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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Bridgland, D.R. & Schreve, D.C. Implications of new Quaternary uplift models for correlation between the Middle and Upper Thames terrace sequences, UK. Global and planetary change. 2009;68:346–356.

Author(s) from Durham


Modelling of uplift histories in the Upper and Middle Thames valleys has revealed an important difference, in the form of additional early post-Anglian uplift in the Middle Thames, attributed to an Anglian (~440 ka) glacio-isostatic effect. Terraces in the Upper Thames around Oxford seem unaffected by glacio-isostasy and their heights show regional uplift of ~35–40 m since the Anglian. The result of the glacio-isostasy is that
Anglian terraces are significantly higher above the valley floor in the Middle Thames (up to 55 m) than in the Upper Thames. Recognition of this displacement of Middle Thames terraces has solved long-standing problems of correlation between this area and the Upper Thames: the pre-Anglian (Cromerian Complex) age of the Sugworth Channel deposits, indicated by biostratigraphy, is no longer a difficulty, whereas the Hanborough Terrace is now thought to be of Anglian age, albeit incorporating pre-Anglian faunal remains and perhaps with a significant early post-Anglian component. These findings have implications for the understanding of the effects of Middle Pleistocene glacio-isostasy and of landscape evolution on the periphery of glaciated regions.

Department of Geography