Beginning in the Cambrian and continuing into Silurian times the Iapetus Ocean separating Avalonia and Laurentia was consumed by subduction beneath Avalonia and possibly beneath Laurentia. Paleontological evidence found in Lower Paleozoic rocks collected in the Southern Uplands of Scotland and in the Lake District in England confirms that the boundary separating the paleoplates, the Iapetus Suture, lies between the two geological provinces, but it is obscured by the Carboniferous and younger sediments of the Northumberland Trough.
The results of three different geophysical techniques—reflection seismics, magnetotellurics, and magnetic variation measurements—have been combined in a single interpretation to illuminate the crustal structure associated with this ancient convergence zone [Banks et al., 1995”. High-quality seismic reflection profiles acquired in the North Sea (NEC, Figure 1a) and the Irish Channel just off the coast of Britain give tantalizing evidence for northward dipping, midcrustal structures that have been identified as the Iapetus Suture (IN and IS, Figure 1b).
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