Loch Lomond (Younger Dryas) Stadial Glaciation Style at Wolf Crags, Eastern Lake District

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Abstract

Several studies have attempted to reconstruct Loch Lomond Stadial (12.9-11.7 cal. ka BP) glaciers in Britain. In the Lake District early interpretations of moraine ridges led to the reconstruction of predominantly cirque and valley glaciers. However, more recent reinterpretations based on analyses of summit geomorphology and modern analogue glaciers, have argued that a plateau icefield was a more plausible landsystem for parts of the Lake District during the LLS. This study uses geomorphological mapping of landforms at and adjacent to Wolf Crags, the site of a previously reconstructed cirque glacier, at the northern end of the Helvellyn range, eastern Lake District. Evidence of blockfields, meltwater channels and gullies on the plateau edges are indicative of a cold-based protective ice mass on the summit. The reconstructed ice-marginal positions demonstrate retreat of two outlet glaciers at Wolf Crags and in the valley of Groove Beck towards a contiguous glacier on the plateau above these sites. It is suggested that a plateau icefield is a more plausible glacial landsystem for the Wolf Crags region and probably fed other outlet glaciers in the valleys to the south of Groove Beck. This highlights the need for a reassessment of previous palaeoclimatic inferences made for the Lake District during the Loch Lomond Stadial.
Original languageEnglish
Volume2
Specialist publicationThe Cumberland Geologist
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Feb 2021

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