Synopsis

Extensive new conodont collections from the Crawford Group, the oldest succession in the Southern Uplands of Scotland, support the previously documented biostratigraphical ages for the included formations. The Raven Gill Formation is lower Whitlandian, Arenig (comparable in age to the Dounans Limestone in the Highland Border Complex) and the Kirkton Formation is latest Llandeilian-Aurelucian, Llanvirn to Caradoc in age. It is concluded that there is a significant stratigraphical gap within the Crawford Group. The restricted and probably fault-bounded nature of the Raven Gill outcrops suggests that these may represent olistoliths within a mélange of Llandeilian-Aurelucian age. The chert-bearing succession of the Northern Belt of the Southern Uplands thus represents the juxtaposed sedimentary records of two entirely separate basins – the oldest pre-dates the Grampian assembly of the Laurentian margin, and the younger, the Northern Belt Basin sensu stricto, entirely post-dates this event.

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