Geology Site Account
Maldon Railway Cutting SSSI, MALDON, Maldon District, TL84150671, Site of Special Scientific Interest
Site name: Maldon Railway Cutting SSSI
Grid reference: TL 8415 0671
Brief description of site:
The former railway cutting at Maldon is now occupied by the Maldon by-pass road. It is the type locality of the Maldon Till, formerly considered to be deposited by a separate advance of the ice sheet but now interpreted an isolated outlier of the widespread sheet of till, or boulder clay, that covers much of central and northern Essex. This interpretation is based on the origin of the gravels overlying the till here. Research is ongoing at this site.
This former railway cutting provides a rare stratigraphical site in the Pleistocene sequence in Essex. The sequence here comprises (glacial) till, overlain by gravel and silt. The first of these has been termed Maldon Till, for which this is the type site, and a complex glacial stratigraphy has been set up on the basis of the succession at this locality. This claims a glacio-fluvial origin for the gravel but, in the light of more recent work, the latter may prove to be of fluvial (River Blackwater) origin. The site is regarded as of considerable stratigraphical and historical significance.
Text taken from SSSI citation
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Reference: Bridgland 1994 (p. 364-369), Bridgland et al 1995 (p.247-254)
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