A new lithostratigraphy is presented for the Skiddaw Group (lower Ordovician) of the English Lake District. Two stratigraphical belts are described. Five formations are defined in the Northern Fells Belt, ranging in age from Tremadoc to early Llanvirn. They are all mudstone or sandstone dominated, of turbidite origin; in ascending order they are named the Bitter Beck, Watch Hill, Hope Beck, Loweswater and Kirk Stile formations. Two formations are defined in the Central Fells Belt, ranging in age from late Arenig to Llanvirn. These are the Buttermere Formation - a major olistostrome deposit - overlain by the Tarn Moor Formation, consisting of turbidite mudstones with volcaniclastic turbidite sandstone beds. A revised graptolite and new acritarch biostratigraphy for the Skiddaw Group is presented with eight graptolite biozones and thirteen acritarch assemblages and sub-assemblages. The provenance of the group is assessed from detailed petrographical and geochemical work. This suggests derivation, in the early Ordovician, largely from an old inactive continental arc terrane lying to the south-east, with the appearance of juvenile volcanic material in the Llanvirn. Comparisons and correlations of the Skiddaw Group are made with the Isle of Man and eastern Ireland
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