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Evolution of the Thames estuary during MIS 9: insights from the Shoeburyness area, Essex

Roe, H.M. and Penkman, K.E.H. and Preece, R.C. and Briant, Rebecca M. and Wenban-Smith, F.F. (2011) Evolution of the Thames estuary during MIS 9: insights from the Shoeburyness area, Essex. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 122 (3), pp. 397-418. ISSN 0016-7878.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pgeola.2010.11.005

Abstract

Multidisciplinary, litho-, bio- and amino-stratigraphical investigations of the infills of buried channels on the coast of eastern Essex have a direct bearing on the differentiation of MIS 11 and MIS 9 in continental records. New data are presented from Shoeburyness, where a deeply incised channel filled with interglacial sediment can be directly related to the terrace stratigraphy of the River Thames. Fossil assemblages confirm that the interglacial beds began accumulating in a freshwater environment, which became transformed into a dynamic estuary as relative sea-levels rose. Pollen data confirm that this occurred early in the interglacial when mixed oak forest was becoming established. The geological context of the sediments indicates that they post-date the Anglian glaciation, yet pre-date the Barling Gravel terrace aggradation, which has been ascribed to MIS 8. Amino acid racemisation data based on Bithynia opercula further constrain the age to the Hoxnian (=MIS 11) or to MIS 9. An MIS 9 attribution is favoured because (i) AAR data suggest that the sequence post-dates the interglacial channel-fill at Clacton, which is widely ascribed to the Hoxnian; (ii) the bivalve Corbicula occurred early within the interglacial (unlike its late appearance during the Hoxnian); and (iii) the sequence includes evidence for a marine transgression that occurred earlier in the interglacial cycle than it did at local Hoxnian sites. Plant macrofossil remains suggest that the early part of the Shoeburyness interglacial was associated with warmer-than-present summer temperatures. This is in keeping with inferences from sites at Barling, Cudmore Grove and Purfleet, which are also attributed to MIS 9. All three sites are similar in terms of their palaeo-vegetation and inferred relative sea-level histories and provide an emerging picture of this temperate episode in southern Britain.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Late Middle Pleistocene, Hoxnian Interglacial, MIS 9, MIS 11, Sea-level change
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Geography, Environment and Development Studies
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2012 08:14
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:23
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4982

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