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Excursion to NE Norfolk's North Sea coast - March 2004

- Annotated pictures

First Stop: Happisburgh


North Sea

Wooden structures on the beach are remnants of late 20th century attempts to protect the cliffs against on-going erosion

Dr. Phil L. Gibbard introduces the exposed section

Top of cliff: Holocene soil in post-Anglian wind-blown sediments overlying Anglian till and meltwater sands
Then: Anglian glacial lake beds (middle strata)
Then: Dark grey Happisburgh Diamicton lodgement till (North Sea Drift Formation), representing the oldest Anglian ice-advance .
Locally at the very base of the cliff are outcrops of Pastonian-age crags: Early Pleistocene marine/estuarine shelly deposits
Modern beach with group of Cambridge QPG staff and students

Ramp-access to beach, from Happisburgh car park.

Dark grey:
Happisburgh Diamicton (till)

Southward view from access ramp.
Post-Anglian soil at top of cliff.
developed in: later Anglian outwash deposits (North Sea Drift and Lowestoft Fm's) , locally including thin beds of till
Dark unit at base of cliff: Happisburgh Diamicton (North Sea Drift Formation)

Detail of contact between Happisburgh Diamicton (till) and overlying laminated (varved) glacio-lacustrine deposits.
The sedimentary structures indicate that both underlying till (at least at its top) and overlying lake sediments must have been rather water-satured. This indicates that deposition of the upper part of the till and the basal part of the lake sediments followed each other directly, i.e. the body of water forming the lake was occupying the melted volume of ice that had plastered the till just before.

scale: height of photograph ~ 1 metre

Close inspection of Happisburgh Diamicton (till)

TO INDEX PAGE         TO STOP 2           TO STOP 3

(c) 2004 photos and annotations by C. Rolfe, S. Boreham, M.A. Godoi, K.M. Cohen, P.L. Gibbard.
Quaternary Palaeoenvironments Group, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge.

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