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From the same journal

Age-estimate evidence for Middle-Late Pleistocene aggradation of River Nene 1st Terrace deposits at Whittlesey, eastern England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • H. E. Langford
  • M. D. Bateman
  • K. E H Penkman
  • S. Boreham
  • R. M. Briant
  • G. R. Coope
  • David H. Keen


Publication details

JournalProceedings of the Geologists' Association
DatePublished - Aug 2007
Issue number3
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)283-300
Original languageEnglish


At Whittlesey, eastern England, Pleistocene interglacial sediments (unit G3) deposited in marine oxygen isotope stage (MIS) 7 appear to be truncated by a sequence comprising: (i) a limestone-rich gravel containing organic mud beds (unit F1); (ii) vertically aggrading gravel beds with sand-clay-lined bases (unit F2); and (iii) interbedded sands and gravels (units F4-F6) with associated overbank deposits (unit F2); Preliminary investigations of the floral and faunal assemblages of the organic muds were consistent in providing evidence for deposition under cool conditions. This apparent single cool/cold-phase sequence therefore could have been deposited in either MIS 6 or MIS 5d-2. The presence of sand beds in units F5, F6 and G4 and of molluscs in the organic mud beds of unit F1 provided the opportunity for obtaining age estimates using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and amino acid racemization (AAR). Rather than a single cool/cold-phase sequence the age-estimate data revealed multiphase aggradation, with the AAR data indicating the possibility that the organic muds in unit F1 were deposited earlier in MIS 7 than the interglacial deposits of unit G3. Therefore, the succession could be: unit F1 was truncated initially by unit G3, with unit F2 subsequently incising both unit F1 and unit G3. The OSL age estimates indicate that units F5, F6 and G4 are Early to Middle Devensian in age (MIS 5d-2), and therefore unit F2 was deposited sometime between late MIS 7 and MIS 5d. This paper has demonstrated the utility of using dual age-estimate techniques in dating complex fluvial sequences. Furthermore, the organic mud beds of unit F1 could provide important new information on the complex character of the MIS 7 interglacial. In addition, the OSL data and the fluvial style recorded by units 174-176 and G4 allow comparisons to be made with recent investigations of nearby Devensian deposits. © 2007 Geologists' Association.

    Research areas

  • amino acid racemization, optically stimulated luminescence, Pleistocene, marine oxygen isotope stages, Whittlesey, INTERGLACIAL DEPOSITS, CAMBRIDGESHIRE, LUMINESCENCE, SEDIMENTS, ENVIRONMENTS, REMAINS, BRITAIN, QUARTZ, FAUNA, UK

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