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A biostratigraphical framework for geological correlation of the Middle Devonian strata in the Moray-Ness Basin Project area

By M.J. Newman and M.T. Dean

Abstract

This report presents an up dated biostratigraphical framework for correlation of the Middle Devonian strata exposed in onshore areas on the western margin of the Orcadian Basin. It focuses on the fossil fish faunas from Caithness and Orkney. The research has involved taxonomical and stratigraphical revision of key fossil fish specimens and whole assemblages held in museums and in private collections , together with targeted new field collecting in Caithness and on Orkney. This has enabled a robust pattern of distribution to be established for indicator species, based on faunas identified from large collections of individual species, so that presence/absence data are of significance in determining a more fully representative stratigraphical range for each species than was available hitherto.\ud This approach has enabled detailed biostratigraphical correlations to be made within the Middle Devonian of the Reay area and on adjacent ground. It also provides new constraints on the regional biostratigraphical correlation between the flagstone sequences in Caithness and on Orkney. The importance of fossil fish assemblages that have been examined in collections from the Middle Devonian on the southern margin of the Moray Firth are currently being re-evaluated in terms of their ability to constrain new and existing regional and local stratigraphical correlations. The eventual aim of this work is to provide a consistent means of correlating all of the onshore Middle Devonian strata in the Moray-Ness Project area

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: British Geological Survey
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:11184

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