Manchester Geographical Society

North West Geography


Volume 16, Number 1, 2016

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Evidence for Paleolake Rawtenstall around Stacksteads, Upper Irwell Valley, Rossendale, U.K.

This paper presents new geomorphological and sedimentological evidence relating to the glaciation of the Upper Rossendale Valley, northwest England. We identify a previously unrecognised esker and associated glaciofluvial deposits within the valley, using high-resolution hillshaded Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) constructed using LiDAR data. A temporary exposure in a subaqueous outwash fan indicates the operation of an efflux jet from a conduit exiting an ice margin in the vicinity of the Thrutch (Stacksteads) Gorge. We propose that the gorge was formed primarily by incision due to the drainage of the ice- dammed paleolake Rawtenstall during a previous glacial phase, but later operated as a subglacial meltwater channel after a local readvance of ice during the last Glacial Termination. A similar approach in other areas is likely to improve our detailed understanding of glaciation in the North West.

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