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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Innes, J.B., Bridgland, D.R., Mitchell, W.A., Rutherford, M.M., O'Brien, C. & Long, A.J. Late Devensian environments in the Vale of Mowbray, North Yorkshire, UK: evidence from palynology. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association. 2009;120:199-208.

Author(s) from Durham


Two radiocarbon-dated Lateglacial pollen diagrams from the Vale of Mowbray (northern Vale of York) are presented from sites in the lowlands between the washlands courses of the rivers Swale and Ure in North Yorkshire, an area with little previous palynological research despite its proximity to the Devensian glacial advance limits in eastern England. The profiles, from Snape Mires and Nosterfield, include the Loch Lomond Stadial (Younger Dryas) and the Holocene transition, while that from Snape Mires also includes the period from the early part of the Lateglacial Interstadial. This profile differs from most published Interstadial diagrams from the Yorkshire region in having a long-delayed expansion of tree and shrub taxa. Juniperus (juniper) remains important after vegetation development takes place and the pollen record includes evidence of two cold climate oscillations before the maximum development of Betula (birch) woodland near the end of the Lateglacial Interstadial. At both profiles Artemisia (mugwort) frequencies are lower during the Loch Lomond Stadial than at many regional sites, probably due to edaphic factors in these lowland locations. The two sites provide valuable environmental data that enable comparison between the more wooded Lateglacial vegetation to the south in the Vale of York and Humberside and the more open contemporaneous vegetation to the north in the Durham and Northumberland lowlands.

Department of Geography