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Lateglacial/early Holocene palaeoenvironments in the southern North Sea Basin: new data from the Dudgeon offshore wind farm

Lateglacial/early Holocene palaeoenvironments in the southern North Sea Basin: new data from the Dudgeon offshore wind farm
Lateglacial/early Holocene palaeoenvironments in the southern North Sea Basin: new data from the Dudgeon offshore wind farm

It is well known that the North Sea conceals an extensive former landscape of Late Pleistocene and Holocene date that was progressively submerged as result of rising post-glacial sea levels. Although an increasingly detailed picture is emerging of these submerged palaeolandscapes, well-dated palaeoenvironmental reconstructions from the North Sea Basin remain few and far between. Pollen, foraminifera, ostracod, plant macrofossil and molluscan data are presented from a radiocarbon-dated core retrieved from the site of the Dudgeon offshore wind farm, located in the southern North Sea Basin. The palaeoenvironmental analysis provides new data on changing local physical and vegetation environments in the southern North Sea Basin, occurring against a background of global climate change and rising sea levels. Subalpine plant communities gradually gave way to hazel-dominated woodland during the early Holocene, with freshwater environments replaced by increasing signs of estuarine influence from ca. 9500 to 9000 cal a BP. The thin upper peat (8411–8331 cal a BP) raises the possibility that the final inundation of the Dudgeon site may be linked to meltwater pulses following the collapse of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and the draining of the proglacial Lakes Agassiz and Ojibway.

8.2-ka event, North Sea, palaeoenvironmental analysis, palaeolandscapes, sea-level rise
0267-8179
597-610
Brown, Alex
5bbcd831-6ed1-4e30-9fa4-7eb0466072e8
Russell, John
54d69030-56e5-406e-87b1-b5b9e7ea4392
Scaife, Rob
b258b25f-818e-4f20-aad8-bc17e170e6b5
Tizzard, Louise
43a53593-cdb0-414c-99ea-9f429fddfba0
Whittaker, John
9cadf515-09be-4105-a336-fe7b31b8f95c
Wyles, Sarah F.
5189c809-9554-4478-993c-db6f52ea61ab
Brown, Alex
5bbcd831-6ed1-4e30-9fa4-7eb0466072e8
Russell, John
54d69030-56e5-406e-87b1-b5b9e7ea4392
Scaife, Rob
b258b25f-818e-4f20-aad8-bc17e170e6b5
Tizzard, Louise
43a53593-cdb0-414c-99ea-9f429fddfba0
Whittaker, John
9cadf515-09be-4105-a336-fe7b31b8f95c
Wyles, Sarah F.
5189c809-9554-4478-993c-db6f52ea61ab

Brown, Alex, Russell, John, Scaife, Rob, Tizzard, Louise, Whittaker, John and Wyles, Sarah F. (2018) Lateglacial/early Holocene palaeoenvironments in the southern North Sea Basin: new data from the Dudgeon offshore wind farm. Journal of Quaternary Science, 33 (6), 597-610. (doi:10.1002/jqs.3039).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It is well known that the North Sea conceals an extensive former landscape of Late Pleistocene and Holocene date that was progressively submerged as result of rising post-glacial sea levels. Although an increasingly detailed picture is emerging of these submerged palaeolandscapes, well-dated palaeoenvironmental reconstructions from the North Sea Basin remain few and far between. Pollen, foraminifera, ostracod, plant macrofossil and molluscan data are presented from a radiocarbon-dated core retrieved from the site of the Dudgeon offshore wind farm, located in the southern North Sea Basin. The palaeoenvironmental analysis provides new data on changing local physical and vegetation environments in the southern North Sea Basin, occurring against a background of global climate change and rising sea levels. Subalpine plant communities gradually gave way to hazel-dominated woodland during the early Holocene, with freshwater environments replaced by increasing signs of estuarine influence from ca. 9500 to 9000 cal a BP. The thin upper peat (8411–8331 cal a BP) raises the possibility that the final inundation of the Dudgeon site may be linked to meltwater pulses following the collapse of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and the draining of the proglacial Lakes Agassiz and Ojibway.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 April 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 July 2018
Published date: 1 August 2018
Keywords: 8.2-ka event, North Sea, palaeoenvironmental analysis, palaeolandscapes, sea-level rise

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 425790
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/425790
ISSN: 0267-8179
PURE UUID: 94e912d6-fe72-478f-8e37-0739a079d4b4

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Date deposited: 02 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 02 Nov 2018 17:30

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Contributors

Author: Alex Brown
Author: John Russell
Author: Rob Scaife
Author: Louise Tizzard
Author: John Whittaker
Author: Sarah F. Wyles

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