East Anglia's buried channels

Bricker, Stephanie; Lee, Jonathan; Banks, Vanessa; Morigi, Anthony; Garcia-Bajo, Marieta. 2012 East Anglia's buried channels. Geoscientist, 22 (4). 14-19.

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As the Quaternary glaciations gripped eastern England blanketing it in swathes of ice, torrents of subglacial meltwater carved a network of channels through the ice sheets and buried landscape partially superimposing themselves on pre-glacial river networks. Reaching depths of up to 100m, these buried channels produced a significant scar in our subterranean environment - one that often has no surface expression and which is of considerable consequence to modern hydrogeological processes and our understanding of the dynamics of ancient ice sheets. Where these channels were once enveloped by a great thickness of ice they are now in-filled and buried beneath more recent superficial deposits. We cannot claim to be pioneers in uncovering these glacial features since several geologists identified the existence of palaeovalleys in East Anglia in the late 19th Century. It wasn’t until 1970 though that Austin Woodland, while working at the then Institute Geological Sciences (IGS – now British Geological Survey) collated information from water supply borehole records to map the distribution of the buried valleys in sufficient regional detail1. Now, with computer technology we are able to revisit Woodlands work to define in 3D the extent of these buried channels. In doing so, we are able to establish the inter-connections between the pre-glacial setting of central and eastern England, and the modern day hydrological regime.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Geology and Landscape (England)
ISSN: 0961-5628
Additional Keywords: Groundwater protection, minor aquifer, quaternary, tunnel valley
Date made live: 29 May 2012 13:46 +0 (UTC)

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