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The contribution of palaeontological data to an understanding of the Early Palaeozoic framework of eastern England
Palaeontological data can provide various lines of evidence to further understanding of the early Palaeozoic framework of eastern England. Biostratigraphical dating and correlation underpin interpretations of stratigraphy, while other palaeontological data may aid interpretation of depositional environments and thermal histories. Each of these lines of enquiry can contribute to the delineation of cratonic and basinal areas. Seventeen boreholes have proved Lower Palaeozoic sequences in the putative concealed Acadian fold belt of eastern England. Sequences proved beneath Upper Palaeozoic or younger successions include strata of Tremadoc, Llanvirn, Caradoc, Llandovery, Wenlock, Ludlow, Přídolí and Emsian age. In contrast, most Lower Palaeozoic sequences proved at subcrop on the eastern part of the postulated Midlands Microcraton are Tremadoc or older; later Ordovician strata are not known from the eastern part of the microcraton, and Silurian strata are only encountered in its more central and southern parts. These distributions are consistent with the idea of a fold belt lying to the east of the microcraton. Facies variations eastwards from the microcraton to the concealed fold belt are in general poorly documented. However, those in the late Llandovery and Wenlock Series (Silurian) mirror the gross variations in facies that occur westwards from the microcraton into the Welsh Basin, and generally concur with models that position the boundary between the microcraton and the concealed fold belt along a line from the vicinity of Charnwood to the Thames Estuary.
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A propos de : S.G. Molyneux
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, U.K.