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The nature and regional significance of structures in the Gala Group of the Southern Uplands terrane, Berwickshire coast, southeastern Scotland

By: Holdsworth, R.E.
Contributor(s): Tavarnelli, E | Clegg, P.
Material type: ArticleArticleDescription: 707-717p ; Illustration.Subject(s): Nature and regional significance - Gala group - Southern uplands terrane - Scotland | Structures deforming landovery turbidites - Gala group - Southern uplands terrane - Berwickshire coast - Scotland In: Geological magazine : Vol. 139 Iss. 1-6 Year. 2002Summary: Abstract Structures deforming Llandovery turbidites of the Gala Group in the Southern Uplands terrane are spectacularly exposed in the Berwickshire coastal section, southeastern Scotland. The upward-facing, upright to NW-vergent folds and associated structures appear to record a single regional phase of subhorizontal NW–SE contractional deformation, with a steeply dipping direction of bulk finite extension. These structures are markedly different from those developed in rocks correlated with the Upper Llandovery Hawick Group exposed some 5 km to the south in the Eyemouth–Burnmouth coastal section. Here a highly domainal system of sinistral transpressional strain occurs, with zones of steeply plunging curvilinear folds, clockwise cleavage transection and bedding-parallel sinistral detachment faults. The markedly different bulk strain patterns in the Berwickshire coastal sections are thought to reflect the regionally diachronous nature of transpressional deformation in the Southern Uplands terrane. There are striking similarities in the structures recognized in the Berwickshire coastal sections and those developed in stratigraphically equivalent units along strike in southwestern Scotland and Northern Ireland. This confirms the lateral structural continuity and correlation of tracts and tract boundaries along the entire length of the Southern Uplands terrane. The regional structure suggests that a phase of top-to-the-NW backthrusting and backfolding associated with the southern margin of the Gala Group outcrop marks the transition from orthogonal contraction to sinistral transpression in the Southern Upland thrust wedge during late Llandovery times.
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Abstract
Structures deforming Llandovery turbidites of the Gala Group in the Southern Uplands terrane are spectacularly exposed in the Berwickshire coastal section, southeastern Scotland. The upward-facing, upright to NW-vergent folds and associated structures appear to record a single regional phase of subhorizontal NW–SE contractional deformation, with a steeply dipping direction of bulk finite extension. These structures are markedly different from those developed in rocks correlated with the Upper Llandovery Hawick Group exposed some 5 km to the south in the Eyemouth–Burnmouth coastal section. Here a highly domainal system of sinistral transpressional strain occurs, with zones of steeply plunging curvilinear folds, clockwise cleavage transection and bedding-parallel sinistral detachment faults. The markedly different bulk strain patterns in the Berwickshire coastal sections are thought to reflect the regionally diachronous nature of transpressional deformation in the Southern Uplands terrane. There are striking similarities in the structures recognized in the Berwickshire coastal sections and those developed in stratigraphically equivalent units along strike in southwestern Scotland and Northern Ireland. This confirms the lateral structural continuity and correlation of tracts and tract boundaries along the entire length of the Southern Uplands terrane. The regional structure suggests that a phase of top-to-the-NW backthrusting and backfolding associated with the southern margin of the Gala Group outcrop marks the transition from orthogonal contraction to sinistral transpression in the Southern Upland thrust wedge during late Llandovery times.

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