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Palaeogeography of tropical seasonal coastal wetlands in northern Britain during the early Mississippian Romer's Gap

Palaeogeography of tropical seasonal coastal wetlands in northern Britain during the early Mississippian Romer's Gap
Palaeogeography of tropical seasonal coastal wetlands in northern Britain during the early Mississippian Romer's Gap

The lower Mississippian Ballagan Formation of northern Britain is one of only two successions worldwide to yield the earliest known tetrapods with terrestrial capability following the end-Devonian mass extinction event. Studies of the sedimentary environments and habitats in which these beasts lived have been an integral part of a major research project into how, why and under what circumstances this profound step in the evolution of life on Earth occurred. Here, a new palaeogeographic map is constructed from outcrop data integrated with new and archived borehole material. The map shows the extent of a very low-relief coastal wetland developed along the tropical southern continental margin of Laurussia. Coastal floodplains in the Midland Valley and Tweed basins were separated from the marginal marine seaway of the Northumberland-Solway Basin to the south by an archipelago of more elevated areas. A complex mosaic of sedimentary environments was juxtaposed, and included fresh and brackish to saline and hypersaline lakes, a diverse suite of floodplain palaeosols and a persistent fluvial system in the east of the region. The strongly seasonal climate led to the formation of evaporite deposits alternating with flooding events, both meteoric and marine. Storm surges drove marine floods from the SW into both the western Midland Valley and Northumberland-Solway Basin; marine water also flooded into the Tweed Basin and Tayside in the east. The Ballagan Formation is a rare example in the geological record of a tropical, seasonal coastal wetland that contains abundant, small-scale evaporite deposits. The diverse sedimentary environments and palaeosol types indicate a network of different terrestrial and aquatic habitats in which the tetrapods lived.

Ballagan Formation, coastal wetlands, Midland Valley of Scotland, palaeoenvironment, Tournaisian, Tweed Basin
1755-6910
279-300
Millward, David
c438e99d-66d1-46c9-8caa-00967348c49a
Davies, Sarah J.
9c08e102-7013-4ee4-9076-565ad12235cc
Brand, Peter J.
51d43410-f9dd-4b95-b698-f9f424e35294
Browne, Michael A.E.
478437e6-837f-498d-876c-3566192b39a6
Bennett, Carys E.
e1684f72-df39-4d08-8321-f5d512f66727
Kearsey, Timothy I.
d81e2518-1290-4c61-87ed-e6f0d4b8e7c1
Sherwin, Janet E.
75342f8e-c886-4d21-a866-403b74208fa5
Marshall, John E.A.
cba178e3-91aa-49a2-b2ce-4b8d9d870b06
Millward, David
c438e99d-66d1-46c9-8caa-00967348c49a
Davies, Sarah J.
9c08e102-7013-4ee4-9076-565ad12235cc
Brand, Peter J.
51d43410-f9dd-4b95-b698-f9f424e35294
Browne, Michael A.E.
478437e6-837f-498d-876c-3566192b39a6
Bennett, Carys E.
e1684f72-df39-4d08-8321-f5d512f66727
Kearsey, Timothy I.
d81e2518-1290-4c61-87ed-e6f0d4b8e7c1
Sherwin, Janet E.
75342f8e-c886-4d21-a866-403b74208fa5
Marshall, John E.A.
cba178e3-91aa-49a2-b2ce-4b8d9d870b06

Millward, David, Davies, Sarah J., Brand, Peter J., Browne, Michael A.E., Bennett, Carys E., Kearsey, Timothy I., Sherwin, Janet E. and Marshall, John E.A. (2019) Palaeogeography of tropical seasonal coastal wetlands in northern Britain during the early Mississippian Romer's Gap. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 109 (1-2), 279-300. (doi:10.1017/S1755691018000737).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The lower Mississippian Ballagan Formation of northern Britain is one of only two successions worldwide to yield the earliest known tetrapods with terrestrial capability following the end-Devonian mass extinction event. Studies of the sedimentary environments and habitats in which these beasts lived have been an integral part of a major research project into how, why and under what circumstances this profound step in the evolution of life on Earth occurred. Here, a new palaeogeographic map is constructed from outcrop data integrated with new and archived borehole material. The map shows the extent of a very low-relief coastal wetland developed along the tropical southern continental margin of Laurussia. Coastal floodplains in the Midland Valley and Tweed basins were separated from the marginal marine seaway of the Northumberland-Solway Basin to the south by an archipelago of more elevated areas. A complex mosaic of sedimentary environments was juxtaposed, and included fresh and brackish to saline and hypersaline lakes, a diverse suite of floodplain palaeosols and a persistent fluvial system in the east of the region. The strongly seasonal climate led to the formation of evaporite deposits alternating with flooding events, both meteoric and marine. Storm surges drove marine floods from the SW into both the western Midland Valley and Northumberland-Solway Basin; marine water also flooded into the Tweed Basin and Tayside in the east. The Ballagan Formation is a rare example in the geological record of a tropical, seasonal coastal wetland that contains abundant, small-scale evaporite deposits. The diverse sedimentary environments and palaeosol types indicate a network of different terrestrial and aquatic habitats in which the tetrapods lived.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2 August 2018
Published date: 1 March 2019
Keywords: Ballagan Formation, coastal wetlands, Midland Valley of Scotland, palaeoenvironment, Tournaisian, Tweed Basin

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 433577
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/433577
ISSN: 1755-6910
PURE UUID: df80787c-d4b8-41e3-ab6e-207c392cb414
ORCID for John E.A. Marshall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9242-3646

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Aug 2019 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:32

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