Lake Melville Geo-morphology 1


Learn geography online by this case study of a Lake area in Labrador Newfoundland looking into geographic land processes.

This will examine the Lake Melville study area. The area will be divided up into drainage basins named by numbers in the essay and on the map. (Geographical information gathered from superficial material Lake Melville Newfoundland Map 23 1979 Geological Survey of Canada Dept. of Energy, Mines and Resources ) Topographical regions will be named by letters. Landscapes will be described and Geo-morphological processes will be included.

The Lake Melville study area is located in Central Labrador Lake Melville is essentially Hamilton Inlet, (the entrance flanked by the towns of Rigolet and Cartwright see map) an inlet of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is surrounded by Precambrian rock. the rock surrounding Lake Melville is mostly Hadryian in geological age, (570-930 years old). The rocks that compose the Mealy Mountains are anorthosite (igneous rocks) and the rocks in the eastern half of the study area are granitic gneiss(igneous rocks).

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The entire area is severely areal scoured, resembling a deranged drainage pattern. This pattern is typical of drainage found in shield areas. In both Europe and North America, the shield is where the continental ice sheets developed. The geology of these areas is usually highly diverse and consists of much hard rock. Therefore, when ice flows over these areas, the shield yields deferentially and creates an unusually irregular pattern of interlocking lakes and streams.

The drainage system, being very irregular, creates difficulties in discerning any clear cut water shed areas. However there are really only six drainage areas with respect to a map scale of 1:250,000. They are the river basins that empty into Lake Melville (1) (the Western Section). This included the River Kenamu which emanates from the south and flows into an area just west of the Epinette Peninsula. The other major tributary in this drainage basin is the river Kenemick which emanates from a large reservoir, seven or eight miles est of Mont Lookout. This reservoir is a mixture of irregular streams and lake pattern which flow in a south westerly direction until they reach a large reservoir thirty miles south of Etagulet Bay. From there the river transforms into rapids and flows north west for seven miles and then turns in a southeasterly direction for another twenty miles. The river then flows northward for fifteen miles to the Carter Basin (a bay off Lake Melville).  The next tributary that flows into Lake Melville is the English River. It emanates just east of Mont Lookout in the form of small reservoirs.  These tributaries flow into Lake Melville from the south.

In the next basin (2) all the rivers flow into the eastern arm of Lake Melville. this water way is called the back way and lies just east of St. John Island.  On the map submitted Main Brook is it’s major drainage basin tributary.

Eagle River and White Bear River are the major tributaries that flow into Sandwich Bay (3), a bay off the Atlantic Ocean . Eagle river starts off as two tributaries of fast flowing rapids that merge into one river.

North River is the major tributary of the drainage basin flowing into the Atlantic Ocean (4) just north of Sandwich Bay. The sources of North River are large reservoirs that occur between and south of the English mountains.

North of Lake Melville there are numbers of small tributaries that are part of the water shed flowing to Lake Melville (5) . These are the Pearl River and Mulligan River. The other drainage basin (6) encompasses all those tributaries that flow into the Coleys Arm (Double Mer). Rattling Brook and Coleys Brook are two examples of such tributaries. In this region there are various forms of landscape. First the lowland area that is usually under four hundred feet in elevation. It is found primarily around the southern part of Lake Melville near the Kenamu delta. this area is primarily organic terrain with underlying inorganic substances as a minor component.  The area also has many glacial-fluvial deposits and fine grained marine deposits. and fine grained marine deposits. This is also true of the area across Lake Melville around Mulligan Bay, although the terrain here is slightly less organic in composition. there are many examples of kettle holes adjacent to the Kenamu and Kenemich rivers. These were formed as the glacier retreated.