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Palaeomagnetic correlation and dating of Plio/Pleistocene sediments at the southern margins of the North Sea basin: Paper I.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date01/2005
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Number of pages11
Original languageEnglish


A series of discontinuous sediment sequences, of Plio/Pleistocene age, occur onshore around the southern North Sea margins, notably in the East Anglian region of Britain. Intensive lithological and palaeontological analyses of these sediments have shown that they record both major and minor oscillations in climate, sea level and environmental conditions. However, significant uncertainties exist regarding the absolute and relative chronostratigraphies of many of these sequences, hindering understanding of the relative impacts of climatic, eustatic and tectonic changes on the palaeogeographic development of the southern North Sea basin. Here, a number of key East Anglian Plio/Pleistocene sites are subjected to robust palaeomagnetic and mineralogical examination, in order to determine those sediments which display reliable, syn-depositional magnetic polarities, which are thus of use in ascribing a palaeomagnetically-determined age from comparison with the Geomagnetic Polarity Timescale (GPTS). Based on a range of palaeomagnetic and complementary mineralogical methods, reliable palaeomagnetic directions were obtained from eight sites, with reversed polarities displayed by sediments from three sites. These polarity determinations can be used to infer absolute ages and test published, between-site correlations.