Multiple post-Caledonian exhumation episodes across NW Scotland revealed by apatite fission-track analysis

Simon P Holford, Paul F Green, Richard R Hillis, John R Underhill, Martyn S Stoker, Ian R Duddy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The post-Caledonian exhumation history of NW Scotland is a controversial issue, with some studies advocating largely continual emergence whereas others suggest dominantly early Palaeogene plume-driven exhumation. Apatite fission-track analysis (AFTA) data for samples of Precambrian basement and Permian-Cretaceous sediments from onshore and offshore reveal multiple phases of post-Caledonian cooling: Triassic (beginning 245-225 Ma), Cretaceous (140-130 Ma; 110-90 Ma) and Cenozoic (65-60 Ma; 40-25 Ma; 15-10 Ma), all of which are interpreted at least in part as recording exhumation. Basement and sedimentary cover rocks display similar thermal histories, emphasizing the regional nature of these episodes and implying that sedimentary outliers represent the remnants of previously more extensive sequences. Significant thicknesses of Jurassic rocks may once have covered NW Scotland. Palaeocene palaeothermal effects are most pronounced in the vicinity of igneous centres, probably reflecting combined effects of heating by elevated heat flow, deeper burial and hydrothermal activity. Most of the region underwent kilometre-scale Neogene exhumation. Contrary to the common assumption of monotonic cooling and denudation histories, integration of geological evidence with AFTA data defines an episodic thermal history involving repeated cycles of burial and exhumation. We suggest that onshore passive margins and continental interiors may also best be characterized by similar histories.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)675-694
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of the Geological Society
    Volume167
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

    Fingerprint

    Caledonian orogeny
    exhumation
    apatite
    history
    Cretaceous
    cooling
    continental interior
    hydrothermal activity
    passive margin
    denudation
    outlier
    rock
    Paleogene
    Paleocene
    heat flow
    Neogene
    Precambrian
    Permian
    Triassic
    plume

    Keywords

    • MESOZOIC-CENOZOIC EXHUMATION
    • PASSIVE CONTINENTAL-MARGIN
    • NORTH-SEA
    • ATLANTIC MARGIN
    • SUBSIDENCE HISTORY
    • SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
    • RADIATION-DAMAGE
    • HELIUM DIFFUSION
    • THERMAL HISTORY
    • NEOGENE UPLIFT

    Cite this

    Holford, Simon P ; Green, Paul F ; Hillis, Richard R ; Underhill, John R ; Stoker, Martyn S ; Duddy, Ian R. / Multiple post-Caledonian exhumation episodes across NW Scotland revealed by apatite fission-track analysis. In: Journal of the Geological Society. 2010 ; Vol. 167, No. 4. pp. 675-694.
    @article{dbe21514c99c44768c80fab126d3e08b,
    title = "Multiple post-Caledonian exhumation episodes across NW Scotland revealed by apatite fission-track analysis",
    abstract = "The post-Caledonian exhumation history of NW Scotland is a controversial issue, with some studies advocating largely continual emergence whereas others suggest dominantly early Palaeogene plume-driven exhumation. Apatite fission-track analysis (AFTA) data for samples of Precambrian basement and Permian-Cretaceous sediments from onshore and offshore reveal multiple phases of post-Caledonian cooling: Triassic (beginning 245-225 Ma), Cretaceous (140-130 Ma; 110-90 Ma) and Cenozoic (65-60 Ma; 40-25 Ma; 15-10 Ma), all of which are interpreted at least in part as recording exhumation. Basement and sedimentary cover rocks display similar thermal histories, emphasizing the regional nature of these episodes and implying that sedimentary outliers represent the remnants of previously more extensive sequences. Significant thicknesses of Jurassic rocks may once have covered NW Scotland. Palaeocene palaeothermal effects are most pronounced in the vicinity of igneous centres, probably reflecting combined effects of heating by elevated heat flow, deeper burial and hydrothermal activity. Most of the region underwent kilometre-scale Neogene exhumation. Contrary to the common assumption of monotonic cooling and denudation histories, integration of geological evidence with AFTA data defines an episodic thermal history involving repeated cycles of burial and exhumation. We suggest that onshore passive margins and continental interiors may also best be characterized by similar histories.",
    keywords = "MESOZOIC-CENOZOIC EXHUMATION, PASSIVE CONTINENTAL-MARGIN, NORTH-SEA, ATLANTIC MARGIN, SUBSIDENCE HISTORY, SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS, RADIATION-DAMAGE, HELIUM DIFFUSION, THERMAL HISTORY, NEOGENE UPLIFT",
    author = "Holford, {Simon P} and Green, {Paul F} and Hillis, {Richard R} and Underhill, {John R} and Stoker, {Martyn S} and Duddy, {Ian R}",
    note = "M1 - Article",
    year = "2010",
    month = "7",
    doi = "10.1144/0016-76492009-167",
    language = "English",
    volume = "167",
    pages = "675--694",
    journal = "Journal of the Geological Society",
    issn = "0016-7649",
    publisher = "Geological Society of London",
    number = "4",

