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Abstract

The style of Quaternary deposits in Wales is influenced by its Palaeozoic rocks and surrounding offshore, partly onshore, basins of Mesozoic and Cenozoic ones. Its dissected plateaux and mountains were the source areas for ice that spread on to the lowlands that were also, in part, glaciated by contemporaneous ice from the Irish Sea Basin.

The stratigraphical record in Wales consists mainly of glacial deposits with the source areas of the ice indicated by erratics in the Meirion, Elenid, Eryri (Snowdonia), Brecknockshire (of Breconshire), Rhondda and St Asaph Formations. Within the Late Devensian glaciated areas any record of earlier events is sparse, with notable exceptions at Pontnewydd Cave and Pen-y-bryn near Caernarfon. Outside Late Devensian glaciation an incomplete record extends to the Ipswichian (oxygen isotope sub-stage Se). Pre-Ipswichian deposits are fragmentary and mostly preserved on, or within, caves of Carboniferous limestone.

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