Abstract

The Mississippian Derbyshire and North Wales carbonate platforms were formed in similar tectonic settings within the Pennine and East Irish Sea Basin, respectively. The Derbyshire Platform was surrounded by sub-basins to the north, west and south whilst the North Wales Platform, 130 km west, had a simpler land-attached geometry. Comparison of these age-equivalent platforms allows the controls on sedimentation, at an important juncture in Earth history, to be evaluated. Both platforms are dominated by moderate-to-high-energy, laterally discontinuous facies, with weak evidence for facies cyclicity, suggesting multiple controls on deposition. Influx of siliciclastic mud on the North Wales Platform led to perturbations in carbonate accumulation; along with abundant palaeosols and coal beds this implies a more humid climate, or shallower water depths compared to the Derbyshire Platform. On both platforms, exposure surfaces can rarely be correlated over >500  m except for a regionally correlative palaeokarstic surface at the Asbian–Brigantian boundary. This exposure event appears to coincide with a significant regional facies change. Given the lack of evidence for ordering and cyclicity within the strata, the Asbian–Brigantian boundary may mark a significant event that could reflect the onset of a transitional climate, prior to the second glaciation event in the Late Palaeozoic Ice Age.

You do not currently have access to this article.