Geology of the Whithorn, Kirkcowan and Wigtown district : memoir for 1:50 000 geological sheets 2, 4W and 4E (Scotland)

Barnes, Robert. 2008 Geology of the Whithorn, Kirkcowan and Wigtown district : memoir for 1:50 000 geological sheets 2, 4W and 4E (Scotland). Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 146pp. (Memoir (Sheet) British Geological Survey (Scotland)).

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The district described in this memoir is covered by Sheet 2 Whithorn, Sheet 4W Kirkcowan and Sheet 4E Wigtown of the 1:50 000 geological map of Scotland. The extensive coastline includes the large embayments of Luce Bay and Wigtown Bay. Between these, the generally low-lying Whithorn–Wigtown peninsula, known as The Machars, rises towards the north-east into the upland area around Cairnsmore of Fleet. Much of the district is devoted to sheep and cattle farming with large coniferous forestry plantations on the higher ground. Geologically the district forms part of the extensive outcrop of Lower Palaeozoic strata comprising the Southern Uplands terrane. During the Ordovician and Silurian periods, sediment transported by turbidity currents was deposited adjacent to the margin of Laurentia, a continental landmass on the northern side of the contemporary Iapetus Ocean. As the oceanic crust was subducted northwards beneath the Laurentian margin the accumulated sedimentary strata were progressively deformed until, eventually, Laurentia collided with the continental mass to the south of the ocean, Avalonia, in the late Silurian and early Devonian. A suite of igneous rocks was emplaced as dykes and small plutons during later stages of this process, culminating in emplacement of the large Cairnsmore of Fleet granite pluton, part of which crops out in the north-east of the district. Large-scale strike-slip tectonism was important at this time. Permian and Triassic rocks, mainly breccia and fluvial and aeolian red sandstone, are preserved offshore in Luce and Wigtown bays within extensional half grabens. The district has a variable, patchy cover of till laid down during the Devensian glaciation. Over much of the low-lying areas, the till forms distinctive drumlins that rest on the glacially scoured surface of the Lower Palaeozoic rocks. Thin lacustrine deposits and peat occur locally in the hollows between the drumlins. More extensive spreads of peat blanket parts of the higher ground. Raised beaches are present along some parts of the coast. Lead, zinc, copper, nickel and arsenic mineralisation occurs in the district and was worked at a number of sites in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Several mineralisation styles are present but the ages of the metallogenetic events are uncertain.

Item Type: Publication - Book
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Other
ISBN: 9780852725832
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Contributors: D.F Ball, G.S. Kimbell, J.D. Floyd, A.W.A. Rushton, S.P. Tunnicliff, R.J. Merriman, B. Roberts, S.R. Hirons, J.W. Gaskarth, E.R. Phillips, A.A. McMillan, C.G. Smith, J.A. Evans Available from the BGS Sales Desk Tel: 0115 936 3241 Fax: 0115 936 3488 email
Additional Keywords: Regional map explanations, Scotland
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 24 Feb 2009 15:12 +0 (UTC)

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