OR/16/056 Foreword

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Burke, H F, Gow, H V, Cripps, C, Thorpe, S, Hough, E, Hughes, L, and Horabin, C G. 2016. The 3D quaternary geology of the area around Thornton, Cheshire. British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/16/056.

This report presents the results of a desk study to develop an initial understanding of the Quaternary (superficial) geology of Thornton Science Park at Thornton-le-Moors in north Cheshire, UK. The superficial deposits in North Cheshire comprise glacial, marine and alluvial sediments which locally reach around 60 m in thickness. In some areas sub-glacial meltwater channels have incised the underlying bedrock, forming a network of buried sediment-filled channels and intervening bedrock ‘highs’. The superficial deposits around Thornton Science Park consist of till, glaciofluvial sand and gravel and glaciolacustrine clay that were deposited during the Late Devensian glaciation. Holocene sediments comprise estuarine tidal flat deposits, peat, alluvium and aeolian sand. These superficial deposits are characterised in a 3D geological model of Thornton Science Park and surrounding area.

The geological information in this report and accompanying 3D geological model will form the basis for identifying recharge zones and potential pathways through the superficial deposits, connecting the ground surface and the underlying Sherwood Sandstone Group aquifer. These pathways could act as a conduit for contaminant migration in the shallow subsurface.