A provisional Quaternary and Neogene lithostratigraphical framework for Great Britain

McMillan, A.A.. 2005 A provisional Quaternary and Neogene lithostratigraphical framework for Great Britain. Netherlands journal of geosciences (Geologie en Mijnbouw), 84 (2). 87-107.

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This paper presents an overview of a provisional lithostratigraphical framework for the Quaternary and Neogene deposits of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) (onshore). The objective is to provide a workable framework to aid future Quaternary mapping and research, and a stratigraphical scheme capable of use in a wide variety of applications. Using the full hierarchy, a supergroup, group and subgroup lithostratigraphy, based upon the primary mapping unit, the formation, is proposed. It is recommended that some classes of lithogenetically-defined deposits which, at present cannot be accorded formational status, should be assigned informally to one of the proposed groups or subgroups. The framework distinguishes one superficial deposits supergroup within which seven groups are defined: i) Crag Group, marine deposits (Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene); ii), Dunwich Group, fluvial deposits (pre-Anglian/pre-Elsterian); iii) Residual Deposits Group; iv) British Coastal Deposits Group, coastal and marine deposits (Anglian to Holocene); v) Britannia Catchments Group, fluvial, organic and mass movement deposits (Anglian to Holocene) within broadly defined catchment areas related to Late Devensian to present-day physiography; vi) Albion Glacigenic Group, glacigenic deposits (pre-Devensian/pre-Weichselian), and vii) Caledonia Glacigenic Group, glacigenic deposits (Devensian/Weichselian). North of the Devensian (Weichselian) ice-sheet limit, a series of glacigenic subgroups are defined geographically for the two glacigenic groups on the basis of mappable formations of till. The subgroups include associated formations of glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine deposits. Consequently some of the glacigenic water-lain units may extend beyond the Devensian limit. Catchment subgroups of the Britannia Catchments Group are proposed for formations and lithogenetic units defined within broad present-day physiographic regions by major river drainage systems that have developed since Middle Pleistocene time. Lithostratigraphical description and correlation of formations will aid the refinement of the proposed framework and enable the development of lithostratigraphical maps and three-dimensional models. As well as offering a unified framework for onshore Quaternary and Neogene deposits the proposed supergroup, group and subgroup structure may prove useful for a wide range of regional applications (e.g. hydrological, hydrogeological, engineering).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes > National Geoscience Framework
BGS Programmes > Geology and Landscape Northern
BGS Programmes > Geology and Landscape Southern
ISSN: 0016-7746
Additional Keywords: Quaternary and Neogene lithostratigraphy, Glacigenic sediments, Catchments (drainage basins), Fluvial sediments, Coastal sediments, Great Britain
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 20 Aug 2007 15:31 +0 (UTC)

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