978). These relationships suggest that the more, the laharic eruptions must have oc-
ice advance had begun by shortly after curred while the ice front still lay against
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 279

t\ BELLA VISTA

NORM
SOUTHSHORE WEST SHORE StmRE
so
30 20 10 0 ,a za 30 40 x1 60
01STtlNCE FROM Rio MAULLiN OVTLET IhI
FIG. 4. Gradients of kame- and lahar-fill terraces
along the margins of Lago Llanquihue relative to the
Rio Maullin outlet.
aLohar
ePeot,gyttja
the margin of the basin, for otherwise the aRhythmiteql 0

lahars would have flowed directly into the ~Gravel 27 ,’


lake opposite Volcan Calbuco, rather than q Covered -I
along the top of the terrace on the south and
west sides of the basin. Therefore, kame
terraces, rather than end moraines, mark
0 I ? 3

FIG. 5. Map of Puerto Varas embayment showing


4km

J
the limit of the last recognized advance of location and stratigraphy of key sections, related
the glacier in the Lago Llanquihue basin. radiocarbon dates, and altitudes of tops of peat beds
Knowledge of the timing of the glacier (in meters).
fluctuations is based on interpretation of
the sedimentary sequence in the Puerto
Varas embayment. At five sections the outlet along Rio Petrohue and forced the
laharic breccias overlie massive to finely lake to drain via the Rio Maullin outlet.
laminated lake sediments and interbedded The age of the uppermost peat at each
peat (Fig. 5; Appendix lg). The lake sedi- locality should indicate the approximate
ments, which reach at least as high as 15 m time of submergence. If the ages plus one
above the present lake level, locally contain standard deviation are plotted as a function
dropstones and are inferred to represent of altitude, the result is a sinuous curve that
times when the calving glacier front termi- can be interpreted as indicating two
nated well east of Puerto Varas although episodes of advance separated by a brief
still within the lake basin. The peat layers period of falling lake level, presumably re-
represent times of lowered lake level that flecting ice retreat (Fig. 6). The initial
permitted terrestrial organic sediments to episode of advance began before 15,700 yr
accumuiate at altitudes at least as low as 60 ago when the lake level was <60 m and
m in the Puerto Varas embayment. Mercer culminated about 15,000-14,500 yr ago at
(1976) inferred that the peat layers seen at which time the lake level exceeded 61 m in
different outcrops lay at approximately the altitude. There followed an interval of ice
same altitude, but careful resurveying indi- recession when the water level fell below 61
cates that they lie at various altitudes and m, thereby permitting peat to form at the
apparently formed in depressions or chan- Bella Vista Bluff site (~60.8 m). Rising
nels on the top of a lacustrine terrace prior water terminated peat growth there shortly
to deposition of the lahars. At each locality, after 13,965 -+-235 yr ago and subsequently
the peats are overlain by lake sediments, at two higher sites during the next 800 yr.
indicating that a rise of water level termi- Culmination of this phase occurred some-
nated peat formation. This rise is best ex- time after about 13,145 yr ago, by which
plained by an advance of the glacier front time the lake level had risen to at least 67 m
that prevented drainage via the eastern altitude (the approximate altitude of the Rio
280 STEPHEN C. PORTER

