Dinantian, Carboniferous, Midland Valley of Scotland

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From: Cameron, I B, and Stephenson, D. 1985. British regional geology: The Midland Valley of Scotland. Third edition. Reprint 2014. Keyworth, Nottingham: British Geological Survey.

Dinantian, introduction

The Dinantian succession is divided into two parts. The older one, the Calciferous Sandstone Measures, is much more variable in lithology and is much thicker than the overlying Lower Limestone Group (P915527).

The rocks present include the normal Carboniferous sediments of the region (p. 50) but the Calciferous Sandstone Measures are noted for a thick development of cementstones at the base in many areas, oil-shales and non-marine limestones in the Lothians and parts of Fife. The sequence is interrupted in parts of the region by volcanic rocks. It is only at the top of the succession that richly fossiliferous marine strata are developed. Marine limestones and mudstones continue throughout the Lower Limestone Group but sandstones and coals are also present especially in those areas where there is a thicker development of the group.

The basal cementstone facies is interpreted as having been deposited in a lagoonal, coastal-flat environment under conditions of high salinity and periodic desiccation. It was succeeded by a fluvial and deltaic regime with the source of the sediments to the north. Some marine transgressions occurred in the eastern part of the region. Towards the close of Dinantian times the marine incursions affected most of the Midland Valley.

The sedimentary sequence was interrupted by volcanic activity in several areas. The large pile of Clyde Plateau lavas in the western part of the region formed an emergent land-mass which subdivided the area of sedimentation. This pile of lavas helped to form the restricted depositional environment in which the West Lothian oil-shales were laid down. Organic matter was able to accumulate during periods of minimal influx of sediment and the lack of disturbance ensured the anaerobic conditions required for the accumulation of kerogen-rich shales.

The sediments are for the most part poorly dated and correlation within the region is tentative until late in the Dinantian.

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