A revised correlation of Quaternary deposits in the British Isles
Realization that continental records of Quaternary rocks were more complex that hitherto believed came with the re-interpretation of oxygen isotope stratigraphy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This necessitated a comprehensive re-evaluation that has been assisted by the emergence of new geochronological methods for terrestrial as well as land-sea correlations. The current state of such correlations is presented in this revised set of proposals for correlations in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which also includes the Quaternary geology of the continental shelf. Correlation with the global standard of oxygen isotope stratigraphy enables the significance of British lithostratigraphical units to be appreciated in a wider context that includes the evolution of the climate system on the margin of the northeast Atlantic Ocean. It thus provides timely British data for the international palaeoceanographical and palaeoclimatological community and the correlations proposed are primarily on Milankovitch timescales. But their appearance coincides with the early stages of a paradigm shift to the search for both terrestrial and land-sea correlation on millennial timescales and then on centennial and decadal ones. This is the first of many similar terrestrial and land-sea correlations.
South and Southeast England
Published:January 01, 1999
South and Southeast England consists of the counties south of the Thames catchment, and east of the Dorset-Devon border. Spreads of Pleistocene gravels and sands occur extensively at a wide range of altitudes, where they cap interfluves and plateaux, underlie terraces, occur beneath the modern rivers or underlie now submerged terraces beneath the Solent, Southampton Water and nearshore shelf. Colluvial and aeolian sediments are abundant throughout the region, while marine littoral accumulations occur close to the coast. Dry valley fills and doline infillings occur locally in areas underlain by Chalk bedrock.