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A mineral reconnaissance survey of the Abington-Biggar-Moffat-area, south-central Scotland

By J. Dawson, J.D. Floyd and P.R. Phillip


Panned heavy mineral concentrates, mostly obtained from stream sediments,\ud were collected from 195 sites in the Abington-Biggar-Moffat area. The project\ud area, which lies immediately east of the formerly important mining district of\ud Wanlockhead-Leadhills, covers approximately 500 km2 of the north-central\ud sector of the Southern Uplands. It incorporates the Hart Fell range of hills,\ud the headwaters catchment for the River Tweed and River Annan, some\ud tributaries of the River Clyde, and, to the east, the Culter Water, Talla\ud Reservoir, Megget Water and the head of the Ettrick valley.\ud Numerous new occurrences of lead, zinc, copper and barium minerals were\ud found and nine areas are recommended for further investigation. Minor amounts\ud of baryte and traces of cupriferous pyrite were identified in the basal breccia of\ud the-New Red Sandstone deposits in Annandale. The mercury mineral, cinnabar,\ud was identified for the first time in Scotland, occurring in trace amounts in\ud stream sediment concentrates in the Coulter area close to the Southern Upland\ud Fault. Chromiferous spine1 was recognised as a major constituent in the\ud majority of panned samples. It is present as a detrital mineral in greywackes\ud but must have been originally derived from ultrabasic rocks. An unusual mineral\ud widely dispersed in trace amounts is corundum (including some gem-quality\ud sapphire). Historical references (Lauder Lindsay, 1868-9, 1871) to a wide\ud distribution for particle gold were confirmed and many new occurrences found.\ud A local provenance for the element is now considered certain. Some placer\ud concentration of gold and chromiferous spine1 is likely in the alluvium of\ud the valleys of the River Tweed and the Megget Water.\ud Six greywacke formations, previously defined in other parts of the Southern\ud Uplands, were mapped in the project area, each distinguished by a characteristic\ud lithology and heavy mineral content

Publisher: Institute of Geological Sciences
Year: 1979
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