The BGS Lexicon of Named Rock Units — Result Details

Lowestoft Formation

Computer Code: LOFT Preferred Map Code: notEntered
Status Code: Full
Age range: Anglian Stage (QA) — Anglian Stage (QA)
Lithological Description: The Lowestoft Formation forms an extensive sheet of chalky till, together with outwash sands and gravels, silts and clays. The till is characterised by its chalk and flint content. The carbonate content of the till matrix is about 30%, and tills within the underlying Happisburgh Formation have less than 20%.
Definition of Lower Boundary: The Lowestoft Formation unconformably overlies a large range of Mesozoic, Palaeogene, Neogene and early Pleistocene bedrock formations, and in eastern East Anglia also unconformably overlies the older glacigenic Happisburgh Formation (formerly Corton Formation on some maps) and the fluvial sands and gravels of the Dunwich Group. The tills within the Lowestoft Formation typically contain a significantly higher percentage of chalk than the underlying tills. The gravels in the Dunwich Group contain a significant amount of quartzose lithologies and only very minor quantities of erratics and chalk, whereas the gravels in the Lowestoft Formation contain common erratics from Scotland and northern England, and abundant chalk where not decalcified.
Definition of Upper Boundary: The Lowestoft Formation is overlain unconformably by deposits of the Britannia Catchments Group and in northeastern East Anglia by the Sheringham Cliffs Formation. Where the uppermost part of the Lowestoft Formation comprises sand and gravel, it is not always easy to determine its upper boundary if overlain by younger sand and gravel, but in general the younger sand and gravel is better sorted and chalk free.
Thickness: Extremely variable. It is thickest in buried valleys where locally up to 60m may be present. Thick accumulations are also more generally present beneath much of northern Essex and south Suffolk.
Geographical Limits: There is some debate as to the extent of the Lowestoft Formation. It is extensive over East Anglia having its southern limit near Romford, Essex. It is probable that most of the chalky tills in central East Anglia are also part of the Lowestoft Formation. In northern East Anglia the very chalky tills commonly referred to informally as the "marly drift" were generally included within the Lowestoft Formation, but recent work has indicated that these may belong to a younger glaciation. Likewise, chalky tills in the south and east Midlands have commonly been linked with the Lowestoft Formation, but these may also be younger. It is also uncertain how the pre-Devensian tills in Lincolnshire relate to the Lowestoft Formation.
Parent Unit: Albion Glacigenic Group (ALBI)
Previous Name(s): Cromer Till [Obsolete Name And Code: See Revision Note] (CMT)
Lowestoft Till Group (-2916)
Lowestoft Boulder Clay (-373)
Lowestoft Till Formation [Obsolete Name And Code: See LOFT] (LTIL)
Alternative Name(s): none recorded or not applicable
Type Section  Cliff sections at Corton, Norfolk. Moorlock et al., 2000. 
Mathers, S J, Zalasiewicz, J A, Bloodworth, A J and Morton, A C. 1987. The Banham Beds - a petrologically distinct suite of Anglian glacigenic deposits from Central East Anglia, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 98, 229-240. 
Straw, A. 1965. A reassessment of the Chalky Boulder Clay or Marly Drift of north Norfolk. Zeitschrift fur Geomorphologie, Vol.9, 209-221. 
Lee, J R, Booth, S J, Hamblin, R J O, Jarrow, A M, Kessler, H, Moorlock, B S P, Morigi, A N, Palmer, A, Riding, J B and Rose, J. 2004. A new stratigraphy for the glacial deposits around Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, North Walsingham and Cromer, East Anglia, UK. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Norfolk, Vol.53, 3-60. 
Bristow, C R and Cox, F C. 1973. The Gipping Till: a reappraisal of East Anglian glacial stratigraphy. Journal of the Geological Society of London, Vol.129, 1-37. 
Arthurton, R S, Booth, S J, Morigi, A N, Abbott, M A W and Wood, C J. 1994. Geology of the country around Great Yarmouth, Sheet Memoir 162, British Geological Survey. [London: HMSO.] 138pp 
Hopson, P M and Bridge, D M. 1987. Middle Pleistocene stratigraphy in the lower Waveney valley, East Anglia. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol.98, 171-185. 
Moorlock, B S, Hamblin, R J O, Morigi, A N, Booth, S J and Jeffery, D H. 2000. The geology of the country around Lowestoft and Saxmundham. Memoir of the British Geological Survey, sheets 176 and 191 (England and Wales). 
Perrin, R M S, Rose, J and Davies, H. 1979. The distribution, variation and origins of pre-Devensian tills in eastern England. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol.B287, 535-570. 
Baden-Powell, D F W. 1948. The chalky boulder clays of Norfolk and Suffolk. Geological Magazine, Vol.85, 279-296. 
Bridge, D M and Hopson, P M. 1985. Fine gravel, heavy mineral and grain size analysis of mid-Pleistocene glacial deposits in the lower Waveney valley, East Anglia. Modern Geology, Vol.9, 129-144. 
Harmer, F W. 1909. The Pleistocene period in the eastern counties of England. 103-123 in Monckton, H W and Herries, R S (editors), Geology in the Field, Jubilee Volume.. [Geologists' Association.] 
1:50K maps on which the lithostratigraphical unit is found, and map code used:
E131 E162 E188 E189 E190 E205 E206 E224 E221 E159 E161 E187 E204 E207 E220 E222 E223 E238 E239 E240 E241 E256 E257 E258 E259 E174 E160 E146 E132 E148 E208 E225 E175 E176 E191