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The internal structure of the Moine Nappe Complex and the stratigraphy of the Morar Group in the Fannichs – Beinn Dearg area, NW Highlands

By M. Krabbendam, R.A. Strachan, A.G. Leslie, K.M. Goodenough and H.C. Bonsor


The Morar Group, the lowest group of the early Neoproterozoic Moine Supergroup in the Scottish Highlands, forms a >5 km thick metamorphosed siliclastic sequence, recently interpreted to form part of a Grenvillian (c. 1000 Ma) foreland basin. New mapping has elucidated the structure and stratigraphy of the Morar Group in the Fannich – Beinn Dearg area, where the Morar Group occurs in a single coherent thrust sheet (Achness Thrust Sheet), over 70 km long, 20 km wide, and up to 10 km thick. Within this thrust sheet, the strata are folded by two very large, west-vergent and west-facing cylindroidal anticline-syncline pairs that deform the overlying Sgurr Beag Thrust. The lowest long limb is parallel with and grades into the ductile Moine Thrust and Achness Thrust at its base. Low strain zones in steep limbs contain well preserved sedimentary structures. Reconstruction of the stratigraphical architecture shows five formations of metasandstone (psammite), alternating with meta-siltstone (semipelite). Large-scale lateral variations in the lowest metasandstone package are capped by a possible flooding surface of semipelite, followed by more metasandstone. The deformation history shows foreland-propagation of both deformation and metamorphism, from NNW-directed transport on the Sgurr Beag Thrust to WNW-directed transport on the Achness Thrust and Moine Thrust

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Geological Society of London
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:14107

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