A rock avalanche deposit in Burtness Comb, Lake District, northwest England



A large tongue-shaped accumulation of coarse rock debris in Burtness Comb, Lake District, northwest England, previously regarded as a glacial moraine or relict rock glacier, has been examined and is reinterpreted as the product of rock-slope failure. The debris tongue has morphological similarities with landforms produced by rock avalanches. This is the first rock avalanche deposit to be reported from the Lake District. Schmidt hammer R-values and morphological contrasts between the upper and lower parts of the debris imply that two stages of slope failure and downslope debris streaming occurred. In the absence of evidence for a Loch Lomond Stade (c. 12.9–11.5 cal. ka BP) glacier in Burtness Comb, the debris may have accumulated at any time since removal of the Dimlington Stade ice cover (c. 16.8 cal. ka BP) and is regarded as a form of paraglacial landscape response to the effects of glaciation. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.