North West Geography
Volume 10, Number 1, 2010
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Plateau areas, north west England
This paper discusses the evidence for the existence of ice-contact lakes around Rawtenstall in the Rossendale Forest and the Goyt valley and its tributaries in the High Peak during the last (Devensian) glaciation. Morphological evidence for shorelines and overflow channels exists, but is of limited value and cannot be dated. However, evidence from archive borehole records and new boreholes indicates that lake sediments occur extensively in both areas and contain rhythmically laminated silt and clay which is likely to be varved. The High Peak Lake formed in a proglacial position and was short-lived due to rapid ice retreat. However, Lake Rawtenstall was a lateral ice-contact lake and is likely to have existed for much longer; sediments here could potentially be used to construct a varve chronology which spans the last Glacial Maximum.