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The Bail Hill Volcanic Group: alkaline within-plate volcanism during Ordovician sedimentation in the Southern Uplands, Scotland

  • E. R. Phillips (a1), R. A. Smith (a1) and J. D. Floyd (a1)

Abstract

The Bail Hill Volcanic Group (Caradoc) represents the largest, single volcanic complex exposed within the Ordovician turbidite succession of the Northern Belt in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. The group comprises a heterogeneous sequence of submarine lavas, volcaniclastic and intrusive rocks (up to 2 km thick), and crops out in a small area (c. 4 km2) around Bail Hill, north of Sanquhar. The Cat Cleuch Formation (older) is dominated by a sequence of autobrecciated basaltic lavas which contain large, zoned diopsidic clinopyroxene. The overlying Peat Rig Formation comprises a more mixed sequence of plagioclase-amphibole-phyric lavas, volcaniclastic rocks and contemporaneous volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks. The Cat Cleuch and lower part of the Peat Rig formations are cut by a vent breccia, the Bught Craig vent breccia, which formed part of the feeder to the upper part of the Peat Rig Formation. The Bail Hill volcanic rocks are alkaline in character, ranging from alkali basalt to trachyandesite in composition, possessing trace element characteristics and enrichment patterns typical of oceanic within-plate basalts. The Bail Hill Volcanic Group, although geochemically distinct, forms part of a mixed assemblage of tholeiitic and alkaline withinplate lavas within the Southern Uplands which are of broadly similar age, some of which are intercalated within the greywacke sandstone sequence. This assemblage clearly indicates that a period of extension and within-plate volcanism occurred during the early stages of the development of the Southern Uplands sedimentary basin.

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The Bail Hill Volcanic Group: alkaline within-plate volcanism during Ordovician sedimentation in the Southern Uplands, Scotland

  • E. R. Phillips (a1), R. A. Smith (a1) and J. D. Floyd (a1)

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