Timing and dynamics of Late Wolstonian Substage 'Moreton Stadial' (MIS 6) glaciation in the English West Midlands, UK

Sebastian M. Gibson, Mark Bateman, Julian B. Murton, Tim Barrows, L. Keith Fifield, Philip L. Gibbard

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Glaciation during the late Middle Pleistocene is widely recognized across continental northwest Europe, but its extent and palaeoenvironmental significance in the British Isles are disputed. Although glaciogenic sediments at Wolston, Warwickshire, in the English West Midlands, have been used to define the stratotype of the Wolstonian Stage, their age has been variably assigned between marine isotope stages (MIS) 12 and 6. Here we present sedimentological and stratigraphical observations from five sites across the English West Midlands whose chronology is constrained by new luminescence ages from glaciofluvial sediments, supplemented by cosmogenic 36 Cl exposure dating of erratic boulders. The ages suggest that between 199 ± 5 and 147 ± 2.5 ka the British Ice Sheet advanced into the English West Midlands as far south as Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. This advance is assigned to the Moreton Stadial of the Late Wolstonian Substage. Dating of the glaciation to this substage allows correlation of the Moreton Stadial glacial deposits in the English West Midlands with those of the Drenthe Stadial during the Late Saalian Substage across continental northwest Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number220312
Number of pages41
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2022


  • Quaternary
  • Wolstonian Stage
  • lithostratigraphy
  • sedimentology
  • optically stimulated luminescence
  • exposure dating


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