about 15,000 to 14,500 yr ago is of question-


able validity. A date of 16,270 t 360 yr
(RL-113) for wood about 2.3 m beneath the
peat at the Puerto Varas railroad bridge
Above lake level plots well off the curve but may simply re-
cord the earlier part of the low-lake-level
interval when vegetation was growing at
that site.
The timing of ice retreat from the kame
terrace following the advance that culmi-
nated about 13,000 yr ago is not closely
dated. Deglaciation apparently preceded
eruption of a tephra that overlies the lahar
fill and crops out discontinuously near the
1% yr B.P
lake shore west of Ensenada. A similar
tephra encountered in peat borings at Cal-
FIG. 6. Curve showing inferred fluctuations of lake
level in the Lago Llanquihue basin during late-glacial buco, Alerce, and Los Pellines by Heusser
time based on altitudes of highest radiocarbon-dated (1966) is probably the same layer and dates
peats. Dashed lines indicate la envelope. to about 10,000 yr ago on the basis of limit-
ing 14C dates of 10,520 * 300 yr (I- 1050) and
Maullin outlet at that time), laminated lake 9410 2 400 (I-1055) yr.
sediments had been laid down above the Heusser and Streeter (1980) have recon-
peats at the railroad cut in Puerto Varas, structed temperature and precipitation
and lahars erupted by Volcan Calbuco had trends in the Lake District for the past
been deposited across the top of the southern 16,000 yr by applying regression analysis to
segment of the ice-marginal terrace. Lami- pollen data from the Alerce I bog core. The
nated lake sediments occur between the resulting trends appear consistent with the
lahars at several places, suggesting that geologic interpretations presented here.
lake level was still high in the Puerto Vat-as Cold, dry conditions dating to about 16,000
embayment at the time of the laharic erup- yr ago were followed by a brief warm inter-
tions . val that reverted to cooler climate cul-
This postulated sequence of events rests minating close to 13,000 yr ago. This was
on the assumption that both the altitudes followed by a warming trend, accompanied
and radiocarbon ages of the peats at the by increase of precipitation, that reached a
Bella Vista Bluff, Calle Santa Rosa, and peak close to 11,300 yr ago.
Bella Vista Park sites are different. Al- At the time of high lake level, the ponded
though the altitudes, which are based on water must have drained via the Rio
two or more levelings at each site, are con- Maullin outlet which by the end of the
sidered accurate to within 20 cm, one can- laharic eruptions lay at about 70 m altitude.
not rule out possible differential postglacial During ice recession, the fill at and beyond
deformation resulting from isostatic recov- this outlet was entrenched, thereby pro-
ery. Furthermore, at two standard devia- gressively lowering the level of the lake.
tions, the radiocarbon dates for successive After deglaciation of the Llanquihue basin,
pairs of sites are indistinguishable and the lake surface apparently fell below its
could be interpreted as defining a simple present level (51 m) and the No Maullin
curve showing continuously rising lake outlet was abandoned. Evidence in support
level beginning sometime before 15,000 yr of this inferred event is several stream val-
ago. Therefore the postulated regression leys along the south and west shores of the
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 281

lake that were eroded below present lake (Figs. 7 and 8). Although the belts mapped
level and subsequently submerged as the by Laugenie and Mercer (1973; Mercer,
lake surface rose (Fig. 2). Rise of the water 1976) may, in fact, be of morainal origin,
level was related to construction of Calbuco they are discontinuous features and might
and Osomo volcanoes which in postglacial be interpreted in several other ways:
time have deposited thick coalescing tills of 1. They are moraines of one or both of
lava, Wars, and alluvium in the vicinity of the oldest glacial advances that were over-
Ensenada, thereby raising the level of the ridden during the Santa Mafia advance and
lake to that of the Rio Maullin spillway. mantled with till of that age. Similar com-
pound end moraines of this type have been
INTERPRETATIONS AND reported from the drift belt near the south-
CORRELATIONS ern margin of the former Laurentide Ice
Stratigraphic Interpretations Sheet (Totten, 1969).
Mercer (1976) suggested that linear topo- 2. The belts of higher ground are in-
graphic crests in the lowland west of Lago tertluves separating subparallel consequent
Llanquihue represent end moraines of suc- tributaries of Rio Maullin and merely repre-
cessive ice advances, each underlain by a sent the dissected remnants of an extensive
different glacial drift (Fig. 7). Stratigraphic drift plain of Santa Maria age.
relationships documented during the pres- 3. The position and relief of the topo-
ent study suggest an alternative interpreta- graphic highs are unrelated or only partly
tion, namely, that a single drift, distin- related to glacier activity; instead they are
guished from older drifts by its physical at- surface expressions of the underlying bed-
tributes, lies at the surface within the area rock. Bedrock is infrequently exposed in
of Mercer’s Rio Frio, Colegual, and Casma the wide lowland between Lago Llanquihue
moraine belts. Furthermore, exposures at and the foothills of the Cordillera de la
or near the crests indicate that the surface Costa, but the gross topography both within
drift generally is no more than a few meters the coastal mountains and in the lowland
thick and forms only a superficial veneer, suggests that the Tertiary rocks are broadly
rather than the bulk of the landform. One or folded into a series of southeast- to east-
more older drifts lie beneath the surface till plunging folds (Fig. 9). The northern part of
Mercer’s Colegual moraine belt coincides
approximately with the northeast limb of an

af -Artlf,ctal f,ll
FIG. 7. Inferred stratigraphy of region between the eo-Loess and tephro TO st- Santa Marl.2 t,,,
Puerto So-S anta Marta outwasl
Cordillera de la Costa and Lago Llanquihue according Lt - Llonquihue till MO”,,
Is- Interdraft sed,ments Rt-Rto Llaco till
to interpretations of (a) Laugenie and Mercer (1973)
and Mercer (1976); and (b) this study. Cd = Caracol FIG. 8. Stratigraphic sections near intersection of
Drift; Rd = Rio Llico Drift; Sd = Santa Marta Drift; Routes V-5 and V-55 west of Puerto Varas showing
Lid, LIId, and LIIId = Llanquihue I, II, and II drifts, multiple-drift sequences in Llanquihue moraine belt
respectively; ow = outwash (undifferentiated). and locations of radiocarbon samples.
282 STEPHEN C. PORTER

