Tyne Limestone Formation

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Tyne Limestone Formation (TYLS), Carboniferous, Northern England Province[edit]

Tyne Limestone Formation is part of the Yoredale Group


The name is derived from the River Tyne, Northumberland.


In the Solway Basin, the Tyne Limestone Formation comprises a heterogeneous Yoredale Group cyclicity, with limestone and sandstone components absent from parts of the succession. The sandstones tend to thicken into troughs and half-grabens. The formation includes the Glencartholm Volcanic Beds at the base, which comprises a succession of tuffs, volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks and subordinate basalt lavas, 150–180 m thick (Lumsden et al., 1967[1]; Williamson in Stephenson et al., 2003[2]). In the Northumberland Trough, the ‘Scremerston Coal Member’ comprises up to 300 m of shales and limestones, sandstones and thick coals (Smith, 1967[3]; Leeder et al., 1989[4]), and passes transitionally south-west into typical cyclicity. The Tyne Limestone Formation is distinguished from the Alston Formation by the common presence of thick, commonly bioclastic limestones in the latter.

Genetic interpretation[edit]

Shallow water marine and deltaic.


The partial type section is the Archerbeck Borehole (BGS Registration Number NY47NW/14) (NY 4160 7820) from the base of the Cornet Limestone at 504.7 m depth to within the Glencartholm Volcanic Beds at the bottom of the borehole at 1403.3 m depth (see Lumsden and Wilson, 1961[5]). Reference sections include the Stonehaugh Borehole (BGS Registration Number NY77NE/2) (NY 7899 7619) from rockhead at about 4 m depth to the possible Kingbridge Limestone at about 211 m depth; the Ridsdale Borehole (BGS Registration Number NY88SE/1) (NY 8946 8288) from the Redesdale Limestone at 0.91 m depth to strata below the Lower Millerhill Limestone at 305.41 m depth; the Ferneyrigg Borehole (BGS Registration Number NY98SE/13) (NY 9579 8364) from the base of the Low Tipalt Limestone at 77.32 m depth to strata below the Furnace Coal at 457.50 m depth; the River Black Lyne, north of Dappleymoor Fault, from between Dodgsonstown Ford (NY 5009 7452) and the bend (NY 4987 7511) south-west of Cumcrook, Bewcastle; the Cairing Croft Borehole (BGS Registration Number NY66NE/2) (NY 6626 6700) from the base of the Low Tipalt Limestone at about 85 m depth to strata below the Thirlwall Coal at about 413 m depth; and the Hoddom No. 2 Borehole (BGS Registration Number NY17NE/3) (NY 1641 7280) between 3.2 and 41.6.m depth.

Lower and upper boundaries[edit]

In the Solway Basin, Northumberland Trough, Cheviot Block and north-east Northumberland, the sandstones of the Fell Sandstone Formation, Border Group pass upward, locally unconformably and diachronously, into the Tyne Limestone Formation, the lower boundary of which is variably represented as the base of the Clattering Band or its correlative the Kingsbridge Limestone (Figure 8, Column.11; Figure 11, Columns 1–3), or in the Langholm area, the Glencartholm Volcanic Beds (Figure 10, Column.3).

The upper boundary of the formation is conformable with the base of the Alston Formation, normally at the base of the Low Tipalt or Callant Limestone (Figure 6, Column.7; Figure 8, Column 11; Figure 10, Column 3; Figure 11, Columns 1–3). However, in districts where the formally defined upper boundary of the Tyne Limestone Formation has not or cannot be mapped, at the base of the limestone that marks the base of the Brigantian Stage, the upper boundary is taken at the top of the next, widely mapped limestone below it. This means that in the Rothbury district, for example, the top of the Tyne Limestone Formation is taken at the top of the Dun Limestone (Figure.13, Column 3).


The formation tends to thicken into troughs and half-grabens. The Glencartholm Volcanic Beds are 150–180 m thick (150 m proved in the Archerbeck Borehole.—.see above; Lumsden et al., 1967[1]). The ‘Scremerston Coal Member’ is up to 300 m thick at Berwick (Smith, 1967[3]).

Distribution and regional correlation[edit]

Solway Basin, Northumberland Trough, Cheviot Block north-east Northumberland, and north-west England.

Age and biostratigraphical characterisation[edit]

Holkerian to Asbian. The brachiopod Linoprotonia corrugatohemisphaerica is diagnostic of the Holkerian. Others that also occur include Punctospirifer scabricosta and Composita ambigua. Corals, including Dibunophyllum sp., Lithostrotion portlocki and Siphonodendron martini, and gigantoproductoid brachiopods are common in the Asbian.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lumsden, G I, Tulloch, W, Howells, M F, and Davies, A.1967.The geology of the neighbourhood of Langholm.Memoir of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, Sheet 11 (Scotland)
  2. Stephenson, D, Loughlin, S C, Millward, D, Waters, C N, and Williamson, I T.2003.Carboniferous and Permian Igneous Rocks of Great Britain North of the Variscan Front.Geological Conservation Review Series, No. 27. (Peterborough: Joint Nature Conservation Committee.)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Smith, T E.1967.A preliminary study of sandstone sediment-ation in the Lower Carboniferous of the Tweed basin.Scottish Journal of Geology, Vol. 3, 282–305
  4. Leeder, M R, Fairhead, D, Lee, A, Stuart, G, Clemmy, H, Al-Haddeh, B, and Green, C.1989.Sedimentary and tectonic evolution of the Northumberland Basin. 143–152 in The Role of Tectonics in Devonian and Carboniferous Sedimentation in the British Isles. Arthurton, R S, Gutteridge, P, and Nolan, S C (editors).Occassional Publications of the Yorkshire Geological Society, Vol. 6
  5. Lumsden, G I, and Wilson, R B.1961.The stratigraphy of the Archerbeck Borehole, Canonbie, Dumfriesshire.Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, No. 18, 1–89