British regional geology: Northern England

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From: Stone, P, Millward, D, Young, B, Merritt, J W, Clarke, S M, McCormac, M and Lawrence, D J D. 2010. British regional geology: Northern England.
Fifth edition. Keyworth, Nottingham: British Geological Survey.

The British regional geology: Northern England has been converted to a series of articles for this wiki. The book is available for purchase at the BGS Online Shop Its full reference is:

Stone, P, Millward, D, Young, B, Merritt, J W, Clarke, S M, McCormac, M and Lawrence, D J D. 2010. British regional geology: Northern England. Fifth edition. Keyworth, Nottingham: British Geological Survey.

British Regional Geology: Northern England (Fifth edition). P749351.



Regional tectonic framework
And so to the present

Early Ordovician: Skiddaw and Manx groups

Stratigraphical framework
Skiddaw Group succession
Manx Group succession
Depositional regime
Basin uplift and volcanism

Ordovician: Caradoc magmatism

Timing and structural setting
Borrowdale Volcanic Group
Lower andesitic eruptive phase
Upper silicic eruptive phase
Contemporaneous intrusive rocks and petrography of the volcanic rocks
Eycott Volcanic Group
Lake District Batholith

Late Ordovician to Silurian: Windermere Supergroup

Stratigraphical framework
Dent Group succession
Stockdale Group succession
Tranearth Group succession
Coniston Group succession
Kendal Group succession
Depositional environments
Southern Uplands and Isle of Man

Devonian: Acadian deformation and magmatism

Convergence of Avalonia and Laurentia
Acadian Orogeny
Early Devonian magmatism
Old Red Sandstone

Carboniferous: blocks, basins and sedimentary cyclicity

Stratigraphical principles
Depositional controls
Northern ‘Dinantian’ successions
Southern ‘Dinantian’ successions
Yoredale Group, Visean to Namurian
Pennine Coal Measures Group, Westphalian
Westphalian stratigraphy
Warwickshire Group

Late Carboniferous to early Permian deformation and magmatism

Late Carboniferous structures
Early Permian magmatism

Permian, Triassic and Jurassic: deserts, rivers and shallow seas

Early Permian
Late Permian
Triassic and Jurassic

Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonics and magmatism

Jurassic to Early Cretaceous extension
Palaeogene magmatism
Cenozoic uplift and basin inversion


Lake District
Haematite deposits of Cumbria
Isle of Man
Northern Pennine Orefield
Basin-margin mineralisation

Quaternary: ice sheets and a changing climate

Landscape evolution
Record of climate change
Early and mid Quaternary
Ipswichian Interglacial
Early and mid Devensian
Main late Devensian glaciation
Isle of Man
North-west England
North-east England
Late glacial period
Sea-level change

Geology and man

Fuel and energy
Industrial minerals
Metalliferous and associated minerals
Building stone
Ground engineering
Geological hazards
Hydrogeology and water supply

Foreword to the fifth edition

Northern England is underlain by a wide variety of rocks with an exposed geological history spanning almost 500 million years. Its mineral wealth, in terms of both coal and metal,has driven the industrial development of parts of the region and has contributed much to the prosperity of the United Kingdom as a whole. The underlying geological diversity also imparts to the region its scenic range and high landscape value. Two of England’s National Parks, the Lake District and Northumberland, form substantial parts of the area described here whilst a third, the Yorkshire Dales, overlaps its southern margin. Recognised Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty include the Northumberland Coast, the Solway Coast, and the North Pennines, the last of these areas is also designated a UNESCO European and Global Geopark.

The first edition of this guide to the geology of Northern England was written by T Eastwood and published in 1935. The second and third editions were closely based on the original work, though with some additions by F M Trotter and W Anderson. The fourth edition was prepared by a team of authors led by B J Taylor, but was still acknowledged to be based on the previous editions by Eastwood. The fourth edition was published in 1971, but its preparation was mostly carried out in the late 1960s, before the full effects of the plate tectonic revolution had permeated all aspects of geology. This fact alone would justify a new edition, but the huge volume of additional data generated over the last 50 years makes it long overdue. The fresh insights and interpretations presented here owe much to those who have generated this data: colleagues within the British Geological Survey, academic researchers, energy and mineral exploration geologists, civil engineers and, increasingly, scientists working with a broadly based, environmental brief.

With its historical pedigree, the Taylor et al. text has continued to provide a valuable source of data for Northern England and its influence can undoubtedly still be found in this, the new fifth edition, which is nevertheless an entirely new work. The authors have approached their task from a perspective of dynamic geological development, in which tectonic processes, sedimentation and magmatism are integrated, rather than being treated separately in the traditional fashion. The book gives a comprehensive account of the geology of the region that it is hoped will prove informative to a wide range of users, from students and those with a general interest in their surroundings, to professional scientists, planners and engineers.

John N Ludden, PhD
Executive Director
British Geological Survey


This edition of Northern England has been compiled by P Stone and edited by him, D Millward, S G Molyneux and J E Thomas.

Articles have been written by the following authors:

Introduction P Stone

Early Ordovician P Stone

Manx Group R P Barnes

Ordovician: magmatism D Millward

Late Ordovician to Silurian P Stone

Devonian P Stone, D Millward and M McCormac

Carboniferous D J D Lawrence, M McCormac and P Stone

Late Carboniferous to early Permian D Millward

Permian, Triassic and Jurassic S M Clarke

Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic D Millward

Mineralisation B Young

Quaternary J W Merritt

Fuel and energy B Young

Industrial minerals B Young

Metalliferous and associated minerals B Young

Building stone B Young

Ground engineering D C Entwisle

Geological hazards P Stone

Hydrogeology and water supply A S Butcher

The authors are grateful to the following for their specialist reviews of parts of the text: Peter Brand, David Highley, Douglas Holliday, Ewan Hyslop, Wishart Mitchell, Roger Musson, Jack Soper, Colin Waters, Nigel Woodcock.

Figures were produced by J Bow, K Henderson, K MacKenzie, E Mann, C Shearer and L Wilson

Book design by Amanda Hill

Photographs are from the BGS archive unless otherwise stated, and were prepared by F I MacTaggart and B M McIntyre.