FIG. 9. Generalized topographic map of lowland between Cordillera de la Costa and Lago Llan-
quihue showing location of inferred anticlinal and synclinal fold axes and of moraine belts mapped by
Laugenie and Mercer (1973; Mercer, 1976). Contours in meters (shaded above 250 m).

inferred plunging anticline and therefore south. On the other hand, segments of the
may be primarily a bedrock-controlled Casma belt do appear morainal in charac-
landform (Fig. 9). Confirmation of the in- ter, especially toward the northern limit of
ferred structure will require far more sub- the study area and in the region between the
surface geologic data than are currently Llanquihue limit of the Lago Llanquihue
available. and Seno Reloncavi ice lobes; however,
The broad topographic crests mapped by exposures in both areas are few and poor.
Laugenie and Mercer could not be traced Unequivocal end moraines were seen only
across the Rio Maullin lowland west of inside the outer limit of Llanquihue Drift.
Seno Reloncavi. If they are moraines, there Positive linear relief features beyond that
is no obvious reason why they should dis- limit may be end moraines, as inferred by
appear in that direction. However, if they Laugenie and Mercer, but in most cases
are interfluve crests or bedrock-controlled their internal character is unknown or
ridges, they should disappear in that region poorly known and their possible origin is
of low relief. Mercer’s Rio Frio moraine ambiguous and clearly warrants further
belt also could not be traced either north or detailed study.
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 283

Regional Correlations not found beyond the limit of Rio Llico


Critical sites on Isla Chilot were revisited Drift on the mainland, and a similar re-
during the present study to provide a basis lationship may exist on Isla Chilot as well.
for comparing the stratigraphy there with Flint and Fidalgo (1964, 1969) described
that developed on the mainland to the three ofllapping drifts on the Argentine side
north. Relative-age parameters employed in of the Andes between 3910 and 43”lO’S
the southern Lake District were used to as- latitude which they named, from oldest to
sess the three drifts identified by Heusser youngest, Pichileufu, El Condor, and
and Flint. Fuerte San Antonio drift, the Nahuel Huapi. They were unable to locate
oldest, was examined at the type locality organic samples for radiocarbon dating, so
and displays the same general characteris- were forced to use relative-age criteria as a
tics as Rio Llico Drift, including a grayish- basis for estimating the ages of the sedi-
brown color, widespread limonite and man- ments. They concluded that the Nahuel
ganese oxide coatings on clasts and clast Huapi drift, which may consist of two mem-
sockets, and weathering rinds on volcanic bers, dates to the last glaciation (<25,000 yr
clasts that fall within the range of those B.P.), whereas the two older drifts, because
measured for Rio Llico Drift. Accordingly, they are little weathered, were thought to
these drifts, each the third oldest that was date to the late Pleistocene (>25,000 yr
identified in its respective area, are re- B.P., but falling within the Wisconsin gla-
garded as correlative. Similarly, the Inter- cial age); but they suggested the possibility
mediate drift on Chiloe resembles, in both that the oldest drift might be pre-Wisconsin
morphology and physical characteristics, in age. Because the climate along the east
the Santa Matia Drift farther north. Mean front of the Andes at this latitude is drier
thickness of weathering rinds in each drift than on the western slopes, weathering
averages 2 mm, and both have a light- rates probably are low, so the pre-Nahuel
brownish-gray cast imparted by limonite Huapi drifts could be older than inferred
staining. The morphology and physical by Flint and Fidalgo. Although correlation
character of Llanquihue drift on Chilot of the Argentine sequence with that near
match those of the type Llanquihue depos- Lago Llanquihue remains an open ques-
its at Lago Llanquihue, and the outer limit tion, for purposes of the present discus-
of the drift at the north end of the island lies sion it is assumed that the Nahuel Huapi
exactly opposite that on the mainland, as and Llanquihue drifts are correlative (Fig. 1).
mapped by Heusser and Flint and recon- Llanquihue Glacier System
firmed during the present investigation. The
radiocarbon chronology supports the cor- Dimensions
relation, because dates of organic samples The glacier complex that developed over
collected behind the drift limit show that the Andes during the last glaciation was
some sites became ice free by about 13,000 largely confined to the mountains in the re-
yr ago (Heusser and Flint, 1977). The Llan- gion north of the Lake District, but formed
quihue drift was not subdivided on Isla large Piedmont lobes within the Lake Dis-
Chiloe, although the presence of several trict proper, Farther south, an extensive
moraines there suggests a sequence of mul- mountain ice field existed that extended
tiple advances like that discovered farther onto the continental shelf on the west. At
north. the latitude of Lago Llanquihue and Lago
The apparent absence of a drift older than Nahuel Huapi the glacier system was about
the Fuerte San Antonio on Chiloe may 165 km wide. The ice divide probably coin-
merely reflect the absence of critical deep cided approximately with the continental
exposures and the relative inaccessibility of divide, but the glacier system was asym-
the outer glaciated zone. Caracol Drift was metrical, with flow lines on the dry Argen-
284 STEPHEN C. PORTER

