The Southern Uplands Terrane has rocks as old as 480 million years that represent a portion of an ancient ocean floor and its sedimentary cover. This sequence of rocks was buried under huge volumes of turbidites – sedimentary rocks of terrestrial origin deposited in the deep marine environment around 460-420 million years ago – belonging to the Ordovician Leadhills supergroup and the Silurian succession. As the Iapetus Ocean was closing and the oceanic plate was sliding underneath the continental plate, successive wedges of the ocean floor, sedimentary cover and turbidites were sliced and accreted onto the continental margin. The Caledonian orogeny caused the emplacement of major plutons and minor igneous intrusions.
The lower-Paleozoic rocks are followed by deposits of the Old Red Sandstone supergroup, which in turn are succeeded by upper Paleozoic sedimentary rocks – the Carboniferous succession of the Midland Valley that extends across the Southern Uplands Fault and the Carboniferous succession of the Southern Uplands. These are overlain by end-Paleozoic sedimentary rocks.
The Mesozoic and Cenozoic are not significantly represented with the exception of an outcrop of the Triassic New Red Sandstone supergroup at the southern margin of the terrane.
The Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras are represented by sedimentary rocks of the New Red Sandstone supergroup, deposited 250-200 million years ago, and intrusions of the Hebridean Igneous Province respectively, both of which outcrop almost exclusively on the Isle of Arran.
This informal short course over 6 weeks provides a chronological overview of the formation and deposition of major rock groups from about 3000 million years to 50 million years ago, from Scotland’s oldest rocks to the young volcanic districts of the Hebrides. It will be presented online by Dr Alex G. Neches and guest contributors.
Free, booking essential: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvfu-qrj8vHdM8uj1Y0ijwFGG7pmdBz-6S
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