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Early Middle Pleistocene sediments at Sidestrand, northeast Norfolk, yield the most extensive preglacial cold stage beetle assemblage from Britain

Larkin, Nigel R.; Coope, G. Russell; Lee, Jonathan R.; Silva, Barbara. 2014 Early Middle Pleistocene sediments at Sidestrand, northeast Norfolk, yield the most extensive preglacial cold stage beetle assemblage from Britain. Quaternary International, 341. 46-58. 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.03.036

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Abstract/Summary

Fluvial sediments (Cromer Forest-bed Formation) at Sidestrand, northeast Norfolk, have yielded the most extensive preglacial early Middle Pleistocene cold (arctic) stage beetle assemblage known from Britain. The assemblage is composed of 59 taxa indicating severely cold and continental climatic conditions. Mutual Climatic Range reconstructions suggest that the mean temperature of the warmest month (July) was between 10 °C and 13 °C and the mean temperature of the coldest months (January and February) between −17 °C and −10 °C, although the actual palaeotemperatures were probably towards the lower end of these ranges. Associated pollen and macroflora remains were poorly represented but all are known from other cold stage contexts. Excavations reveal that this freshwater arctic assemblage occurs within units between two important stratigraphic marker horizons, the Sidestrand Hall Member of the Cromer Forest-bed Formation and the first lowland glacigenic deposit (Happisburgh Till Member) in eastern England, although the ages of both remain equivocal. Recent amino-acid chronologies of molluscan faunas from the Sidestrand Hall Member indicate a MIS 13 age, with by inference a MIS 12 age for the overlying arctic units with cold beetle fauna and for the Happisburgh Till Member. However, the arctic units are separated from the two stratigraphic marker horizons by shallow marine deposits (Wroxham Crag Formation) demonstrating at least two intervening phases of marine transgression and a cold climate marine regression. The climatic significance of these marine transgressions and their chronostratigraphic implications are currently uncertain.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.03.036
Additional Keywords: Early Middle Pleistocene; Boreo-alpine; Coleoptera; Beetles; Pre-glacial; Arctic
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 20 Aug 2014 07:25 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/508129

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