tine flank of the range being shorter than


those on the Chilean slope (Figs. 1 and 10).
Ice thickness in the Chilean sector is poorly
known, in part due to the lack of detailed
mapping within mountain valleys. Ice-limit
data were compiled along the Llanquihue
flow line as far as Lago Todos 10s Santos;
through this reach the glacier surface rose
in altitude from about 150 m at the terminal
moraines bordering the lake to about 700 m
at the Andean front and to at least 900 m in
the lower basin of Lago Todos 10s Santos.
Within the basin of Lago Llanquihue,
which reportedly reaches depths of 500 m
or more, the ice may have locally been as
much as 800- 1000 m thick, and within 25 2
km of the ice divide the thickness may have ;
increased to nearly 1300 m (Fig. 10). Ice
was probably of comparable thickness in
Seno Reloncavi where water depths locally -
exceed 500 m and much of the eastern third
of the embayment is more than 300 m deep
(Instituto Hidrografico de Chile, 1968).
Snowline Depression
Glaciers in this sector of the Andes are
now largely confined to high volcanic cones
that reach or exceed 2000 m altitude, so a
substantial lowering of snowline must have
taken place during the late Pleistocene to
generate the extensive Llanquihue ice
cover. An estimate of the magnitude of
snowline depression is obtained by com-
paring the altitude of the present snowline
with that of the reconstructed snowline of
the last glacial maximum.
The position of the modern snowline is
estimated from the median altitude of
glaciers lying on the flanks of Volcan Cal-
buco, Volcan Osorno, Cerro Puntiagudo,
Cerro Tronador, and Cerro Bonete which
fall close to a line trending east from the
western shore of Lago Llanquihue to the
eastern shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi (Fig.
10). Along this transect the median altitude
of glaciers rises inland from about 1900 m at
I .P
a
Volcan Calbuco to about 2250 m at Cerro A- A 4 i ’ I Q
Bonete, representing a slope of about 4.4 2 $ 8 :: g g g
m/km. This value is close to that (4 m/km) P4 3allllllw
estimated independently by Rabassa et al.
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 285

(1980) for the sector between 41”20’ and ations of the Lago Llanquihue lobe during
41”30’. the last glaciation. The advances occurred
A reliable reconstruction of the Llan- during an interval when glacier systems
quihue snowline cannot yet be made, for elsewhere in the world were also ex-
the extent and dtitudinal distribution of the periencing second-order variations. The
glacier system within the Andes are imper- radiocarbon dates make it possible to con-
fectly known. Nevertheless, an estimate of struct a discontinuous time series for the
its approximate position can be obtained. lobe between about 25,000 and 10,000 yr
The drainage basin that contributed ice to ago (Fig. 11) which shows culminations of
the Llanquihue lobe can be delineated, as advances being reached between about
can the extent of the Piedmont lobe in the 20,000 and 19,000 yr ago and shortly after
lowland. If the accumulation-area ratio of 13,008 yr ago. A possible additional read-
the glacier is assumed to have been ap- Vance or stillstand about 15,000 to 14,500 yr
proximately 0.65 (ratio of accumulation ago is suggested by 14C-dated lake-level
area to total area of glacier = 2:3), then the data.
steady-state equilibrium line should have The glacial-geologic time series resem-
been situated close to the mountain front bles a record of oxygen-isotope variations
and within the lower basin of Lago Todos in the Dome C ice core from East Ant-
10s Santos. As the reconstructed ice- arctica (Fig. 11; Lorius et al., 1979). The
surface profile in this reach lies at approxi- Dome C core was taken from a site having
mately 900 m altitude, this value may ap- relatively simple glacier-flow conditions
proximate the equilibrium-line altitude for and therefore may be more reliably dated
the glacier in this sector. An alternate ap- than the better-known core from Byrd Sta-
proach is to assume that the median altitude
of the glacier would have approximated the
LLANPUIHUE
steady-state equilibrium-line altitude. The DOME c ICE CORE
LOBE
glacier terminated at about 150 m altitude,
and the highest part of its accumulation
area must have been at altitudes where I F---J I I
glaciers exist today (ca. 2000 m). The me-
dian altitude of the glacier system would
therefore have been about 925 m on the
Chilean slope. Although these independent
estimates are similar, they should be con-
sidered only as approximations and subject
to refinement. If the Llanquihue snowline
rose eastward with the same gradient as the
modern snowline, an as-yet unproved as-
sumption, then it would have involved a
lowering of some 1000 m below that of the
present (Fig. 10). This figure falls within the
FIG. 11. Discontinuous time series showing termi-
range of calculated values for snowline de- nal fluctuations of Lago Llanquihue glacier lobe based
pression in other middle-latitude mountain on controlling radiocarbon dates (solid circles) com-
ranges (e.g., Porter, 1975) and is therefore pared with curve of oxygen-isotope variations in Dome
regarded as a reasonable preliminary esti- C ice core from East Antarctic Ice Sheet (Lorius et al.,
mate. 1979, Fig. 2). Ice-core time scale estimated from sim-
ple ice-flow model assuming variable rate of accumu-
Terminal Fluctuations lation; ages based on assumption of constant rate of
accumulation are shown in brackets. Dashed lines
Available radiocarbon dates provide par- show possible correlations of the two paleoclimatic
tial control on the timing of marginal fluctu-
286 STEPHEN C. PORTER

