The Deeside Limestone Formation (DLF), outcropping in western Aberdeenshire, comprises the eastern margin of a distinctive Upper Dalradian mixed siliciclastic–carbonate system of Ediacaran age which may be correlated southwestwards for more than 400 km to County Donegal in Ireland. A reconstructed stratigraphic column suggests three broad vertical sequences (S1–S3), each comprising a general upward proportionate increase in calcium carbonate with respect to quartz, locally capped by metalimestones (L1–L3). A simple explanation for this upward change lies in the differing physical response of the two heterolithic components under the same hydrodynamic process, with the heavier quartz grains preferentially enriching the bedload and the finer carbonate mud fraction, the suspended load. The three metalimestone intervals are observed only in central/eastern parts of the field area, suggesting a lateral facies variation. The predominance of calcareous–siliciclastic bed-scale compositional mixing within the DLF suggests sedimentation on the Dalradian shelf comprised contemporaneous mixing of the siliciclastic and carbonate fractions prior to subsequent re-mixing during transportation downslope into the deep water, punctuated by pulses of point-sourced siliciclastic input.

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