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Sedimentary evidence for a major glacial oscillation and proglacial lake formation in the Solway Lowlands (Cumbria, UK) during Late Devensian deglaciation.

Livingstone, S.J. and Ó Cofaigh, C. and Evans, D. J. A. and Palmer, A. (2010) 'Sedimentary evidence for a major glacial oscillation and proglacial lake formation in the Solway Lowlands (Cumbria, UK) during Late Devensian deglaciation.', Boreas., 39 (3). pp. 505-527.


This paper is a sedimentological investigation of Late Devensian glacial deposits from the Solway Lowlands, northwest England, in the central sector of the last British–Irish Ice Sheet. In this region, laminated glaciolacustrine sediments occur, sandwiched between diamictons interpreted as subglacial tills. At one location the laminated sediments are interpreted as varves, and indicate the former presence of a proglacial lake. Correlation of these varves with other laminated sediments indicates that the glacial lake was at least 140 km2 in area and probably much larger. Extensive beds of sand, silt and gravel throughout the Solway Basin associated with the lake demonstrate ice-free conditions over a large area. Based on the number of varves, the lake was in existence for at least 261 years. The stratigraphic sequence of varves bracketed by tills implies a major glacial oscillation prior to the Scottish Re-advance (16.8 cal. ka BP). This oscillation is tentatively correlated with the Gosforth oscillation at c.19.5 cal. ka BP. Subsequent overriding of these glaciolacustrine sediments during a westward-moving re-advance demonstrates rapid ice loss and then gain within the Solway Lowlands from ice-dispersal centres in the Lake District, Pennines and Southern Uplands. It is speculated that the existence of this and other lakes along the northeastern edge of the Irish Sea Basin would have influenced ice-sheet dynamics.

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Record Created:26 Oct 2010 11:19
Last Modified:29 May 2012 16:55

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