Study of cores of upper Carboniferous orthoquartzites and subgraywackes from a deep boring at Smeekley, north Derbyshire, England, shows that the principal cementing materials are abundant authigenic quartz, indicating predominantly acid waters at the site of deposition, and subordinate calcite indicating local development of alkaline conditions, perhaps induced by decomposition of plant material. The data suggest that the deltaic depositional environment postulated for the Millstone Grit in northern England also obtained in north Derbyshire.

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