Editing Carboniferous miospore biostratigraphy of the North Sea

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=== 3.5 Regional correlation ===
 
=== 3.5 Regional correlation ===
  
The miospore biozones are recognized over a large area of Carboniferous rocks from which few data have previously been available. The Carboniferous strata of the North Sea Basin link those of the UK and northwestern European Carboniferous basins. A better understanding of these basins will allow better correlation farther afield into eastern Europe (cf. Owens et al. 1978) and western North America. Central to this process is the recognition of significant laterally extensive marine horizons. Integration of palynofacies studies (e.g. Van de Laar & Fermont 1990) with spectral gamma-ray or geochemical data provides a means for the recognition and correlation of these marine bands in the subsurface (Davies & McLean 1996, McLean et al. 2002, Pearce et al. 2002).
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The miospore biozones are recognized over a large area of Carboniferous rocks from which few data have previously been available. The Carboniferous strata of the North Sea Basin link those of the UK and northwestern European Carboniferous basins. A better understanding of these basins will allow better correlation farther afield into eastern Europe (cf. Owens et al. 1978) and western North America. Central to this process is the recognition of significant laterally extensive marine horizons. Integration of palynofacies studies (e.g. Van de Laar & Fermont 1990) with spectral gamma-ray or geochemical data provides a means for the recognition and correlation of these marine bands in the subsurface (Davies & McLean 1996, McLean et al. 2002, Pearce et al. 2002).=== 3.6 Provenance studies ===
  
=== 3.6 Provenance studies ===
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Westphalian strata in the Southern North Sea Basin commonly contain reworked Devonian miospores and pre-Devonian acritarchs. The identification of re-working may provide constraints on the sedimentary provenance of the Westphalian rock material. Similar results are known from onshore Late Carboniferous strata (Streel & Bless 1980, McLean 1995b, Chisholm et al. 1996, McLean & Chisholm 1996). The palynological data provide information on the relatively recent sources of sediment compared to the ancient (often pre-Palaeozoic) sources identified by heavy-mineral studies (Morton et al. 2005). The recognition of re-worked older Carboniferous palynomorphs in Westphalian strata may provide information on the phases of intra-Carboniferous incision and erosion.=== 3.7 Offshore to onshore comparisons ===
 
 
Westphalian strata in the Southern North Sea Basin commonly contain reworked Devonian miospores and pre-Devonian acritarchs. The identification of re-working may provide constraints on the sedimentary provenance of the Westphalian rock material. Similar results are known from onshore Late Carboniferous strata (Streel & Bless 1980, McLean 1995b, Chisholm et al. 1996, McLean & Chisholm 1996). The palynological data provide information on the relatively recent sources of sediment compared to the ancient (often pre-Palaeozoic) sources identified by heavy-mineral studies (Morton et al. 2005). The recognition of re-worked older Carboniferous palynomorphs in Westphalian strata may provide information on the phases of intra-Carboniferous incision and erosion.
 
 
 
=== 3.7 Offshore to onshore comparisons ===
 
  
 
This study is based upon a wealth of palynostratigraphical data from offshore Carboniferous sections. Synthesis of these indicates similarities and differences between the palynology of the offshore and the onshore basins and shows areas in which the biostratigraphic subdivisions of the onshore Carboniferous strata may be improved. A few examples are given here. Stratigraphically restricted late Viséan palynomorph assemblages from the Forth Approaches Basin contain miospore taxa described from the Carboniferous of the present-day Arctic (Ravn 1991). These have been only rarely described from coeval strata on shore in the Midland Valley of Scotland (Turner & McLean 1999), but have correlation potential and may provide information on vegetation migration pathways and palaeoclimate. Secondly, many distinctive but undescribed miospore taxa are known from the offshore Carboniferous. Similarly, forms described from the Carboniferous of the United States that are rare in the onshore UK, may be relatively common off shore. The stratigraphical potential of these for European palynostratigraphic correlation is gradually becoming appreciated.
 
This study is based upon a wealth of palynostratigraphical data from offshore Carboniferous sections. Synthesis of these indicates similarities and differences between the palynology of the offshore and the onshore basins and shows areas in which the biostratigraphic subdivisions of the onshore Carboniferous strata may be improved. A few examples are given here. Stratigraphically restricted late Viséan palynomorph assemblages from the Forth Approaches Basin contain miospore taxa described from the Carboniferous of the present-day Arctic (Ravn 1991). These have been only rarely described from coeval strata on shore in the Midland Valley of Scotland (Turner & McLean 1999), but have correlation potential and may provide information on vegetation migration pathways and palaeoclimate. Secondly, many distinctive but undescribed miospore taxa are known from the offshore Carboniferous. Similarly, forms described from the Carboniferous of the United States that are rare in the onshore UK, may be relatively common off shore. The stratigraphical potential of these for European palynostratigraphic correlation is gradually becoming appreciated.

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