North Sea and NW Approaches
C. N. Waters, J. D. Collinson, D. McLean, B. M. Besly, 2011. "North Sea and NW Approaches", 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 Carboniferous strata of the Central and Northern North Sea occupy a depositional basin that is laterally contiguous with, and located to the east of, the Midland Valley of Scotland (Chapter 14). The Carboniferous strata of the Southern North Sea occupy a depositional basin located between the Mid North Sea High to the north and the Wales-Brabant High to the south (Fig. 46). It is laterally contiguous with the Pennine Basin complex. An isolated area of Carboniferous strata has also been proved in the Clair Basin of the NW Approaches, west of the Shetland Isles.
The Tournaisian and oldest Visean strata have been proved beneath Permian and younger cover in the Central and Northern North Sea, within the Outer Moray Firth, Western Platform and Central Graben, eastwards from the coast of SE Scotland along the crest and southern flanks of the Mid North Sea High and in the Clair Basin, west of Shetland (Fig. 46). The strata are dominated by red, fluvial and playa-lake deposits (Upper Old Red Group). Younger Visean strata include the grey, fluvio-lacustrine deposits within the Forth Approaches Basin and Outer Moray Firth Basin of the Central and Northern North Sea (Firth Coal Formation). Visean to lower Namurian lacustrine, marine, fluvial and fluvio-deltaic sediments are proved in the Southern North Sea eastwards from the Northumberland coast along the western crest and southern flanks of the Mid North Sea High (Farne Group).
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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.