Organic and soil material between tills in east-midland England – direct evidence for two episodes of lowland glaciation in Britain during the Middle Pleistocene

James Rose, Jenni Turner, Elaine Turton, James Riding, Adrian Palmer, John Wright, Jonathan Lee, Nicholas Bullimore

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This paper provides a record and analysis of a site in eastern midland England, at which organic and soil material are found between two Middle Pleistocene tills. This is the first discovery of its kind in the area, and demonstrates unequivocally that the region was glaciated on two separate occasions, something that has long been inferred and articulated, but not actually demonstrated. The landforms, sediments and soils are studied with respect to their geomorphological, lithological, pedological, palaeobotanical and structural properties. The organic and soil material along with soil structures indicate, sequentially, a periglacial climate, a long period of warm temperate weathering and a cool temperate climate. Evaluation of this evidence in terms of existing published work identifies a number of problems with existing models and suggests that the most likely model for the glacial history of this part of midland England is an early Middle Pleistocene glaciation which is represented only by trace erratics, an MIS 12 age glaciation which moved across the area from the NW and deposited a chalk-free till, and an MIS 8 age glaciation that transported and deposited an upper chalky till from the NE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-569
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Issue number4
Early online date18 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 May 2021

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