By R. L. Jones, D. H. Keen (auth.)
Recent advancements in Pleistocene examine have triggered the authors to supply this updated, concise account of environmental adjustments in the past million years. Well-illustrated and referenced, it possesses a different place within the literature on Pleistocene occasions within the British Isles.
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Additional info for Pleistocene Environments in the British Isles
In the British Isles, considerable thicknesses of undisturbed aeolian silt (such as occur in mainland Europe and Asia), which would allow a timescale to be set up, are absent (Catt 1977a). A few ages have been obtained from Late Devensian loesses in England which are close to radiocarbon dates from organic material of this affinity (Wintle 198]; Wintle and Catt 1985). Attempts to date older fluvial sediments by thermoluminescence have met with mixed results. In one case, at Farnham, Surrey, silt has been dated to circa 106000 and 107000 BP by thermoluminescence, but organic matter from an analogous context has been dated to about 36600 and 37000 BP by 14C (Bryant et al.
Mollusca are less suitable as chronostratigraphic than palaeoenvironmental indicators, as they appear to have undergone little evolutionary change during the Pleistocene. Early investigators of Pleistocene molluscs, Kennard for example, used them in a similar way to those of earlier geological periods. However, current knowledge of Pleistocene stratigraphy appears to render such a methodology inappropriate. The assertions of Kerney (1977a), whereby the presence/absence of certain species (for example, Gyraulus laevis and Gyraulus albus) indicates a particular interglacial, appear to be less firm in this context.
In one case, at Farnham, Surrey, silt has been dated to circa 106000 and 107000 BP by thermoluminescence, but organic matter from an analogous context has been dated to about 36600 and 37000 BP by 14C (Bryant et al. 1983b; Gibbard el al. 1986a). However, silt from Kempton Park in the same county has given a mean thermoluminescence date of 36600 BP (Southgate 1984), and included plant material with a radiocarbon age of circa 35000 BP (Gibbard et al. 1982) (Chapter 9). No demonstrably reliable thermoluminescence dates over about 125000 BP have so far been obtained from Pleistocene sediments in the British Isles.
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