The late glacial and post glacial history of the Vale of Pickering and northern Yorkshire Wolds

Foster, Stephen W.

Geology; Mineralogy; Sedimentology
November 1985

Thesis or dissertation

© 1985 Stephen W Foster. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This thesis is an attempt to combine a number of different approaches as part of a wider attempt to re-interpret  the late Quaternary history of the Vale of Pickering and Northern Wolds in Yorkshire. This involved the critical  analysis of part evidence together with the collation and interpretation of data from a variety of sources, some  published, some unpublished but mostly from field work.The course of the research followed a number of different lines. The first of these was to study the sedimentary  data from glacial and pro-glacial deposits in the Vale of Pickering to assess their age and environment of deposition. The sediments were mapped in the field and analysed in the laboratory. A glacial outwash rather  than lake-beach origin was proved for an important group of these sediments. The sedimentary data from the  Vale of Pickering showed that ice had undoubtedly advanced further into the area than had been envisaged by  Kendall at the turn of the century. - this was supported independently by geomorphological evidence and more  sedimentary data from the northern Yorkshire Wolds escarpment. In the western end of the Vale, a thicker lobe  of ice than that supposed by Kendall seems to have advanced into the area from the Vale of York, but its furthest  limits cannot be shown from data available at the moment.On the Yorkshire Wolds an attempt was made to delineate the advance of the Late Quaternary ice, but  unfortunately the data was so poor that no firm limits could be drawn. Glacial outwash sediments were found at several scattered sites and compared with those found in the Vale, some similarity was proved, suggesting that  meltwater from late Quaternary glaciers had flowed across the Wolds and that ice from the Vale had overtopped  the Wolds scarp along much of its length. The soils were analysed and found to have a higher blown sand  content than suspected previously. The blown sand content increased towards the northwest, suggesting a  probable glacial outwash source.The dry valleys were studied and new light shed on the processes which may have contributed to their  formation. In addition evidence of periglacial evidence from the whole region was collected, described and  assessed. Finally it was found that the structural lines of disturbance which traverse the chalk of the northern  Wolds could easily be mapped from aerial photographs. These were mapped and included in the thesis as a small contribution to the solid geology of the area, even though they only impinge indirectly upon the main scope  of this study.

Department of Geography, The University of Hull
Sponsor (Organisation)
Natural Environment Research Council (Great Britain)
Qualification level
Qualification name
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