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Evidence for the early onset of the Ipswichian thermal optimum; palaeoecology of last interglacial deposits at Whittlesey, eastern England

H. E. Langford, S. Boreham, R. M. Briant, G. R. Coope, D. J. Horne, K. E. H. Penkman, D. C. Schreve, N. J. Whitehouse and J. E. Whittaker
Evidence for the early onset of the Ipswichian thermal optimum; palaeoecology of last interglacial deposits at Whittlesey, eastern England
Journal of the Geological Society of London (September 2017) 174 (6)

Abstract

Fossiliferous deposits infilling a channel at Whittlesey, eastern England, are dated by amino acid racemization to the Last Interglacial, and pollen analysis indicates deposition in Ipswichian biozones Ip Ib and Ip IIb. Multidisciplinary palaeoenvironmental analyses of these deposits provide a rare insight into Ip Ib subzone conditions. Specifically, the Ip Ib deposits contain exotic thermophiles Naias minor, Belgrandia marginata, Bembidion elongatum, Pelochares versicolor, Caccobius schreberi, Onthophagus massai and Emys orbicularis, usually associated with Ip IIb. Combined palaeotemperature reconstructions based on beetle, ostracod and vertebrate assemblages of the Ip Ib deposits indicate that summers (mean July range +19 to +22 degrees C) were at least 2 degrees C warmer than at present, whereas winters (mean January air temperature range 0 to +7 degrees C) were probably similar to those of today. These palaeotemperature ranges encompass those for Ip IIb deposits at Trafalgar Square (+20 to +21 degrees C and +1.5 to +3 degrees C), previously considered the only Ipswichian site to record temperatures significantly warmer than Holocene temperatures. Of particular significance is that thermal optimal conditions commenced in Ip Ib, rather than being confined to Ip IIb. This demonstrates rapid warming and biological response to early Ipswichian climate amelioration, which accords with the deep-sea Last Interglacial and European Eemian records. Supplementary material: Supplementary Tables S1-S7 are available at http://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3830221


ISSN: 0016-7649
EISSN: 2041-479X
Coden: JGSLAS
Serial Title: Journal of the Geological Society of London
Serial Volume: 174
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Evidence for the early onset of the Ipswichian thermal optimum; palaeoecology of last interglacial deposits at Whittlesey, eastern England
Affiliation: Birkbeck University of London, Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies, London, United Kingdom
Published: 20170915
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 131
Accession Number: 2017-082745
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., strat. cols., 1 table, geol. sketch maps
N52°33'29" - N52°44'29", W00°07'48" - W00°07'48"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Cambridge, GBR, United KingdomUniversity of Birmingham, GBR, United KingdomQueen Mary University of London, GBR, United KingdomUniversity of York, GBR, United KingdomRoyal Holloway University of London, GBR, United KingdomPlymouth University, GBR, United KingdomNatural History Museum, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201743
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