    }

    Multiple post-Caledonian exhumation episodes across NW Scotland revealed by apatite fission-track analysis. / Holford, Simon P; Green, Paul F; Hillis, Richard R; Underhill, John R; Stoker, Martyn S; Duddy, Ian R.

    In: Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 167, No. 4, 07.2010, p. 675-694.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Multiple post-Caledonian exhumation episodes across NW Scotland revealed by apatite fission-track analysis

    AU - Holford, Simon P

    AU - Green, Paul F

    AU - Hillis, Richard R

    AU - Underhill, John R

    AU - Stoker, Martyn S

    AU - Duddy, Ian R

    N1 - M1 - Article

    PY - 2010/7

    Y1 - 2010/7

    N2 - The post-Caledonian exhumation history of NW Scotland is a controversial issue, with some studies advocating largely continual emergence whereas others suggest dominantly early Palaeogene plume-driven exhumation. Apatite fission-track analysis (AFTA) data for samples of Precambrian basement and Permian-Cretaceous sediments from onshore and offshore reveal multiple phases of post-Caledonian cooling: Triassic (beginning 245-225 Ma), Cretaceous (140-130 Ma; 110-90 Ma) and Cenozoic (65-60 Ma; 40-25 Ma; 15-10 Ma), all of which are interpreted at least in part as recording exhumation. Basement and sedimentary cover rocks display similar thermal histories, emphasizing the regional nature of these episodes and implying that sedimentary outliers represent the remnants of previously more extensive sequences. Significant thicknesses of Jurassic rocks may once have covered NW Scotland. Palaeocene palaeothermal effects are most pronounced in the vicinity of igneous centres, probably reflecting combined effects of heating by elevated heat flow, deeper burial and hydrothermal activity. Most of the region underwent kilometre-scale Neogene exhumation. Contrary to the common assumption of monotonic cooling and denudation histories, integration of geological evidence with AFTA data defines an episodic thermal history involving repeated cycles of burial and exhumation. We suggest that onshore passive margins and continental interiors may also best be characterized by similar histories.

    AB - The post-Caledonian exhumation history of NW Scotland is a controversial issue, with some studies advocating largely continual emergence whereas others suggest dominantly early Palaeogene plume-driven exhumation. Apatite fission-track analysis (AFTA) data for samples of Precambrian basement and Permian-Cretaceous sediments from onshore and offshore reveal multiple phases of post-Caledonian cooling: Triassic (beginning 245-225 Ma), Cretaceous (140-130 Ma; 110-90 Ma) and Cenozoic (65-60 Ma; 40-25 Ma; 15-10 Ma), all of which are interpreted at least in part as recording exhumation. Basement and sedimentary cover rocks display similar thermal histories, emphasizing the regional nature of these episodes and implying that sedimentary outliers represent the remnants of previously more extensive sequences. Significant thicknesses of Jurassic rocks may once have covered NW Scotland. Palaeocene palaeothermal effects are most pronounced in the vicinity of igneous centres, probably reflecting combined effects of heating by elevated heat flow, deeper burial and hydrothermal activity. Most of the region underwent kilometre-scale Neogene exhumation. Contrary to the common assumption of monotonic cooling and denudation histories, integration of geological evidence with AFTA data defines an episodic thermal history involving repeated cycles of burial and exhumation. We suggest that onshore passive margins and continental interiors may also best be characterized by similar histories.

    KW - MESOZOIC-CENOZOIC EXHUMATION

    KW - PASSIVE CONTINENTAL-MARGIN

    KW - NORTH-SEA

    KW - ATLANTIC MARGIN

    KW - SUBSIDENCE HISTORY

    KW - SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

    KW - RADIATION-DAMAGE

    KW - HELIUM DIFFUSION

    KW - THERMAL HISTORY

    KW - NEOGENE UPLIFT

    U2 - 10.1144/0016-76492009-167

    DO - 10.1144/0016-76492009-167

    M3 - Article

    VL - 167

    SP - 675

    EP - 694

    JO - Journal of the Geological Society

    JF - Journal of the Geological Society

    SN - 0016-7649

    IS - 4

    ER -