Synopsis

Records of ancient environments and past basin histories can be preserved in metasedimentary successions, despite their subsequent deformation and metamorphism. In the Central Scottish Highlands SE of Loch Ness, the Garva Bridge Psammite and the Glen Buck Pebbly Psammite Formations (hitherto included within the Glenshirra Subgroup at the base of the Neoproterozoic Grampian Group) represent a continuum of alluvial fan to shallow water sediments, deposited in a SE thinning fan-delta clastic wedge. These sediments, derived from an uplifted granitoid hinterland to the west, contrast with the overlying marine sedimentary rocks of the Corrieyairack Subgroup, which were deposited by sediment gravity flows within a submarine slope setting. The Glen Buck Pebbly Psammite/Garva Bridge Psammite Formations and the Corrieyairack Subgroup represent two genetic stratigraphic sequences divided by a sharp sequence boundary that records a major reorganization in basin architecture. Hence, we propose that the Garva Bridge Psammite and Glen Buck Pebbly Psammite Formations be included within a separate Glenshirra Group, genetically unrelated to either the marine deposits of the immediately overlying Grampian Group or the earlier, locally migmatized (Moinian?) basement to the Central Highlands. The Glenshirra Group thus represents the earliest phase of post-Knoydartian extension, predating the main Dalradian basin development.

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