Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The timing and consequences of the blockage of the Humber Gap by the last British−Irish Ice Sheet

Bateman, Mark D.; Evans, David J.A.; Roberts, David H.; Medialdea, Alicia; Ely, Jeremy; Clark, Chris D.

The timing and consequences of the blockage of the Humber Gap by the last British−Irish Ice Sheet Thumbnail


Mark D. Bateman

David H. Roberts

Alicia Medialdea

Jeremy Ely

Chris D. Clark


The eastern England terrestrial glacial sequences are critical to the spatial and temporal reconstruction of the last British−Irish Ice sheet (BIIS). Understanding glacial behaviour in the area of the Humber Gap is key as its blockage by ice created extensive proglacial lakes. This paper maps the glacial geomorphology of the Humber Gap region to establish for the first time the extent and thickness of the North Sea Lobe (NSL) of the BIIS. Findings establish the westerly maximal limit of the NSL. Ten new luminescence ages from across the region show the initial Skipsea Till advance to the maximal limits occurred regionally at c. 21.6 ka (Stage 1) and retreated off-shore c. 18 ka (Stage 2). Punctuated retreat is evident in the south of the region whilst to the immediate north retreat was initially rapid before a series of near synchronous ice advances (including the Withernsea Till advance) occurred at c. 16.8 ka (Stage 3). Full withdrawal of BIIS ice occurred prior to c. 15 ka (Stage 4). Geomorphic mapping and stratigraphy confirms the existence of a proto Lake Humber prior to Stage 1, which persisted to Stage 3 expanding eastward as the NSL ice retreated. It appears that proglacial lakes formed wherever the NSL encountered low topography and reverse gradients during both phases of both advance and retreat. These lakes may in part help explain the dynamism of parts of the NSL, as they initiated ice draw down and associated streaming/surging. The above record of ice-dammed lakes provides an analogue for now off-shore parts of the BIIS where it advanced as a number of asynchronous lowland lobes.


Bateman, M. D., Evans, D. J., Roberts, D. H., Medialdea, A., Ely, J., & Clark, C. D. (2018). The timing and consequences of the blockage of the Humber Gap by the last British−Irish Ice Sheet. Boreas: An International Journal of Quaternary Research, 47(1), 41-61.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 16, 2017
Online Publication Date May 15, 2017
Publication Date Jan 2, 2018
Deposit Date Sep 25, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 25, 2017
Journal Boreas
Print ISSN 0300-9483
Electronic ISSN 1502-3885
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 47
Issue 1
Pages 41-61


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (11.8 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
Advance online version © 2017 The Authors. Boreas published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Boreas Collegium This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations