The Age and Origin of the Blakeney Esker of North Norfolk: Implications for the Glaciology of the Southern North Sea Basin

  1. Michael J. Hambrey2,
  2. Poul Christoffersen2,3,
  3. Neil F. Glasser2 and
  4. Bryn Hubbard2
  1. S. J. Gale and
  2. P. G. Hoare

Published Online: 24 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304435.ch13

Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products

Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products

How to Cite

Gale, S. J. and Hoare, P. G. (2007) The Age and Origin of the Blakeney Esker of North Norfolk: Implications for the Glaciology of the Southern North Sea Basin, in Glacial Sedimentary Processes and Products (eds M. J. Hambrey, P. Christoffersen, N. F. Glasser and B. Hubbard), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304435.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Centre for Glaciology, Institute of Geography & Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Wales, Ceredigion SY23 3DB, UK

  2. 3

    Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1ER, UK

Author Information

  1. School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 14 DEC 2007

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 39 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Isabel Montanez

Series Editor Information

  1. University of California, Davis, USA

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405183000

Online ISBN: 9781444304435

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Keywords:

  • age and origin of Blakeney esker of north Norfolk - implications for glaciology of southern North Sea Basin;
  • esker formed in late stages locally of glaciation of Middle Quaternary age;
  • Blakeney esker - part of complex assemblage of Quaternary landforms and drift deposits;
  • stratigraphy of site 2, Blakeney esker;
  • age of Blakeney esker and its associated sediments;
  • esker associated with ice laid down Marly Drift of central north Norfolk;
  • lithology of durable component of Briton's Lane Sand and Gravel Member and Unit 6 of Blakeney esker

Summary

The age and origin of the Blakeney ridge of eastern England have been debated for over a century. The feature is shown to be an esker formed in the late stages locally of a glaciation of Middle Quaternary age. The weight of evidence indicates that the esker was associated with the ice that laid down the Marly Drift of central north Norfolk, although this cannot be demonstrated conclusively. The flows that formed the Blakeney esker were subglacial. They took place from northwest to southeast along the length of the ridge, with at least the final phase occurring under hydrostatic pressure. It is likely that the esker developed during a glacial stillstand and under steep hydraulic gradients close to the ice sheet terminus. Although the esker conduit appears to have functioned largely as a Röthlisberger channel, there is evidence of simultaneous incision of the glacial bed. A valley is cut into bedrock beneath the esker. The esker and the buried valley may form the distal components of one of the broadly north–south aligned subglacial valleys that were trenched across the southern North Sea Basin in Middle Quaternary times. The complex assemblage of proglacial glaciofluvial landforms found to the south of the esker may represent the products of transport along the subglacial valley. The ice lobe that occupied the southern North Sea Basin may have left similar buried valley–proglacial fan complexes elsewhere along the northern fringe of East Anglia.