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Orford, Suffolk: Evidence for the Evolution of the Area during the Quaternary

A. P. Carr and R. E. Baker
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
No. 45 (Sep., 1968), pp. 107-123
DOI: 10.2307/621396
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/621396
Page Count: 19
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Orford, Suffolk: Evidence for the Evolution of the Area during the Quaternary
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Abstract

This paper considers certain aspects of the evidence for the evolution of the Orford (Suffolk) area during the Quaternary period. There are post-Pliocene marine abrasion surfaces in two different height ranges, approximately - 3 to - 4 m and - 10 m O.D. The degraded cliff line, which broadly corresponds with the eastern Crag outcrop, appears to be notched by the upper one of these. While the surfaces are difficult to date, it is shown that in their original form they must have been entirely pre-Flandrian. An attempt is made to correlate the surfaces with sea level, taking into consideration the unevenness of the sea bed, the relative significance of waves and tidal currents, eustatic and isostatic factors, and the conditions under which such abrasion surfaces would be formed. Because of their probable development behind a 'barrier', the peat deposits in the area appear to be related directly to sea level in only one instance. Radiocarbon dates at that site, at Aldeburgh Marshes, suggest that relative mean sea level was between - 14 and - 15 m O.D. at approximately 8,500 years B.P. The peat beds also provide age limits within which the estuarine clay must have been laid down and these are compared with previously suggested dates from the Fens and the Broads. Existence of peat from pollen zones VI onward at King's Marshes, coupled with other evidence, suggests that the deflection of the River Ore towards the south may be more apparent than real.

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