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Transport of late Pleistocene loess particles by katabatic winds during the lowstands of the English Channel

Jean-Pierre Lefort, Jean-Laurent Monnier and Guzel Danukalova
Transport of late Pleistocene loess particles by katabatic winds during the lowstands of the English Channel
Journal of the Geological Society of London (July 2019) Pre-Issue Publication

Abstract

Studies of the submerged Pleistocene conglomerate cored and dredged in the English Channel show that it resulted from the cementation of stony beaches under a loess blanket. Although the loess cover was later washed out by younger transgressions, the northern limit of the conglomerate corresponds to the original offshore extension of the loess deposits. Compilation of offshore and onshore altitudes of the limits of these deposits shows that loess was deposited by low-level wind fields never thicker than 200 m. Mapping surveys show that the present limits of loess are probably close to their original boundaries. The past proximity of the British Ice Sheet, the accumulation of dusty sediments coating north-facing cliffs of Brittany originating in the outwash of the British-Irish Ice Sheet and in the palaeo-rivers of the English Channel, as well as the southeastward orientation of the palaeo-winds deduced from particle size analysis and heavy minerals distribution, suggest that large volumes of loess were transported by strong katabatic winds blowing from the northern ice-covered regions towards Brittany and Normandy. The existence of katabatic winds is also consistent with the drift of ice rafts that transported Icelandic basalts now grounded in Brittany and possibly with the orientation of Homo neandertalensis shelters.


ISSN: 0016-7649
EISSN: 2041-479X
Coden: JGSLAS
Serial Title: Journal of the Geological Society of London
Serial Volume: Pre-Issue Publication
Title: Transport of late Pleistocene loess particles by katabatic winds during the lowstands of the English Channel
Affiliation: Universite de Rennes I, Centre de Recherche en Archeologie, Archeosciences, Histoire, Rennes, France
Published: 20190730
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 108
Accession Number: 2019-067080
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps
N48°30'00" - N50°00'00", W05°00'00" - E00°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geology, RUS, Russian Federation
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, 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: 201935
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