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Improved age constraint for pre- and post-Anglian temperate-stage deposits in north Norfolk, UK, from analysis of serine decomposition in Bithynia opercula

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rob Westaway


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The 'new glacial stratigraphy' (NGS) of Britain postulates that deposits hitherto assigned to the Anglian glaciation in Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 12 represent MIS 16, 12, 10 and 6. This controversial idea can be tested at Sidestrand in north Norfolk, where fossiliferous temperate-stage deposits underlie the oldest and overlie the youngest of the glacial deposits. Previous work has considered biostratigraphy and amino acid dating of these temperate-stage deposits, but did not achieve tight age constraint using the amino acid evidence alone. The total hydrolysable amino acid fraction in intra-crystalline protein from Bithynia tentaculata opercula has previously been analysed for concentrations of serine and alanine. Statistical screening of these data gives alanine/serine ratios of 4.572-±-0.114 for the Sidestrand Hall Member (beneath the glacial deposits) and 3.564-±-0.091 for the Sidestrand Cliff Formation (overlying the glacial deposits). These ratios imply ages of MIS 13a and 11c, respectively, indicating the latest Cromerian and early Hoxnian interglacials and invalidating the NGS. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Westaway R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Quaternary Science

Year: 2010

Volume: 25

Issue: 5

Pages: 715-723

ISSN (print): 0267-8179

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1417

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/jqs.1348


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