Abstract

Channel orientation and palaeoflow analyses across the British Westphalian (Carboniferous) coalfields show that three main inflow directions dominated the palaeogeography from the mid-Langsettian to the mid-Bolsovian. In eastern Scotland and NE England, flow was mainly from the N and NE. In the Pennine Basin of north central England, flow was mainly from the W and NW, whilst in South Wales, main flow from the SW was compatible with a westerly system that also branched to give the northerly inflows recorded in the Culm Basin of southwest England. The depositional area included discrete tectonic depocentres, notably the Pennine Basin, which was traversed directly and tangentially by major channel belts. These basins were essentially incidental to the main channel pathways, but sand body characteristics vary according to basin location. A new depositional model for the post-rift Pennine Basin is proposed, relating sand concentrations and connectivities to the depositional and tectonic setting. The description of dominant SW to NE flow across South Wales through much of the Langsettian and Duckmantian, in contrast to the centripetal inflows previously proposed, implies some similar channel/depocentre relationships to those described here for the Pennine Basin.

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