Palynology of organic beds below Devensian glacigenic sediments at Pen‐y‐bryn, Gwynedd, North Wales

Frank M. Chambers, Kenneth Addison, Jeffrey J. Blackford, Martin J. Edge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Pollen diagrams from organic facies overlain by glacigenic sediments at Pen‐y‐bryn, North Wales (53°7′N, 4°16′W), suggest that it is the first locality in the British Isles to provide evidence for several Devensian interstadials prior to Devensian stadial glaciation(s). The evidence is not, however, unequivocal. At least two main episodes of organic sedimentation are indicated, separated by an interval of uncertain duration. One eposide records a Pinus‐Picea‐Betula forest. A second, possibly later, event, with tree pollen less than 10% of total land pollen (TLP), suggests a cool, largely unforested environment. A third episode, with tree pollen up to 25% of TLP, may be related to the latter or be of intermediate age, whereas a fourth and later episode of organic accumulation may be of reworked material. Radiocarbon dating of organic deposits and of a wood macrofossil enclosed in basal till is inconclusive, as is preliminary uranium‐series dating. The principal biogenic episodes may correlate with Oxygen Isotope Substages 5c and 5a, but as the pollen records reflect facies floras, the correlation remains tentative; it is also possible that other temperate periods are recorded. Further resolution of the chronostratigraphy is required to help clarify the problematic correlation of interstadial and stadial events in northwest Europe and to correlate more accurately the biogenic and glacigenic facies at Pen‐y‐bryn with their Pleistocene equivalents elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-173
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Issue number2
Early online date26 Jul 2006
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2006


  • biogenic facies
  • Early Devensian
  • interstadials
  • North Wales
  • Oxygen Isotope Stage 5
  • palynology
  • Pen‐y‐bryn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Palynology of organic beds below Devensian glacigenic sediments at Pen‐y‐bryn, Gwynedd, North Wales'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this