A litho-tectonic event stratigraphy from dynamic Late Devensian ice flow of the North Sea Lobe, Tunstall, east Yorkshire, UK

Jenna Sutherland, Bethan Davies, Jonathan R Lee

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The central sector of the British-Irish Ice Sheet during the last glaciation was characterised by complex ice-flow reflecting interacting ice streams and changing dominance of different ice dispersal centres. At Tunstall, east Yorkshire, two subglacial till units have been traditionally identified as the Late Devensian Skipsea and Withernsea tills, and thought to record two separate ice advances onto the Holderness coast, from divergent ice flow directions. Our study presents the first quantitative lithological, sedimentological and structural evaluation of glacial sediments at the site. The lithological composition of both till units suggests that ice extended southwards from southern Scotland, incorporating material from north-east England and the western margin of the North Sea Basin. Notably, the bulk lithological properties of both the Skipsea and Withernsea tills are very similar. Subtle variations in colour, texture and lithology that do occur simply appear to reflect spatial and temporal variability in subglacial entrainment along the flow path of the North Sea Lobe. The relative arrangements of the units plus the fracture sets also indicates phases of intra-till thrust-stacking and unloading (F2), consolidation and shrinkage (F1, F3) suggestive of cycles of ice re-advance (thrusting) and ice-marginal retreat (unloading and shrinkage) possibly relating to active recession. The findings from this study reveal a sedimentary and structural complexity that is not recognised by the current Late Devensian till stratigraphy of east Yorkshire.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Geologists' Association
Early online date29 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2020

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