Devensian Late-glacial environmental change in the Gordano Valley, North Somerset, England: A rare archive for southwest Britain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • WA Woodland
  • CD Spencer
  • SB Marriott
  • DJ Case
  • JA Catt


The Late-glacial and Holocene environmental history of the Gordano Valley, North Somerset, UK has been reconstructed using pollen, sediment particle size and mineralogical analyses and radiocarbon dating. A Devensian sediment ridge across the valley confined the waters of a small lake, within which the initial sedimentation was minerogenic. Radiocarbon dating of overlying organic-rich deposits suggests that this began late in the Dimlington Stadial c. 18,000-15,000 Cal. BP. Petrographic analyses indicate the minerogenic sediments were partly wind-blown in origin. Climatic amelioration during the Windermere Interstadial c. 15,000 Cal. BP encouraged a shift from minerogenic to biogenic sedimentation. A brief return to minerogenic sedimentation between c. 10,400 and c. 9,520 Cal. BP was followed by uninterrupted fen peat accumulation throughout the Holocene. The later minerogenic horizon appears to represent the Loch Lomond Stadial. Few stratigraphic sequences preserving the complete Devensian Late-glacial-Holocene transition exist in southwest Britain, making the sedimentary archive of the Gordano Valley valuable regionally for reconstructing Late-glacial climate change.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-444
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Paleolimnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


  • Severn Estuary, loess, Windermere Interstadial, Loch Lomond Stadial, Dimlington Stadial