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Title: Middle Pleistocene stratigraphy and landform development of south east Suffolk
Author: Allen, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 3218
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 1984
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A revised Lower and Middle Pleistocene stratigraphy and palaeoenvironmental history of south-east Suffolk is proposed as a result of field and laboratory examination of 15 sites and several temporary exposures by analyses of particle size distributions, clast roundedness, stone counts, till macrofabrics, palaeocurrents and facies assemblages. The oldest unit consists of intertidal sands and silty clays of the Creeting Formation. Pollen evidence suggests a date earlier than the Pastonian. The situation of the deposits suggests that early Pleistocene marine conditions were more extensive than previously thought and their altitude and distribution indicate significant Pleistocene tectonic activity. Overlying these, the Kesgrave Formation comprises three terraces of sand and gravel deposited by a northeastward flowing braided river. The exotic components of the gravel indicate an extensive drainage basin, though some may have been introduced into the catchment by ice. These deposits represent the earliest course of the Thames, of Beestonian and Pre-Pastonian age and possibly earlier. The uppermost 1.0m or more of the terrace deposits have been altered by humid, temperate pedogenic activity to form the Valley Farm-Rubified Sol Lessive during a succession of interglacials of which the Cromerian is the youngest. The succeeding Anglian periglacial phase is marked initially by aeolian deposits and then by ground-ice activity, which disturbed the temperate palaeosol and formed the Barham Arctic Structure Soil. The ensuing glacigenic suite, the Lowestoft Formation, starts with outwash sands and gravels. Basal flow tills appear to occur preferentially in the valleys and to be overlain by slumped till which passes laterally into lodgement till in the plateau area. During deglaciation a further flow till and gravels were deposited. The formations and their members are separated on the basis of variations in their lithological, sedimentological and structural characteristics. The fluvial facies assemblages conform to the Scott, Donjek and South Saskatchewan type models of Miall and, in addition to glacitectonic and hydroplastic disturbances, brittle and ductile deformation is identified as a response to settling on an unstable base such as melting ice or saturated clay or to downslope gravitational movement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available