Southern Pennine Basin margin: West Midlands to Vale of Belvoir
J. H. Powell, C. N. Waters, N. S. Jones, C. J. Cleal, 2011. "Southern Pennine Basin margin: West Midlands to Vale of Belvoir", A Revised Correlation of Carboniferous Rocks in the British Isles, C. N. Waters, I. D. Somerville, N. S. Jones, C. J. Cleal, J. D. Collinson, R. A. Waters, B. M. Besly, M. T. Dean, M. H. Stephenson, J. R. Davies, E. C. Freshney, D. I. Jackson, W. I. Mitchell, J. H. Powell, W. J. Barclay, M. A. E. Browne, B. E. Leveridge, S. L. Long, D. McLean
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The disparate coalfields and Carboniferous rocks in this area (Figs 28 & 29), mostly comprise Coal Measures lithofacies (Pennine Coal Measures Group) and red-bed sediments (Warwickshire Group) deposited at the southern margin of the Pennine Basin, which was initiated in Westphalian times. These strata generally rest unconformably on Lower Palaeozoic rocks in the west of the region, with local development of platform carbonates in Shropshire. The more extensive carbonate platform of the Hathern Shelf and coeval basinal mudstones (associated with the SE-trending Widmerpool Gulf) were deposited in the east of the region during late Tournaisian and Visean time. The basinal hemi-pelagic sedimentation continued in the SE throughout the early Namurian with an influx of southerly-derived quartzitic sandstone followed, in the Marsdenian, by northerly-derived feldspathic sandstone (Millstone Grit Group) (Fraser & Gawthorpe 2003).
The oldest Carboniferous strata of late Tournaisian to Visean age do not crop out widely in the region, but are known from boreholes and geophysical records in South Derbyshire and the Vale of Belvoir, and from small inliers in Shropshire and the Clee Hills. Platform carbonates with thin beds of basic tuffite and subordinate sandstone (Peak Limestone Group) were deposited on the Hathern Shelf at the southern margin of the Widmerpool Gulf (half-graben) (Falcon & Kent 1960), but deepening of the basin through synsedimentary rift faulting and a rise in sea-level resulted in the deposition of deeper-water calcareous mud (Widmerpool Formation) (Fraser & Gawthorpe 2003).
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The report revises and expands upon the 1976 and 1978 publications for the Dinantian and Silesian, respectively, combining them into a single account of British and Irish Carboniferous stratigraphy. The need to update the two Special Reports reflects the considerable advances in Carboniferous geology over the last 30 years. The report covers developments in international chronostratigraphy and incorporates wholesale reassessments of British lithostratigraphy. A huge volume of biostratigraphical information has been published over recent decades and the report summarizes the key information.
Carboniferous rocks have long been of economic importance, but it is the search for hydrocarbons, in its infancy at the time of the previous reports, which has greatly increased our understanding of Carboniferous successions offshore and at depth, particularly in southern and eastern England.