D. Q. Bowen, 1999. "On the correlation and classification of Quaternary deposits and land-sea correlations", A revised correlation of Quaternary deposits in the British Isles, D. Q. Bowen
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The correlation and classification of Quaternary deposits is desirable for three principal reasons. First, as an exercise in lithostratigraphy, the basis of all stratigraphy and the means for understanding geological history. Second, to establish the stratigraphical relationship of units from which inferences may be drawn about palaeoclimate. This provides information for understanding the past, present and possible future climate system. Third, to provide standardized geological information for different users. The first of these is largely self-evident. The second is less so. But some success in the correlation of terrestrial deposits with ocean sediments and ice-cores from Greenland has made a fundamental contribution to describing the climate system and an emerging understanding of the leads and lags in the coupled ocean–atmosphere–hydro(cryo)- sphere–biosphere system. This has placed new and exacting requirements of terrestrial data for correlation hitherto only available on long time-scales from relatively few sites with the necessary high degree of resolution. To that extent the second edition of this report a quarter of a century since its first edition benefits from the explosion of new data, new methods of geochronology and better awareness of the importance of the wider picture.
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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.