Periglacial disruption and subsequent glacitectonic deformation of bedrock : an example from Anglesey, North Wales, UK

Phillips, Emrys; Lee, Jonathan R.; Riding, James B. ORCID:; Kendall, Rhian; Hughes, Leanne. 2012 Periglacial disruption and subsequent glacitectonic deformation of bedrock : an example from Anglesey, North Wales, UK. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 124 (5). 802-817.

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The deformed metasedimentary bedrock and overlying diamictons in western Anglesey, NW Wales, record evidence of glacier-permafrost interactions during the Late Devensian (Weichselian). The locally highly brecciated New Harbour Group bedrock is directly overlain by a bedrock-rich diamicton which preserves evidence of having undergone both periglacial (brecciation, hydrofracturing) and glacitectonic deformation (thrusting, folding), and is therefore interpreted as periglacial head deposit. The diamicton locally posses a well-developed clast macrofabric which preserves the orientation of the pre-existing tectonic structures within underlying metasedimentary rocks. Both the diamicton and New Harbour Group were variably reworked during the deposition of the later Irish Sea diamicton, resulting in the detachment of bedrock rafts and formation of a pervasively deformed glacitectonite. These structural and stratigraphic relationships are used to demonstrate that a potentially extensive layer of permafrost developed across the island before it was overridden by the Irish Sea Ice Stream. These findings have important implications for the glacial history of Anglesey, indicating that the island remained relatively ice-free prior to its inundation by ice flowing southwards down the Irish Sea Basin. Palynological data obtained from the diamictons across Anglesey clearly demonstrates that they have an Irish Sea provenance. Importantly no Lower Palaeozoic palynomorphs were identified, indicating that it is unlikely that Anglesey was overridden by ice emanating from the Snowdon ice cap developed on the adjacent Welsh mainland. Permafrost was once again re-established across Anglesey after the Irish Sea Ice Stream had retreated, resulting in the formation of involutions which deform both the lower bedrock-rich and overlying Irish Sea diamictons. � 2012 Natural Environment Research Council. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Geologists’ Association. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0016-7878
Additional Keywords: Periglacial deformation Glacially tectonised bedrock Anglesey Irish Sea Ice
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 01 Oct 2012 12:28 +0 (UTC)

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