tion in West Antarctica for which several be made. With a change from dominantly
different time scales have been proposed positive to dominantly negative mass bal-
based on different ice-flow models and in- ance at the end of the final ice advance, the
volving different basic assumptions (e.g., glacier terminus is presumed to have pulled
Robin, 1977). In the Dome C record, low back from the western shore of the lake and
isotopic values representing the last glacial begun to calve. Calving may have been
maximum pass upcore to higher values slow at fust due to shallow water depths,
representing the change to postglacial cli- but as the receding front reached deeper
matic conditions, the transition beginning water, the calving rate may have increased.
about 15,000 yr ago according to the esti- Although Lago Llanquihue and Lago Todos
mated time scale. A prominent second- 10s Santos are now separated by a threshold
order peak, regarded by Lorius et al. as one of lavas and volcanic detritus from Osomo
of several “significant isotopic events,” and Calbuco volcanoes, the fill is partly
dates to about 13,000-12,000 yr ago (Fig. postglacial, so the ‘two basins may not have
11) and also appears in a core from Vostock been as widely separated during deglacia-
Station (East Antarctica) (Robin, 1977, Fig. tion. Once the glacier became ungrounded
15). This isotopic event may correlate with from the western shore of Lago Todos 10s
the Llanquihue III advance in Chile which Santos, further terminal recession would
culminated at about this time. The Llan- have carried the front far back into the
quihue II advance, which culminated about interior of the range. Calving may have
19,000-20,000 yr ago, may in turn correlate been enhanced by isostatic depression,
with the most negative part of the Dome C which along the flow line could have
isotope curve which has an estimated age of amounted to 150 m or more. If deglaciation
about 18,200-20,000 yr. An intermediate of the main trough took place before sub-
peak, with an estimated age of 14,400- stantial isostatic recovery occurred, then a
15,000 yr, falls at the time of the postulated terminal retreat of some 80 to 90 km in
readvance or stillstand of the ice lobe in water depths that substantially exceeded
the Lago Llanquihue basin. Although other those of the present lake basins might have
peaks in the isotope curve may equate with encompassed only a brief time interval. A
glacier advances in southern Chile, possible comparable recession is likely to have oc-
correlations are not as obvious because the curred along the Seno Reloncavi flow line,
ice-core chronology becomes less reliable where a long fjord-like arm of the sea ex-
with increasing depth and the Llanquihue I tends inland to the region southeast of Vol-
advance is not yet closely dated. can Calbuco (Fig. 1). Such rapid ice retreat
would have been analogous to that doc-
Ice Recession umented at Glacier Bay, Alaska, since the
The timing and character of ice recession end of the 18th century (Field, 1976) and
in the Lago Llanquihue basin and the would have led to extensive breakup of the
mountain source region following the Llan- Andean glacier system at this latitude, pos-
quihue III advance have not yet been sibly well before the end of the Pleistocene
studied in detail, but certain inferences can Epoch.
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 287

APPENDIX la: TYPE SECTION OF CARACOL DRIFT*


Thickness
Unit Description (cm)
I Loess, loamy, moderate-yellowish-brown (IOYR 5/4) 130
2 Colluvium, stony, loamy, moderate-yellowish-brown (1OYR
514) loo

Rio Llico Drift


3 Till, stony, olive-brown (2.5YR 4/4) 170

Caracol Dri’
4 Till, stony with Iissile, sandy matrix; dusky-red (1OR 312) to
yellowish-orange (IOYR 6/6); locally dense concentra-
tions of MnO, f&ing voids and clast sockets; pebbles and
small cobbles rotted to center; mean rind thickness on
larger clasts = 17 mm; clasts reach diameter of 25 cm and
include volcanic and granitic lithologies, but many un-
identifiable due to intensity of weathering 340 t
Base of borrow pit
* Borrow pit at 225 m altitude on Route V-610 just west of Caracol and 2.8 km south of junction of Routes
V-610 and V-510 on Cordillera de Zarao 1:50,000 scale topographic map.

