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From the same journal

Differentiation of MIS 9 and MIS 11 in the continental record: vegetational, faunal, aminostratigraphic and sea-level evidence from coastal sites in Essex, UK

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Author(s)

  • Helen M. Roe
  • G. Russell Coope
  • Robert J. N. Devoy
  • Colin J. O. Harrison
  • Kirsty E. H. Penkman
  • Richard C. Preece
  • Danielle C. Schreve

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
DatePublished - Nov 2009
Issue number23-24
Volume28
Number of pages32
Pages (from-to)2342-2373
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Multidisciplinary investigations of the vegetational, faunal and sea-level history inferred from the infills of buried channels on the coast of eastern Essex have a direct bearing on the differentiation of MIS 11 and MIS 9 in continental records. New data are presented from Cudmore Grove, an important site on Mersea Island that can be linked to the terrace sequence of the River Thames. The vegetational history has been reconstructed from a pollen sequence covering much of the interglacial represented. The temperate nature of the climate is apparent from a range of fossil groups, including plant remains, vertebrates (especially the rich herpetofauna), molluscs and beetles, which all have strong thermophilous components. The beetle data have been used to derive a Mutual Climatic Range reconstruction, suggesting that mean July temperatures were about 2 degrees C warmer than modern values for southeast England, whereas mean January temperatures may have been slightly colder. The sea-level history has been reconstructed from the molluscs, ostracods and especially the diatoms, which indicate that the marine transgression occurred considerably earlier in the interglacial cycle than at the neighbouring Hoxnian site at Clacton. There are a number of palynological similarities between the sequence at Cudmore Grove and Clacton, especially the presence of Abies and the occurrence of Azolla filiculoides megaspores. Moreover, both sites have yielded Palaeolithic archaeology, indeed the latter is the type site of the Clactonian (flake-and-core) industry. However, the sites can be differentiated on the basis of mammalian biostratigraphy, new aminostratigraphic data, as well as the differences in the sea-level history. The combined evidence suggests that the infill of the channel at Cudmore Grove accumulated during MIS 9, whereas the deposits at Clacton formed during MIS 11. The infill of a much later channel, yielding non-marine molluscs and vertebrates including Hippopotamus, appears to have formed during the Ipswichian (MIS 5e). This evidence is compared with other important sites of late Middle Pleistocene age in Britain and elsewhere on the continent and the importance of a multidisciplinary approach is stressed. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • SOUTHERN NORTH-SEA, HOXNIAN INTERGLACIAL DEPOSITS, MARINE ISOTOPE STAGE-11, NAR VALLEY CLAY, CLACTON-ON-SEA, MIDDLE-PLEISTOCENE, EASTERN ESSEX, ISOLEUCINE EPIMERIZATION, FLUVIAL DEPOSITS, PALEOLITHIC SITE

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