Measurements were made along the northwestern shore of Lake Erie, Canada to determine whether grain magnetic properties can be used to identify and distinguish sources of beach sediment. Although surface magnetic susceptibilities were highly variable, ranging from 56 to 9867 × 10-5 SI (Bartington MS2D), there was generally a gradual increase from the low beach (near the waterline) towards the high beach; there were also narrow, shore-parallel bands with high susceptibility at various points on the beach surface. Magnetic mineralogy on the beaches was dominated by low-Ti magnetite (570°<Tc<580 °C), and the effective grain-size varied from pseudosingle domain in the low beach to multidomain on the high beach. Sandy bluff sediments in the eastern part of the study area had magnetic properties (e.g. S-ratios, hysteresis loops, thermomagnetic curves) that were similar to those on the beaches, whereas the magnetic properties of the extensive till bluffs and river basin sediments were quite different. The data suggested that, whereas the beaches in the western part of the study area are supplied with sediment from bluffs several tens of kilometres to the east, the source of the high magnetic concentrations on the eroding beaches of eastern Point Pelee remains to be determined.
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Vol. 36 • No. 4