APPENDIX lb. TYPE SECTION OF Rio LLICO DRIFT*


Thickness
Unit Description (cm)
Rio Llico Drif
1 Till, stony, moderate-yellowish-gray (5Y 7/4) to brownish-
gray (5YR 4/l); strong horizontal fissility; most clasts are
pebbles and cobbles, but some boulders (to 25cm diam-
eter); weathering variable depending on compactness and
permeability; clast sockets and clast surfaces coated with
limonite; MnO* mottling and veins throughout unit; small
pebbles (~2 cm) commonly weathered through, but large
clasts may have fresh, unweathered cores; mean rind
thickness in upper 1.5 m = 9.4 mm, but decreases to 3.8
mm at base of unit; clasts include basalt, andesite, rhyo-
lite, porphyry, and granite; rinds best developed on apha-
nitic andesite and basalt; granite clasts weathered to core;
local lenses of sandy gravel are dark-yellowish-orange
(1OYR 6/6) with matrix weathered to clay 300
Silt, hard, laminated, dark-yellowish-brown (1OYR 4/2); 7-cm
layer of pebbly sand in middle; small pellets of MnO*,
probably weathered pebbles, scattered in sand 30
Till, stony, like Unit 1; largest boulder 25 x 80 cm in longest
dimensions; many clasts with IO-mm rinds (mean thick-
ness = 10.1 mm near top of unit) 300 +
Base of borrow pit
* Borrow pit at 140 m altitude on north side of Route V-440 about 100 m west of Route V-46 and 1.2 km north-
west of Rio Llico on Cordillera de Zarao 1:50,000 scale topographic map.
APPENDIX Ic: TYPE SECTION OF SANTA MARlA DRIFT*
Thickness
Unit Description (cm)
1 Loess, loamy, moderate-yellowish-brown (IOYR 5/4), with
two dark-yellowish-brown (IOYR 4/4) buried B soil hori-
zons 300
2 Colluvium, gravelly, with loamy matrix 10
3 Sand, olive-brown (2SY 414) o- 10
4 Silt and sand, laminated; dark-olive-brown (2SY 3/4) o- 10
Santa Manh Drifr
5 Till, compact, very stony; generally massive but locally fis-
sile; light-olive-gray (5Y 6/l), weathering to yellowish-
brown (IOYR 6/4); clasts mainly cobbles and pebbles, but
scattered boulders to 80-cm diameter; clasts largely vol-
canic, with granite <lo%; yellowish-orange (IOYR S/6) to
dark-yellowish-orange (10YR 6/6) limonite fills fissile part-
ings and coats clasts and clast sockets; weathering rinds
on volcanic clasts average 1.9 mm thick 200
Intertill sediments
6 Silt, laminated, dusky-yellowish-brown (IOYR 2/2) and gray-
ish-orange (IOYR 714) to dark-yellowish-orange (1OYR
6/6); mottled with MnO* 25
Rio Llico Drift (?)
7 Clay, pebbly, dark-yellowish-brown (IOYR 4/2); clasts
weathered to core; mottled with MnO, 70
8 Gravel, mostly pebbles and small cobbles of volcanic lithol-
ogies; weathering rinds 2-5 mm thick O-200 +
Base of exposure
* Roadcut at 100-m altitude on north side Route V-50 directly beneath San Ambrosio cemetery on Tepual
1:50,000 scale topographic map.

