Rifts, rivers and climate recovery: a new model for the Triassic of England

Newell, Andrew J.. 2018 Rifts, rivers and climate recovery: a new model for the Triassic of England. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 129 (3). 352-371.

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Triassic basins of England developed under a regime of largely W–E extension and progressed from non-marine fluvial and aeolian sedimentation (Sherwood Sandstone Group), through marine-influenced playa lacustrine deposits (Mercia Mudstone Group) to marine environments (Penarth Group). A new tectono-stratigraphic model for the Sherwood Sandstone Group is proposed in which two major long-distance river systems developed under conditions of relative fault inactivity in the Early Triassic (Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds and equivalent) and Middle Triassic (Otter Sandstone and equivalent). These are separated by a late Early Triassic syn-rift succession of fluvio–aeolian sandstones (Wildmoor Sandstone and Wilmslow Sandstone formations) and playa lacustrine muds (Nettlecombe Formation) which show major thickness variation and localisation with hanging wall basins. The partitioning of syn-rift deposits into mudstones within upstream basins (close to the source of water and sediment) and clean aeolian or fluvio–aeolian sandstones in downstream basins is similar to the pattern observed in the underlying late Permian. Under conditions of rapid tectonic subsidence chains of extensional basins may become disconnected with upstream basins (Wessex Basin) acting as traps for fines and water permitting more aeolian activity in temporarily unlinked downstream basins (Worcester and Cheshire basins). In addition to tectonic controls, fluctuating climate, relief related to limestone resilience in arid settings, the smoothing effect of fill and spill sedimentation and Tethyan sea-level change all contributed toward the observed Triassic stratigraphy in England.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00167878
Date made live: 03 Jul 2018 14:28 +0 (UTC)

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