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The glaciogenic unconformity of the southern North Sea

Moreau, Julien
Huuse, Mads
Janszen, Adriaan
van der Vegt, Paul
Gibbard, Philip Louis
Published in Geological Society - Special Publications. 2012, vol. 368, no. 1, p. 99-110
Abstract The southern North Sea is a shallow epicontinental sea that was glaciated several times during the Quaternary. The area is known for its remarkable record of tunnel valleys, the age and origin of which are debated. The recent availability of continuous three-dimensional seismic data between the coasts of Britain and the Netherlands provides the opportunity to establish a new seismic interpretation workflow adapted to the intracratonic glaciogenic successions. By analysing the geomorphology of the buried basal glaciogenic unconformity, four distinct major ice fronts are identified and correlated onshore. The ice fronts provide robust relative timelines, and the analysis of tunnel-valley orientations and their merging points indicates that the number of glacial phases has been underestimated. By comparing the erosion capacities of sand and chalk substrates, it is suggested that mechanical abrasion processes are also involved during tunnel-valley genesis. The methods and observations used in this study are applicable to the ancient glaciogenic record in general and constitute a basis for the sedimentological analysis of tunnel valleys.
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MOREAU, Julien et al. The glaciogenic unconformity of the southern North Sea. In: Geological Society - Special Publications, 2012, vol. 368, n° 1, p. 99-110. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:90787

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