APPENDIX Id: REFERENCE SECTION OF PRE-LLANQUIHUE, POST-SANTA MARiA


INTERDRIFT SEDIMENTS’
Thickness
Unit Description (cm)
1 Loess, loamy, moderate-yellowish-brown (IOYR 5/6) 100
Llanquihue Drift
2 Till, stony, dark-yellowish-brown (1OYR 4J2) 200
Interdrift sediments
3 Silty clay, mottled dark-yellowish brown (IOYR 3/2) to mod-
erate-yellowish-brown (IOYR 5/4) 30
4 Cobble-pebble gravel, light-brown (5YR 5/6) 10
5 Organic silts, dark-yellowish-brown (IOYR 3/2), sandy and
pebbly near base 140
6 Peat, dark-brown (IOYR 3/3); wood in unit dates
57,800 Z&9” yr (QL-1336) 10
7 Silt, possibly tephra, dark-yellowish-orange (IOYR 6/6) 10
8 Sandy clayey silt, probably loess; mottled dark yellowish
brown (IOYR 4/2) to light brown (5YR 5/6) 70
9 Silt, possibly tephra, dark-yellowish-orange (IOYR 6/6);
MnO* concentrations near base 5
IO Sandy, clayey silt, like Unit 7; moderate-yellowish-brown
(IOYR 5/4) 65
Santa Maria Drift
11 Till, stony; contains granite boulders as large as 130 cm 130 +
Base of exposure
* Section measured on south side of Route V-50 about 50 m west of junction with Route 5. Units pinch and
swell laterally, and vary considerably in thickness. Tepual 1:50,000 scale topographic map.
288
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 289

APPENDIX le: TYPE SECTION OF LLANQUIHUE DRIFT’


Thickness
Unit Description km)
-
I Loess, loamy, with scattered pebbles; moderate-yellowish-
brown (IOYR 5/6); stony in lower part; probably contains
admixed tephra; depth of solum = 75 cm 100
Llanquihue Driff
2 Till, compact, stony, with sandy silty matrix; dark-yellow-
ish-brown (IOYR 4/2); pronounced horizontal fissility;
78% of clasts are volcanic rocks (andesite, basalt, dacite),
the remainder being granite and gneiss; largest boulder 60-
cm diameter; clasts mostly rounded to subrounded, and
probably are reworked outwash gravel; weathering rinds
on volcanic clasts are ~0.5 mm thick; limonite stain on
base of clasts and clast sockets; discontinuous MnOZ
staining on some clasts; a few local lenses of cross-strati-
tied sand and silt; unit is probably a meltout till 170
3 Till, massive, stony, compact; dark-yellowish-brown (IOYR
6/2); higher percentage of cobbles and boulders than in
Unit 2; largest boulder 150 cm in diameter; rare limonite
and MnO* staining on undersides of some clasts; rinds on
volcanic clasts mostly CO.5 mm; fissility not as pro-
nounced as in Unit 2; large number of wood fragments in
basal 30 cm (>40,000 yr B.P.; UW-420) probably derived
from gyttja of underlying unit; this unit interpreted as a
basal till 250
Intertill sediments
4 Peat and organic silts with wood fragments 30
5 Silt, probably mostly weathered tephra 70
Santa Maria Drift
6 Till, compact, stony; hard, sandy matrix; grayish-brown
(2.5Y 5/2); clasts mainly cobbles, but some boulders up to
80-cm diameter; limonite encrusts clasts and clast sockets,
and tills voids in matrix; discontinuous MnO* staining;
rinds on volcanic clasts 2-4 mm thick 220
Rio Llico Drif
7 Till, stony, olive-brown (2.5Y 4/4); matrix weathered to
clay and mottled with MnO*; unit typically weathers flush
to face of exposure; rinds on volcanic clasts average 10
mm and tend to spall off when stones are removed from
exposure; clasts and clast sockets coasted with MnQ loo t
Base of exposure
* Roadcut along south side of Route V-50 300 m east of junction with Pan American Highway (Route 5).
Tepual 1:50,000 scale topographic map.
290 STEPHEN C. PORTER

APPENDIX If: REFERENCE SECTION OF LLANQUIHUE II DRIFT’


Thickness
Unit Description (cm)
1 Loess, loamy, moderate-yellowish-brown (IOYR 514) 70
2 Colluvium, stony, moderate-yellowish-brown (IOYR 5/6) 25
Lianquihue II Drift
3 Lacustrine sand, silt, and clay; sheared and locally folded;
contains dropstones up to 20-cm diameter (to 50 cm in
nearby sections); sediments dip vertically in outcrops up-
slope; medium-gray (N5) weathering to light-gray (N7),
and to light-brown (5YR 5/6) or moderate-yellowish-
brown (IOYR 5/4) along shear surfaces 200
4 Pebble-cobble gravel, yellowish-orange (IOYR 8/6); unit is
discontinuous; contains one boulder 1.5 m in diameter o-100
Llanquihue I Drifr
5 Till, hard, compact, stony, olive-gray (5Y 4/l); contains
granite boulders to 2-m diameter; clasts of dark-brown
peat up to 30 x 250 cm in size date 30,700 f 1300 (UW-419),
and 31,700 2 1000 (UW-430) yr B.P. 40-200
6 Pebble-cobble gravel, cross-stratified, dark-yellowish-
brown (IOYR 4/2); moderately well sorted 300 +
Base of exposure,
* Roadcut at about 125 m altitude on south side of Route V-25 0.9 km west of Lago Llanquihue on Frutillar
1:50,000 scale topographic map.

