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A revised correlation of Silurian rocks in the Girvan district, SW Scotland

  • James D. Floyd (a1) and Mark Williams (a2)

Abstract

In late Ordovician and early Silurian times, the Girvan district lay in a shelf marinesetting on the margin of Laurentia, on the northern side of the Iapetus Ocean. The Lower Palaeozoic rocks of the Girvan district, and their shelly and graptolitic fossil fauna, were systematically described by Lapworth in 1882 and have formed an important research resource ever since. They provide valuable evidence for the depositional environment and geological setting of Girvan during the early Palaeozoic, in both regional and wider contexts, and demonstrate the long-recognised close affinity with contemporaneous Laurentian faunas. However, by late Ordovician and into Silurian times, the earlier Iapetus oceanic barrier to faunal migration had largely gone and there is good correlation between contemporaneous marine fauna throughout the British Isles and Scandinavia. Despite much recent research in the area, including resurvey work by the British Geological Survey, no comprehensive review of Silurian lithostratigraphy at Girvan has been published since the revision by Cocks and Toghill in 1973. The present review of the Silurian rocks addresses this need and complements the recently published (Fortey et al. 2000) revision of the underlying Ordovician rocks, thus bringing the entire Girvan Lower Palaeozoic succession up to modern standards of nomenclature.

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