The late Quaternary glacial depositional environment at Filey Bay, eastern England: Accretionary mechanisms for thick sequences of tills and stratified diamictons

Evans, David J.A.; Roberts, David H.; Phillips, Emrys. 2024 The late Quaternary glacial depositional environment at Filey Bay, eastern England: Accretionary mechanisms for thick sequences of tills and stratified diamictons. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association.

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Construction of the Holderness/Flamborough Head moraine belt on the East Yorkshire coast, England, records the oscillatory onshore flow of the North Sea Lobe of the British-Irish Ice Sheet from ~ 25.8 to ~ 19.7 ka BP, during which time a thick sequence of multiple diamictons and associated stratified sediments were emplaced. The sedimentology of a > 40 m thick stratigraphy through the moraine belt at Filey Bay, in combination with local borehole records, is used here to reconstruct the depositional processes associated with glacier ice moving ca., 12 km onshore and damming the mouth of the Vale of Pickering, which resulted in the accumulation of an unusually thick and complex sequence of deposits traditionally classified as the “Filey till”. The base of the sedimentary sequence comprises stratified diamictons, which are interpreted as glacilacustrine deposits emplaced predominantly by sediment gravity flows in an ice-contact ‘mud apron’ on the distal slope of a subaqueous push ridge constructed in the earliest proglacial lake in Filey Bay; a vertical increase in coarse-grained lithofacies records increasing glacier proximity. Glacier overriding of the mud apron is recorded by a stacked sequence of tills that interdigitate with lake sediments inland. A zone of till-lake sediment interdigitation migrated first westward during North Sea Lobe advance and then eastward during its retreat, into and out of Glacial Lake Pickering, respectively. Multiple tills and intra-till stratified beds and lenses at the top of the sequence at Filey represent alternating deforming bed-sliding bed facies (subglacial traction tills and subglacial canal fills) associated with the construction of inset push moraines, constructed by sub-marginal incremental thickening or punctuated aggradation. This depositional scenario addresses the problems arising from genetic classifications of substantial accumulations of glacigenic diamictons as ‘till’ when modern analogues indicate only modest thicknesses of subglacial traction till beneath glaciers. Onshore thickening of glacigenic deposits through subaqueous push moraine construction and mud apron progradation is compatible with glacier surging behaviour, but not necessarily solely diagnostic of a surging North Sea Lobe during the last glaciation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
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ISSN: 00167878
Date made live: 09 May 2024 13:41 +0 (UTC)

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