Caledonian foreland basin sedimentation: A new depositional model for the Upper Silurian-Lower Devonian Lower Old Red Sandstone of the Midland Valley Basin, Scotland

Zoe Mckellar* (Corresponding Author), Adrian J Hartley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Reconstruction of the geological history of orogenic events can be challenging where basins have limited and/or fragmentary preservation. Here we apply understanding gained from modern analogues to the sedimentological analysis of the succession of Upper Silurian to Lower Devonian Lower Old Red Sandstone (LORS), northern Midland Valley, Scotland, in order to reconstruct the foreland to the Caledonian orogeny. A new depositional model is presented which differs significantly from current understanding. Using facies analysis, grain size distribution and paleocurrent data a large distributive fluvial system is reconstructed. Three lithofacies and nine sublithofacies are identified, forming fluvial channel and floodplain facies associations. The system was derived from an emerging mountain range in the Caledonian foreland undergoing constant tectonic rejuvenation to produce 9 km of coarse‐grained sediment, exhibiting an overall decrease in thickness towards the west and a large‐scale downstream reduction in grain size. Conglomerate sublithofacies dominate proximal areas in the east where amalgamated fluvial channel facies association are abundant, with a downstream increase in the dominance of floodplain facies. Additionally, observed grain‐size cyclicity is attributed to a pulsatory tectonic influence. The LORS records the time‐period between the late phases of the Caledonian Orogeny and the onset of post‐orogenic collapse in the mid‐Devonian and the presented model allows improved understanding of the north‐Atlantic Caledonian foreland.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalBasin Research
Early online date4 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • HIGHLAND BOUNDARY FAULT
  • LANDSCAPE EVOLUTION
  • PEBBLE BEDS
  • SYSTEM
  • RIVER
  • KINCARDINESHIRE
  • GEOCHRONOLOGY
  • TERRANE
  • FACIES
  • STREAM

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