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Polyphase low-grade metamorphism of the Ingleton Group, northern England, UK: a case study of metamorphic inversion in a mudrock succession

  • S. J. KEMP (a1) and R. J. MERRIMAN (a1)


A series of boreholes in Horton Quarry, northwest Yorkshire (Horton-in-Ribblesdale Inlier) penetrated mudstones and slates belonging to the Austwick Formation (Windermere Supergroup) overlying laminated mudstones of the Ingleton Group. Illite (IC) and chlorite (ChC) crystallinity measurements indicate a metamorphic inversion between the two groups of mudrocks. The Windermere Supergroup mudrocks are mostly in the high anchizone or epizone, whereas the Ingletonian samples are lower grade in terms of IC, and are mostly deep diagenetic zone or low anchizone. Hence younger strata at higher grades rest on older strata at lower grades, creating a metamorphic inversion. Ingletonian slates exposed at Pecca Falls on the River Twiss show epizonal and anchizonal IC values, and greywacke samples from Ingleton Quarry contain pumpellyite. This suggests that grade in the Ingletonian may increase to the NW from the Horton to Ingleton inliers. K-white mica b cell dimensions show further differences between the Ingleton Group and the Windermere Supergroup. The Ingletonian samples are characterized by low b cell values (8.989–9.035, mean 9.007 Å), whereas the Windermere Supergroup has higher values in the range 9.022–9.034, mean 9.027 Å. The Windermere Supergroup values are similar to those recorded from the Windermere Supergroup of the southern Lake District, and Lower Palaeozoic rocks from the Scottish Southern Uplands, and are consistent with metamorphism in a low heat flow, convergent geotectonic setting. The Ingletonian b cell values suggest metamorphism in a higher heat flow setting, most likely an extensional basin. The metamorphic inversion at Horton and differences in K-white mica b cell dimensions suggest that the Ingleton Group and Windermere Supergroup strata evolved in different geotectonic settings and record two separate metamorphic events. The discovery of the metamorphic inversion at Horton provides further evidence in favour of an Ordovician rather than Neoproterozoic depositional age for the controversial Ingleton Group.


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