Aspects of the Middle and Upper Pleistocene of the Upper Ouse Basin
The thesis undertakes a lithostratigraphical examination of terrace and fluvioglacial gravels of the Upper Great Ouse basin, and part of the Nene basin, in order to provide a foundation for a Middle and Upper Pleistocene stratigraphy of a relatively little-researched area. Pebble-counts are used as a basis for Stratigraphie interpretation following the work of Green and McGregor on the terrace gravels of the Proto-Thames. The thesis first examines the characteristics of the study area which influence superficial deposits. This is followed by a discussion of previous research in surrounding areas so that comparisons and correlations may subsequently be made. Field and laboratory methods employed are discussed, and each site sampled is described. The analysis of the gravel is divided into two parts. Firstly the lithological composition of each sample is ascertained. Each lithology present is described and the probable source geology discussed. Secondly the lithological composition of all samples is compared in order to determine the spatial patterns (using trend surface analysis) and the stratigraphical patterns (using cluster analysis) among the samples. The statistical tests involved are discussed and the results of the analyses are described and interpreted with particular reference to the source geology. At Stoke Goldington, an interglacial deposit of richly-organic clay is reported which contains a wide range of fauna and flora. Associated with the clay are two separate suites of gravel. A description of the site is presented together with a preliminary report on the biological evidence. Finally, the lithostratigraphic results, together with the biological evidence from Stoke Goldington, and evidence from the literature of the Ouse basin and surrounding areas are brought together, and a succession incorporating all the available evidence is presented. Correlations with the surrounding regions are suggested.