New insights into the deformation of a Middle Pleistocene glaciotectonised sequence in Norfolk, England through magnetic and structural analysis

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North Norfolk is a classic area for the study of glacial sediments with a complex glaciotectonic deformational history, but the processes leading to the formation of some structures can be ambiguous. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) analyses, providing quantitative fabric data, have been combined with the analysis of visible structures and applied to the Bacton Green Till Member, exposed at Bacton, Norfolk. Thermomagnetic curves, low temperature susceptibility and acquisition of isothermal remanent magnetism (IRM) reveal that the magnetic mineralogy is dominated by paramagnetic phases. The magnetic foliation is parallel to fold axial planes and weakly inclined to bedding, whilst the magnetic lineation is orientated parallel to stretching, indicated by the presence of stretching lineations and the trend of sheath folds. Variations in the orientation of the magnetic lineation suggest that the Bacton section has been subject to polyphase deformation. After subaqueous deposition, the sequence was overridden by ice and glaciotectonically deformed which involved stretching initially north–south, then east–west. These results show that AMS can be used to detect strain in three dimensions through a glaciotectonite where paramagnetic mineralogy is dominant. This approach therefore provides further support to the use of AMS as a fast, objective and accurate method of examining strain within deformed glacial sediments.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-854
JournalProceedings of the Geologists' Association
Issue number5
Early online date21 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013


  • Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS), Glaciotectonism, Norfolk, Sheath folding, Quaternary, Strain