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Development of a subglacial drainage system and its effect on glacitectonism within the polydeformed Middle Pleistocene (Anglian) glacigenic sequence of north Norfolk, Eastern England

Phillips, Emrys; Lee, Jonathan R.. 2013 Development of a subglacial drainage system and its effect on glacitectonism within the polydeformed Middle Pleistocene (Anglian) glacigenic sequence of north Norfolk, Eastern England. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 124 (5). 855-875. 10.1016/j.pgeola.2012.07.005

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Abstract/Summary

The efficiency of subglacial drainage is known to have a profound influence on subglacial deformation and glacier dynamics with, in particular, high meltwater contents and/or pressures aiding glacier motion. The complex sequence of Middle Pleistocene tills and glacial outwash sediments exposed along the north Norfolk coast (Eastern England) were deposited in the ice-marginal zone of the British Ice Sheet and contain widespread evidence for subglacial deformation during repeated phases of ice advance and retreat. During a phase of easterly directed ice advance, the glacial and pre-glacial sequences were pervasively deformed leading to the development of a thick unit of glacitectonic me´ lange. Although the role of pressurised meltwater has been recognised in facilitating deformation and me´ lange formation, this paper provides evidence for the subsequent development of a channelised subglacial drainage system beneath this part of the British Ice Sheet filled by a complex assemblage of sands, gravels and mass flow deposits. The channels are relatively undeformed when compared to the host me´ lange, forming elongate, lenticular to U-shaped, flat-topped bodies (up to 20–30 m thick) located within the upper part of this highly deformed unit. This relatively stable channelised system led to an increase in the efficiency of subglacial drainage from beneath the British Ice Sheet and the collapse of the subglacial shear zone, potentially slowing or even arresting the easterly directed advance of the ice sheet. � 2012 Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Geologists’ Association. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.pgeola.2012.07.005
ISSN: 0016-7878
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 01 Oct 2012 11:07
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/19773

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