GCR block - Dinantian of Northern England & North Wales (DIN-N-E-WL)

Dinantian of Northern England & North Wales

Block Description

UK map showing distribution of GCR sites of GCR block DIN-N-E-WL
Distribution of GCR sites of GCR block Dinantian of Northern England & North Wales

The GCR sites selected for this GCR Block represent the British geological record of Earth history from about 354 to 327 million years ago (Ma) as represented by rocks in Northern England and North Wales. This interval is the first part of the Carboniferous Period, which spans from about 354 to 292 Ma. Rocks that formed during the during Dinantian time constitute the Dinantian Subsystem, which comprises the Tournaisian and Visean series, in turn made up from the Courceyan, Chadian, Arundian, Holkerian, Asbian and Brigantian stages. In the GCR, the Dinantian Subsystem plus Pendleian and Arnsbergian stages (the lowest two stages of the overlying Silesian Subsystem) are equated with Lower Carboniferous (or Mississipian) Subsystem.

The majority of the stages are defined at stratotype sections, either in northern England, South Wales or southern Ireland, but a stratotype section for the Arnsbergian Stage has yet to be established.

Palaeoenvironment and palaeogeography

The major features controlling deposition in Britain during Early Carboniferous times owe much to structures inherited from the Caledonian Orogeny. (See CAL-STR-LD; CAL-STR-SU and CAL-STR-WL). Closure of the Iapetus Ocean had led to the development of a suture running ENE–WSW across northern England, with differing Lower Palaeozoic geological histories on either side.The Caledonian structure of England and Wales was strongly influenced by a ‘Midlands Microcraton’ in central England.To the east of this, Caledonian structures trend north-west–south-east, but to the west and north the trend is north-east–south-west.A major feature of the palaeogeography of Britain during Early Carboniferous times is the land area of the Wales–Brabant Massif, formerly known as St George’s Land, which is, at least in part, a remnant of this Midlands Microcraton.

Major collision was taking place through Central Europe during the Early Carboniferous Subperiod as a result of closure of the Rheic Ocean, but to the north of this, in Britain, extensional tectonics prevailed.An overall north–south stretching is envisaged, although east–west tension has also been suggested.In England and Wales north of the Wales–Brabant Massif, the combination of (probable) north–south extension combined with the inherited Caledonian structures led to the development of asymmetric grabens with relative subsidence partly controlled by the position of low-density granite plutons.Rifting was pulsed, with particularly active episodes in Chadian–early Arundian and in mid–late Asbian times.Significant rifting also took place during Courceyan times.

Areas undergoing slow subsidence and thus accommodating a relatively thin Lower Carboniferous succession have been variously called ‘blocks’, ‘highs’, ‘horsts’, ‘shelves’ or ‘platforms’, and the areas undergoing more rapid subsidence as ‘basins’, ‘troughs’, ‘gulfs’ or ‘lows’.

South of the Wales–Brabant Massif, the Culm Trough and the shelf area bordering it are remnants of a back-arc basin relating to northwards subduction and closure of the Rheic Ocean.In Scotland, between the Grampian Mountains to the north and the Southern Uplands to the south, a major rift, the Midland Valley, formed, controlled by movements on inherited Caledonian faults.

In late Dinantian times, uplift of source areas led to southwards progradation of a giant clastic delta complex which rapidly filled the basinal areas.At this time, active rifting largely ceased and subsidence in Namurian and Westphalian times was regional and thermally driven.

The final closure of the Rheic Ocean led to the ‘Variscan’ or ‘Hercynian Orogeny’ (see VAR-STR-SW and VAR-STR-WM) during late Westphalian and Permian times.South of the Wales–Brabant Massif, compression resulted in thrust faulting and nappe emplacement.In northern Britain, inversion of Lower Carboniferous half-graben and subsequent erosion led to the development of a Permian–Carboniferous angular unconformity.

GCR site selection

For the Dinantian stratigraphy of Britain sites were selected according to palaeogeographically defined GCR Blocks.

• Dinantian of Scotland – Midland Valley Basin

• Dinantian of northern England and North Wales – Northumberland Trough; Lake District and Alston Blocks; Stainmore Basin and Askrigg Block; Craven Basin; Derbyshire Platform, North Staffordshire Basin and the Hathern Shelf; and North Wales Shelf;

• Dinantian of southern England and South Wales – South Wales–Mendip Shelf

• Dinantian of Devon and Cornwall

Although the relatively common invertebrate fossils do not have a separate selection category in the GCR in their own right, the scientific importance of many stratigraphy sites lies in their fossil content. Therefore, some of the GCR sites are selected specifically for their fossil fauna, which facilitates stratal correlation and enables the interpretation of the environments in which the animals lived. Moreover, some sites have international significance because they have yielded fossils that are the ‘type’ material for a taxonomic group.

Palaeontology, fauna and flora

In the early 20th century the first coral–brachiopod zonation schemes for the British Lower Carboniferous sequence were established; subsequently a proliferation of biostratigraphical schemes for the Lower Carboniferous successions of north-west Europe has evolved based principally on the distribution of miospores, conodonts, foraminifera and ammonoids.


