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Late Middle Pleistocene glaciofluvial sedimentation in western Norfolk, England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 March 2014

P.L. Gibbard*
Cambridge Quaternary, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK
S. Boreham
Cambridge Quaternary, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK
R.G. West
3A Woollards Lane, Great Shelford, Cambridge CB22 5LZ, UK
C.J. Rolfe
Cambridge Quaternary, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK
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Investigation of landforms on the eastern margin of the East Anglian Fenland basin has demonstrated that they represent a series of glaciofluvial delta-fan and related sediment accumulations (the Skertchly Line) deposited at the margin of an ice-lobe that entered the depression. This ‘Tottenhill glaciation’ dated to ca 160 ka, or the late Wolstonian (= late Saalian) Stage, is equivalent to that during the Netherlands' Drenthe Substage (Marine Isotope Stage 6). Of these landform complexes, an additional site at Shouldham Thorpe, previously nominated as the stratotype for deposits linked to a pre-Anglian Stage, Midlands'-derived Ingham/‘Bytham river’, has now been studied. Examination of the internal structure and form of the feature, using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), supported by section logging, borehole records, local landscape morphology and previous description, together indicate that the deposits rest on an eroded surface of Lowestoft Formation diamicton (Anglian Stage) and must therefore be of post-, rather than pre-Anglian age. The investigations indicate that the Shouldham deposits were laid down as a glacio-marginal subaerial (‘terminoglacial’) fan at the ice-front. In common with other sequences in the Skertchly Line complexes, deposition at Shouldham Thorpe was accompanied by minor ice-front movement, this fan potentially being deposited before retreat to the Tottenhill locality. The implications of the results are discussed.

Research Article
Copyright © Stichting Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 2012


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