Howell, Louis Philip (2021) Structural, stratigraphic and geodynamic controls on the evolution of the Carboniferous succession of northern England and southern Scotland. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis helps determine some key structural and geodynamic controls on the evolution of Carboniferous basins in northern England and Scotland. One key control on early Carboniferous (rift) basin evolution in northern England is the role of buoyant and pre-existing granite intrusions in causing localised basement highs. To investigate this relationship, lithosphere-scale numerical modelling and sedimentological approaches are combined. Whereas rift basins are typically considered to be largely normal fault driven systems, lithosphere-scale numerical modelling of the Pennine Basin highlights the role of flexural isostasy in determining basin geometry. Sedimentological-based studies of the Fell Sandstone Formation show that aspects of the basin fill do not conform well with classically depicted models for the region. Highlighted divergences from these models relate to occurrences of granite-cored basement domes or monoclines, whose origins as basement highs are associated with buoyancy and flexural isostatic processes.
Local seismic and borehole-based mapping of the late Carboniferous succession in the Canonbie Coalfield and in the Midland Valley of Scotland provides evidence of repeated episodes of positive inversion and unconformities. Three phases of accelerated intra-basin deformation are identified: during the middle-late Namurian, the Duckmantian-Bolsovian, and Asturian-Stephanian. Regional depositional and subsidence trends and more local depositional and structural trends help inform an original structural and geodynamic model for the late Carboniferous basins of the British Isles. It is suggested that northern England and Scotland formed part of an extensive ‘broken’ Variscan foreland system during late Carboniferous times.
The regional structural and geodynamic frameworks for the Carboniferous succession of northern England and Scotland presented in this thesis could be used in combination with other tools, such as the regional subsurface temperature modelling methodology presented, to aid deep geothermal exploration and offshore petroleum exploration. More importantly, they may help reinvigorate research into these rocks.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Contributors: Egan, Stuart (Thesis advisor)
Leslie, Graham (Thesis advisor)
Clarke, Stuart (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2021 12:14
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2021 12:14
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/10373

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