Volume Introduction

Dinantian of Northern England & North Wales


Site List

Your selection found 67 GCR sites. Sites are sorted alphabetically by country, local authority and then by site name -
CodeNameCountryLocal AuthorityGrid RefGCR Site Account
100Ash Fell EdgeEnglandEast CumbriaNY733050Not available
768Barker ScarEnglandEast CumbriaSD333786Not available
2041Birky CleughEnglandEast CumbriaNY588754Not available
2170Ellery SikeEnglandEast CumbriaNY546757Not available
237Humphrey HeadEnglandEast CumbriaSD379739Not available
2153Iron Pit Spring QuarryEnglandEast CumbriaSD311783Not available
767Janny WoodEnglandEast CumbriaNY783037Not available
769Little Asby ScarEnglandEast CumbriaNY697087Not available
238Meathop QuarryEnglandEast CumbriaSD432791Not available
2167Oakshaw FordEnglandEast CumbriaNY510761Not available
2151Pinskey GillEnglandEast CumbriaNY698040Not available
239Skelwith HillEnglandEast CumbriaSD331809Not available
2092Stone Gill - Scandal BeckEnglandEast CumbriaNY717037Not available
2031Wasdale BeckEnglandEast CumbriaNY575095Not available
2152Whitberry BurnEnglandEast CumbriaNY521741Not available
1750Chatburn BypassEnglandLancashire CCSD774443Not available
895Coplow QuarryEnglandLancashire CCSD751431Not available
2043Little Mearley - Limekiln, Pendle HillEnglandLancashire CCSD775409Not available
2033River HodderEnglandLancashire CCSD701400Not available
2091Salthill and Bellman Park QuarriesEnglandLancashire CCSD759426Not available
2044The KnollsEnglandLancashire CCSD778435Not available
2155Trowbarrow QuarryEnglandLancashire CCSD480758Not available
2034Breedon Cloud QuarryEnglandLeicestershire CC and RutlandSK413214Not available
883Grace DieuEnglandLeicestershire CC and RutlandSK433182Not available
1295Clints and Steelbarrow QuarriesEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSD967575Not available
2040Cracoe Knolls and Swinden QuarryEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSD988603Not available
2168Hambleton QuarryEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSE058533Not available
966Haw CragEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSD913564Not available
965Holywell BridgeEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSE028533Not available
2088Langcliffe - AttermireEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSD840645Not available
2133Malham, Goredale & Cawden Wedber BurnsEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSD905645Not available
887Meal Bank QuarryEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSD698736Not available
1294Pen-y-ghent GillEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSD852737Not available
2150Whitfield Gill - Mill GillEnglandNorth Yorkshire CCSD920932Not available
2181Colour Heugh - Bowden DoorsEnglandNorthumberlandNU066337Not available
884Glebe QuarryEnglandNorthumberlandNU052005Not available
886Redesdale Ironstone QuarryEnglandNorthumberlandNY895833Not available
885Roddam DeneEnglandNorthumberlandNU021208Not available
2182Spittal ShoreEnglandNorthumberlandNU010512Not available
2032Tipalt BurnEnglandNorthumberlandNY670675Not available
187Baileycroft QuarryEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK286542Not available
101CastletonEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK132834Not available
102Cawdor QuarryEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK286604Not available
104Dale QuarryEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK284541Not available
993DovedaleEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK142548Not available
105Duchy QuarryEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK094768Not available
106Midland Railway to Wye ValleyEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK182731Not available
107Pindale QuarryEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK159823Not available
108Ricklow Quarry and Monyash QuarryEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK164662Not available
109Steeplehouse Quarries Complex, National Stone CentreEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK286551Not available
110Ticknall QuarriesEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK360238Not available
103Wye Valley and Cressbrook DaleEnglandSouth and West DerbyshireSK178755Not available
967Brown End QuarryEnglandStaffordshire CCSK090503Not available
2090Caldon Low QuarryEnglandStaffordshire CCSK081484Not available
994Wetton - Gratton, Beresford DaleEnglandStaffordshire CCSK098576Not available
2089Clints/Steel Barrow QuarryEnglandWest CumbriaNY007124Not available
236Elliscales QuarryEnglandWest CumbriaSD224747Not available
2179Yeathouse QuarryEnglandWest CumbriaNY042169Not available
961Eglwyseg MountainWalesCONWY AND DENBIGHSHIRESJ220450Not available
960Great OrmeWalesCONWY AND DENBIGHSHIRESH768833Not available
2154Hafod y CalchWalesCONWY AND DENBIGHSHIRESJ054430Not available
1173Little OrmeWalesCONWY AND DENBIGHSHIRESH817828Not available
3340Pentre-bach QuarriesWalesCONWY AND DENBIGHSHIRESJ061783Not available
963Flagstaff QuarryWalesISLE OF ANGLESEYSH636807Not available
964Lligwy BayWalesISLE OF ANGLESEYSH500871Not available
962Tandinas QuarryWalesISLE OF ANGLESEYSH584820Not available
959Trwyn DwlbanWalesISLE OF ANGLESEYSH532817Not available
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