Report of a discussion meeting held at Burlington House on 12 February 1986
The idea for a discussion meeting followed from remarks made by Professor C. H. Holland (1986) in his Presidential Address to this Society in 1985, when he expressed concern about the uncritical application of the accretionary prism model to the Southern Uplands of Scotland. It has since become apparent that divergent views are held both among those against the model and those in favour of it. This meeting served to air some of these different opinions, even if it has not immediately resolved many of the arguments. Most of the contributors to the meeting (see the Society Newsletter for January 1985) have produced written papers for this volume, and so far only one or two have modified their views between writing their abstract and submitting their paper.
The concept of an accretionary prism model developed gradually. A comparison of Scotland with Burma suggested that the Southern Uplands were like western Burma where trench and oceanic sediments are being underthrust by subduction processes (Mitchell & McKerrow 1975). With the development of modern analogues from the Pacific (Seeley et al. 1974; Karig & Sharman 1975), the model was applied to the Southern Uplands with more emphasis (McKerrow et al. 1977; Leggett et al. 1979a, b,, 1982). Moseley (1977,, 1978) was one of the first to express doubts about this model; he believed that the Iapetus Ocean had closed by the end of the Ordovician, and thus, like many others