Tectonic structures in the Peel Sandstones and Carboniferous limestone, Isle of Man

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Abstract

On the Isle of Man, the Early Devonian Peel Sandstones and Early Carboniferous limestones have been deformed in places by folds, cleavage and other structures. The structures in the Peel Sandstones have been attributed to pre-lithification deformation associated with slumping of the red beds. Here, they are re-interpreted to be products of post-lithification deformation, inferred from small-scale structures and fabrics, which took place in a localized thrust zone. Compression was approximately NW–SE and translation towards the SE. That deformation may have also produced some of the late structures in the Lower Palaeozoic rocks of the island. The minimum age of these post-Early Devonian structures is unknown but is probably pre-Carboniferous: they may represent the mid-Devonian Acadian deformation.

The Carboniferous succession is folded in places and contains stylolites and stylolitic cleavage. A stress regime with E–W to WNW–ESE compression is inferred. These structures have orientations and morphologies shown to resemble those in neighbouring parts of southern Britain, where they are attributed mainly to mid- to late-Carboniferous Variscan events. Alternatively, some or all of them might be products of late Mesozoic and Tertiary tectonics recognized elsewhere in the region. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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