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Revised Pre-Devensian glacial stratigraphy in Norfolk, England, based on mapping and till provenance

  • R.J.O. Hamblin (a1), B.S.P. Moorlock (a1), J. Rose, J.R. Lee (a1), J.B. Riding (a1), S.J. Booth (a1) and S.M. Pawley...

Abstract

Mapping combined with till provenance studies have resulted in a re-appraisal of the pre-Devensian glacial stratigraphy of Norfolk, England. The traditional model invoked two formations, a North Sea Drift Formation (NSDF) overlain by a Lowestoft Formation, formed by co-existing ice-sheets originating in Scandinavia and Northern Britain respectively. The NSDF included three diamictons, the First, Second and Third Cromer tills. The Briton’s Lane Sands and Gravels were considered to overlie the Lowestoft Formation. However, our work has shown this stratigraphy to be untenable, and we propose a model of several glaciations instead of co-existing ice-sheets. In our revised stratigraphy, the oldest formation, the Happisburgh Formation (including the Happisburgh or First Cromer Till) includes massive, sandy tills derived from northern Britain. The overlying Lowestoft Formation, including the Second Cromer (Walcott) Till is confirmed as derived from the west, introducing much Jurassic material as well as Chalk. The Sheringham Cliffs Formation includes both brown sandy tills (the Third Cromer Till) and ‘marly drift’, in a variety of tectonic relationships, and derived from the north and NNW. Finally the Briton’s Lane Formation is the only formation to include Scandinavian erratics. Dating of the four formations is at varying levels of confidence, with the Lowestoft Formation most confidently confirmed as MIS 12. The Happisburgh Formation is believed to represent an earlier glaciation, and MIS 16 is proposed. The Sheringham Cliffs Formation is tentatively believed to date from MIS 10, and the Briton’s Lane Formation is assigned to MIS 6.

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Corresponding author

2 Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 OEX U.K. Corresponding author Dr. R.J.O. Hamblin; email: rjoh@bgs.ac.uk

References

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