Abstract

A punctuated 103.3 m thick succession of upper Palaeogene to Quaternary sediments has been recovered in a borehole from the upper Hebrides Slope, west of Britain. The borehole proved 11.2m of upper Oligocene, carbonate-rich muds at the base, unconformably overlain by 2.85 m of middle to upper Miocene, glauconitic sands. This is in turn unconformably overlain by 89.25 m of predominantly Plio-Pleistocene sands and muds, with a Holocene sea-bed veneer. The post-Miocene succession is subdivided into two units: the sand-dominated, Pliocene to lower middle Pleistocene, Lower MacLeod sequence between 89.25 and 67.82 m, and the mud-dominated, middle Pleistocene to Holocene, Upper MacLeod sequence above 67.82 m. Regional mapping indicates that these sequences are commonly associated with large-scale shelf-margin progradation and slope-front fan construction.

The borehole core provides an excellent record of the transition from pre-glacial to glacial conditions in the mid-latitude NE Atlantic Ocean. Climatic conditions warmer than present prevailed in the late Oligocene, mid- to late Miocene and Pliocene, although the influx of ice-rafted detritus in the late Pliocene marks the onset of climatic deterioration. This deterioration continued, in a fluctuating manner, until the early mid-Pleistocene (0.44 Ma) when fully glacial conditions were established on the Hebridean Margin.

This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.