Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click

Friday, 25 May 2018

Late Pleistocene environments

Thanks to Chris for sending the PDF of an interesting lecture in the Netherlands about the evolution of the rivers and the landscapes.Rather difficult for non-Dutch speakers to follow, but Chris wondered if there was anything radical in there relating to ice edges etc.  The short answer is "No" -- the above map, which is almost too fuzzy to interpret properly, shows the widely accepted Late Devensian (Weichselian) ice edge for Northern Europe -- which is somewhat redundant in that there are many tweaks around the edges, not least in Western Britain.  This is a point made by Prof Danny McCarroll in his recent review of my new book.

Chris wondered whether the area coloured yellow shows a more extensive glaciated area, incorporating much of southern England including Kent.  No -- that area is the area assumed to have been effected by permafrost, with tundra vegetation.  I think the map actually shows current thinking on the ecology / vegetation patterns of Europe around 20,000 years ago.

This is another interesting diagram, showing climate change in western Europe since the wastage of the last glaciation ice in the Alps, the British Isles and Northern Europe.

Most of what is on the diagram is fairly obvious, even to a non-Dutch speaker.  Note the gradual improvement of climate between 18,000 and 15,000 BP, the complex oscillations between 15,000 and 12,000 with the Older Dryas and Younger Dryas (Zone III) phases, and the relatively stable climate since then.  This time scale does not quite coincide with others that have been published -- I wonder if the author is using BC/AD as his timescale, rather than BP?


Joost van den Buijs said...

"jaar geleden" means "years ago", so the picture says BP.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Ah -- thank you Joost. In which case, I am mystified by that 2,000 year difference -- must check out what is going on here......