A Multidisciplinary Approach to Sediment Provenance Analysis of the Late Silurian-Devonian Lower Old Red Sandstone succession, Northern Midland Valley Basin, Scotland

Zoe McKellar (Corresponding Author), Adrian J. Hartley, Andrew Morton, Dirk Frei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sediment provenance analysis is important in reconstructing chronological and spatial relationships between source area erosion/exhumation and sediment deposition in adjacent basins. Here we provide new provenance data from conglomerate clast populations, sandstone petrography, heavy mineral assemblages and U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology from the 9 km thick, Siluro-Devonian Lower Old Red Sandstone (LORS), northern Midland Valley Basin (MVB), Scotland. The MVB developed in the foreland to the Caledonian Orogeny and comprises a mixed succession of conglomerate and pebbly sandstone interbedded with volcanic lithologies. Analysis of 554 samples (137 petrographical thin sections across 22 formations/members; 390 conglomerate clast recordings across seven locations; 17 heavy mineral and 10 detrital zircon samples) from the entire succession shows a proximal, consistent source or sources located to the east/northeast. These results indicate that sediment derived directly from areas of Scandian uplift of Norwegian lithologies is unlikely to have made a significant contribution to the LORS of the northern MVB and the provenance instead lies more proximally in both the neighbouring Dalradian metasedimentary rocks and other contemporaneous lithologies. The coarse-grained nature of the sedimentary rocks suggests consistent and continued uplift of these lithologies throughout deposition of the LORS. Integration of these provenance techniques allows robust interpretation of basin-fill from a tectonically rejuvenating source in the Caledonian foreland.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Early online date13 Sep 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Sep 2019


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