Abstract

A rationalized lithostratigraphy for the Great Scar Limestone Group of the southeast Askrigg Block is established. The basal Chapel House Limestone Formation, assessed from boreholes, comprises shallow-marine to supratidal carbonates that thin rapidly northwards across the Craven Fault System, onlapping a palaeotopographical high of Lower Palaeozoic strata. The formation is of late Arundian age in the Silverdale Borehole, its northernmost development. The overlying Kilnsey Formation represents a southward-thickening and upward-shoaling carbonate development on a S-facing carbonate ramp. Foraminiferal/algal assemblages suggest a late Holkerian and early Asbian age, respectively, for the uppermost parts of the lower Scaleber Force Limestone and upper Scaleber Quarry Limestone members, significantly younger than previously interpreted. The succeeding Malham Formation comprises the lower Cove Limestone and upper Gordale Limestone members. Foraminiferal/algal assemblages indicate a late Asbian age for the formation, contrasting with the Holkerian age previously attributed to the Cove Limestone. The members reflect a change from a partially shallow-water lagoon (Cove Limestone) to more open-marine shelf (Gordale Limestone), coincident with the onset of marked sea-level fluctuations and formation of palaeokarstic surfaces with palaeosoils in the latter. Facies variations along the southern flank of the Askrigg Block, including an absence of fenestral lime-mudstone in the upper part of the Cove Limestone and presence of dark grey cherty grainstone/packstone in the upper part the Gordale Limestone are related to enhanced subsidence during late Asbian movement on the Craven Fault System. This accounts for the marked thickening of both members towards the Greenhow Inlier.

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