Gullane Formation

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Gullane Formation (GUL), Carboniferous, Midland Valley of Scotland[edit]

Gullane Formation is part of the Strathclyde Group in the Lothians.


From Gullane, East Lothian. The formation name was established by Chisholm et al. (1989)[1].


The Gullane Formation consists of a cyclical sequence predominantly of pale, fine- to coarse-grained sandstone interbedded with grey mudstone and siltstone. Subordinate lithologies are coal, seatrock, ostracod-rich limestone/dolostone, sideritic ironstone and rarely, marine beds with restricted faunas.

Genetic interpretation[edit]

The depositional environment was predominantly fluvio-deltaic, into lakes that only occasionally became marine.


The type section is from 155.44 to 287.27 m depth in the Spilmersford Borehole (BGS Registration Number NT46NE/73) (NT 4570 6902). The formation is also notably recorded from 47.93 to 197.94 m depth in the Birnieknowes Borehole (BGS Registration Number NT77SE/9) (NT 7580 7317) and on the coast at Cove (see Browne et al., 1999[2], fig. 2, col. 12) near Cockburnspath (NT 79 71) in the Oldhamstocks Basin (Lagios, 1983[3]; Andrews and Nabi, 1994[4]; see also Browne et al., 1999[2], p.12).

Lower and upper boundaries[edit]

The base of the formation is taken at the top of the Garleton Hills Volcanic Formation or Arthur’s Seat Volcanic Formation, where present (Figure 6, Columns 4D, E). Where volcanic rocks are absent, it is taken at the lowest coal, or carbonaceous, or rooty beds above strata consisting predominantly of white sandstone with pedogenic limestone of the Clyde Sandstone Formation (Inverclyde Group).

The top of the formation is drawn at the base of the Macgregor Marine Bands (Wilson, 1989[5]), located at the base of the West Lothian Oil-Shale Formation and the Aberlady Formation.


The estimated maximum thickness of the formation is about 560 m in West Lothian (see Browne et al. 1999[2], fig..2, col..8; Mitchell and Mykura, 1962[6], fig. 9).

Distribution and regional correlation[edit]


Age and biostratigraphical characterisation[edit]

Visean, mainly TC Miospore Zone of Neves et al. (1973)[7]; see also Chisholm et al., (1989)[1]; Chisholm and Brand, (1994)[8].


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chisholm, J I, McAdam, A D, and Brand, P J. 1989. Litho-stratigraphical classification of Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous rocks in the Lothians. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WA/89/26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Browne, M A E, Dean, M T, Hall, I H S, McAdam, A D, Monro, S K, and Chisholm, J I. 1999. A lithostratigraphical framework for the Carboniferous rocks of the Midland Valley of Scotland. British Geological Survey Research Report, RR/99/07
  3. Lagios, E. 1983. A gravity study of the eastern Berwickshire Devonian basins, SE Scotland. Scottish Journal of Geology, Vol. 19, 189-203.
  4. Andrews, J E, and Nabi, G. 1994. Lithostratigraphy of the Dinantian Inverclyde and Strathclyde groups, Cockburnspath Outlier, East Lothian - North Berwickshire. Scottish Journal of Geology, Vol. 30, 105-119.
  5. Wilson, R B. 1989. A study of the Dinantian marine macro-fossils of central Scotland. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, Vol. 80, 91-126.
  6. Mitchell, G H, and Mykura, W. 1962. The Geology of the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. Memoir of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, Sheet 32 (Scotland).
  7. Neves, R, Gueinn, K J, Clayton, G, Ioannides, N S, Neville, R S W, and Kruszewska, K. 1973. Palynological correlations within the Lower Carboniferous of Scotland and northern England. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol. 69, 23-70.
  8. Chisholm, J I, and Brand, P J. 1994. Revision of the late Dinantian sequence in Edinburgh and West Lothian. Scottish Journal of Geology, Vol. 30, 97-104.