Palynology of the Interglacial deposits at Little Oakley, Essex, and their Correlation
Pollen analyses of sediment samples from five boreholes in the Little Oakley Silts and Sands provide evidence of contemporary vegetational development. Although the sequence is fragmentary, the succession can be reassembled based on the well-established subdivisions of vegetational development during temperate stages in northwest Europe. The earliest vegetation represented is of late-glacial herb-dominated character. This is followed by an expansion of Betula, and subsequently Pinus, which together with Picea, Alnus, and later, Ulmus form the pre-temperate forest. After the decline in Pinus, Ulmus becomes dominant in the early temperate substage. The later expansion of Quercus and accompanied decrease in Ulmus marks the development of fully temperate deciduous forest. Other temperate trees such as Tilia and Fraxinus are rare. Throughout, the neighbouring river floodplains supported widespread herb-dominated grassland. The latter may have been maintained by alluvial aggradation and large vertebrate activity. Pollen analysis from a Megaloceros cf. dawkinsi antler base collected by S. H. Warren shows that the find dates from the early temperate substage of the interglacial. Comparison of the Little Oakley pollen sequence with others obtained from Britain, The Netherlands and neighbouring countries suggests probable correlation with the Cromerian sensu stricto of West Runton, England and `Interglacials III or IV' of the Dutch `Cromerian Complex'. The preceding possible late-glacial spectrum should therefore equate with the late Beestonian.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- June 1990