Abstract

Abstract

Four landslides in the Aire valley near Bingley are described, with geotechnical data, and dated. The bedrock consists of an Upper Carboniferous (Namurian) sequence of alternating grits and mudstones of low dip. During the Quaternary, the area was affected by ice sheets and valley glaciers and by periglacial solifluction. During retreat of the Late Devensian valley glacier, terminal moraines were emplaced, with proglacial lakes upstream and, on breaching, strong erosion downstream, particularly in the Bingley area. All of the Airedale slides are inferred to have been triggered in part by climatic changes and, in the case of the two nearest the river, also by associated erosion. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the slides occurred as follows: (a), Scarth's Fields successive rotational slides: Dimlington Stadial–Windermere Interstadial transition; (b), Scarth's Fields periglacial solifluction sheet: Loch Lomond Stadial; (c), Holme House Wood compound rockslide: mid-Holocene Interglacial (early Atlantic); (d), Altar Lane periglacial mudslide: Late Holocene Interglacial (early Sub-Atlantic). A comparison of the approximate dates of the above mass movements with the periods of enhanced landslide activity established generally for southern Britain indicates a fairly close concordance.

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