APPENDIX lg: REFERENCE SECTION OF LLANQUIHUE 111SEDIMENTS


AT BELLA VISTA PARK, PUERTO VARAS
Thickness
Unit Description km)
1 Loess, loamy, dark-yellowish-brown (IOYR 4/4) 150-200
2 Tephra, sandy, light-yellowish-brown (IOYR 5/7); probably
same unit dated ca. 10,000 yr B.P. in nearby bogs by
Heusser (1966) 15
Llanquihue sediments and interstratijied lahars
3 Lahar, sandy; crude vertical grading 170
4 Lahar, sandy; pebbles and cobbles at base; erosional chan-
nels s2-m deep in unit 5 mostly tilled by this lahar O-90
5 Lahar, sandy, pebbly; contains medium-gray pumice lapilli,
especially near base; fine silt loam at top oxidized moder-
ate yellowish brown (IOYR 5/4) 190
6 Lahar, sandy, pebbly; like unit 5 110
7 Rhythmites, laminated, medium- to light-gray (NS-N7); rip-
ples and locally cross-stratified; dark-gray (N3) cross-
stratified coarse sand locally appears at base (at RR sec-
tion (Fig. 8) a lens of pebble-cobble gravel ~1 m thick at
this level) 85- 140
8 Lahar, sandy, dark-gray (N4); angular andesite clasts,
especially near base, to 20 cm in diameter; vertically
graded, with well-sorted, medium-coarse sand at top 200-300
9 Rhythmites, even-laminated, light- to dark-gray (N3-N7) 60- 150
10 Peat and peaty silts; very dusky red purple (5RP 212); abrupt
contact at top, gradational at base; peat dated at 15,715 -C
PLEISTOCENE GLACIATION IN CHILE 291

APPENDIX Ig-Continued
Thickness
Unit Description (cm)

440 yr B.P. (GX-5275) at park, 13,965 + 235 (UW-481) at


bluff to south 4-20
11 Sand, medium to coarse, dark-gray (N3) 100
12 Rhythmites, even-laminated; light- to dark-gray (N3-N7);
unit contains dropstones at railroad section 350 +
Base of exposure (strongly deformed lake sediments are visible to east in shallow water (~50 cm deep) near
margin of Lago Llanquihue)
* Upper part of section exposed in main part of Bella Vista Park above and to south of monument: lower
part of section (below unit 10) measured in bluff about 75 m farther south. Puerto Montt 1:50,000 scale topo-
graphic map.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Flint, R. F.. and Fidalgo, F. (1964). Glacial geology of


This study was supported by the National Science the east flank of the Argentine Andes between
latitude 3YlO’ S and latitude 41”20’ S. Geological
Foundation under grant EAR7602655 to New York
Society of America. Bulletin 75, 335-352.
University. I am indebted to Carlos Mordojovich K.
Flint, R. F., and Fidalgo, F. (1%9). Glacial drift in the
and the Empresa National de1 Petroleo (ENAP) for
eastern Argentine Andes between latitude 41”lO’ S
arranging logistic support in Chile. Calvin J. Heusser,
and latitude 43”lO’ S. Geological Society of America.
Linda E. Heusser, Mario Marino P., and Anne H.
Bulletin 80, 1043-1052.
Porter aided in the collection and evaluation of
Heusser, C. J. (1960). Late Pleistocene environments
geologic data. Eleven new 14Cdates were provided by
of the Laguna de San Rafael area, Chile. Geographi-
Arthur W. Fairhall and four by Minze Stuiver, both of
cal Review SO, X5-577.
the University of Washington. George Kukla (Colum-
Heusser, C. J. (1966). Late Pleistocene pollen dia-
bia University) and Ronald T. Merrill (University of
grams from the province of Llanquihue, southern
Washington) conducted the paleomagnetic analyses of
Chile. American Philosophical Society. Proceedings
intertill silt samples. This report was completed while I
110, 269-305.
was a Visiting Scholar at Scott Polar Research Insti-
Heusser, C. J. (1972a). On the occurrence of
tute and a Visiting Fellow in Clare Hall, University of
Lycopodium fuegianum during late Pleistocene in-
Cambridge. Chalmers M. Clapperton, Calvin J. Heus-
ser, and John H. Mercer kindly reviewed a draft of this terstades in the Province of Osorno, Chile. Torre~
Botanical Club Bulletin 99, 178- 184.
paper and provided helpful recommendations.
Heusser, C. J. (1972b). An additional postglacial pol-
len diagram from Patagonia Occidental. Pollen ct
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