Windy pits are open fissures within the Corallian strata of the North York Moors. Here we present nine thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) U-Th dates on speleothem from the windy pits, the first radiometric dates on calcite for these features and for this region. The dates cluster within three time periods: the interglacial peaks of marine isotope stage (MIS) 7 (∼208 to ∼190 ka), MIS 5 (∼127 ka to ∼109 ka) and the Holocene, correlating with the marine isotope record and with the broad pattern of interglacial calcite deposition observed for northern England. However, of the two high-resolution studies available for comparison, the windy-pit dates match only the Lancaster Hole dates. The location of the windy pits outside of the Devensian ice limits, within the ice-free but periglaciated region, suggests that the region has remained ice-free since some time before MIS 7. The prevalence of widespread and prolonged permafrost conditions suggests a plausible mechanism for these open rift caves in slope-side periglacial mass movement. Copyright

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Keywords Aveley, Glaciation, Speleothem, TIMS U-Th dating, UK, Windy pit, Yorkshire
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Journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Murphy, P.J., & Lundberg, J. (2009). Uranium series dates from the windy pits of the North York Moors, United Kingdom: Implications for late quaternary ice cover and timing of speleogenesis. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 34(2), 305–313. doi:10.1002/esp.1752