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Marine deposition dominated the Early Pleistocene and parts of the early Middle Pleistocene. The region experienced glaciation on at least two occasions; during the Anglian and Late Devensian. There may also be some localities that show evidence of additional glacial episodes (Gibbard et al. 1991a, 1992). Evidence of fluvial activity is significant, with major reorganization of the drainage system as a result of glaciation during the Anglian.

Early Pleistocene deposits are mainly marine in origin, and were deposited at the margins of the southern North Sea basin. The Red Crag and Norwich Crag Formations occur in the southern and eastern parts of East Anglia. Coastal sections together with boreholes through the deeper Crag basins provided reference sections for Early Pleistocene stages defined by Mitchell et al. (1973). These provide lithostratigraphical and biostratigraphical information for correlation of the British sequence with those of the Netherlands (Gibbard et al. 1991b). These correlations reveal a gap of about I Ma in the British sequence.

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