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ABSTRACT

The Bowland Basin (northern England) contains a series of carbonates and terrigenous mudstones deposited during the Ivorian to early Brigantian. Two regional depositional environments are indicated by facies and facies associations. Wackestone/packstone and calcarenite facies indicate deposition in a carbonate ramp environment, while lime mudstone/wackestone, calcarenite and limestone breccia/conglomerate facies, often extensively slumped, represent a carbonate slope environment. Stratigraphic relations suggest that the depositional environment evolved from a ramp into a slope through the Dinantian.

Two main sediment sources are indicated by the sequence; an extra-basinal terrigenous mud source and a supply of carbonate from the margins of the basin. Deposition from suspension and from sediment gravity flows, in situ production and remobilization of sediment during sedimentary sliding were important processes operating within the basin.

Periods of enhanced tectonic activity in the late Chadian to early Arundian and late Asbian to early Brigantian are indicated by basin-wide horizons of sedimentary slide and mass flow deposits. Both intervals were marked by a decline in carbonate production resulting from inundation and uplift/emergence. The first of these intervals separates deposition on a seafloor with gentle topography (carbonate ramp) from a situation where major lateral thickness and facies variations were present and deposition took place in a carbonate slope environment. The second interval marks the end of major carbonate deposition within the Bowland Basin and the onset of regional terrigenous sedimentation.