Devonian (Givetian) miospores from the Walls Group, Shetland
Miospores demonstrate that the Walls Group of West Shetland is of early and possibly in part late Givetian age (Late Mid-Devonian age). This is both substantially younger in age and of a shorter duration than previously estimated. The correlative rocks of the Walls Group are those of southeast Shetland, Fair Isle, the Eday Group of Orkney and the John O'Groats Sandstone Group of Caithness. The two formations of the Walls Group are, at least in part, time equivalent rather than a stacked sequence. The total thickness of sediment is likely to be much less than the generally cited 12 km, given the short time duration represented by the single miospore assemblage identified throughout the succession. The low diversity of the miospore assemblage and its fluctuating dominant species is interpreted as reflecting a local vegetation source in a low preservation environment. The age and thermal maturity contrast between the Walls Group and the sedimentary successions to the west (Melby, Papa Stour and Foula) provide further constraints on the movement history along the St Magnus Bay Fault system.
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New Perspectives on the Old Red Sandstone
From the 1960s onwards, the Old Red Sandstone of both borders of the Atlantic Ocean has acted as a test-bed for the development of new ideas on the interpretation of fluvial, lacustrine and aeolian sedimentary rocks, and the investigation of tectonically-active basins. Much of the earlier reconnaissance work is now being reviewed in the light of further detailed field study, along with new developments in the understanding of the biostratigraphy, palaeobiology, geochronology, pedogenesis and tectonics.
Three general papers review recent work on the stratigraphical and chronological analysis of the Late Silurian, Devonian and Early Carboniferous strata, and summarize present understanding of the tectonics of the basins. These are then followed by twenty-seven contributions covering new work in Eastern USA, Canada, Ireland, Britain, Norway, Greenland and Spitsbergen.