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Book Chapter

The Neoproterozoic glaciogenic deposits of Scotland and Ireland

By
A. R. Prave
A. R. Prave
Department of Earth Science, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, KY16 9AL, UK
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A. E. Fallick
A. E. Fallick
Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride, G75 0QF, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

Of the three major Neoproterozoic supracrustal units in the Scottish and Irish Highlands (the Torridonian, Moine and Dalradian Supergroups), only the latter contains evidence of Neoproterozoic glaciations. The Dalradian is siliciclastic-dominated and constitutes much of the Scottish–Irish Highlands between the Great Glen and Highland Boundary Fault Zones, and their correlatives in Ireland. At the time of writing, three stratigraphically distinct glacial intervals in the Dalradian have been documented in the literature. The oldest is the Port Askaig Formation (Fm.) at the base of the Argyll Group (see Arnaud & Fairchild 2011). It ranges from several tens to many hundreds of metres in thickness and occurs in numerous localities in Scotland and the north of Ireland. A second glacial is recorded in the middle part of the Argyll Group (Easdale Subgroup) and consists of localised sedimentary breccias as well as pelites and schists containing dropstone/lonestone units inferred to be ice-rafted debris; these rocks are patchily preserved and typically a few metres or less in thickness. It is sharply overlain by a variably developed carbonate unit that is marked by a 1–7-m-thick, light-coloured, basal dolostone or dolomitic limestone interpreted as a cap carbonate. This succession is best preserved in Donegal, Ireland, as the Stralinchy–Reelan glacial and Cranford cap-carbonate sequence. A correlative cap carbonate, the Whiteness Limestone, has been identified in the Shetland Islands. The third and youngest glacial is represented by locally preserved dropstone and polymict diamictite beds ranging in thickness from several to a few tens of metres in thickness in the lower Southern Highland Group. These include the MacDuff and Loch na Cille Boulder Beds in, respectively, NE and SW Scotland, and the Inishowen Beds in Donegal, Ireland.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Memoirs

The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations

Emmanuelle Arnaud
Emmanuelle Arnaud
University of Guelph, Canada
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Galen P. Halverson
Galen P. Halverson
McGill University, Canada
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Graham Shields-Zhou
Graham Shields-Zhou
University College London, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
36
ISBN electronic:
9781862394117
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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