Triassic stratigraphy and sedimentology in central England
The Triassic rocks of Central England consist of three major stratigraphic units: Sherwood Sandstone Group, Mercia Mudstone Group, and Penarth Group. The lower part of the Sherwood Sandstone Group represented by the Kidderminster, Cannock Chase, and Polesworth Formations represents pebbly braided river deposits carried by a major fluvial system flowing to the NorthNorthwest. The upper part of the Sherwood Sandstone Group includes the Wildmoor and Bromsgrove Sandstone Formations, the deposits of a sandy alluvial system. The Mercia Mudstone Group represents quiet-water deposits of marginal palya type which were subjected to occasional marine flooding. The overlying Penarth Group represent shallow marine and lagoonal environment associated with the Rhaetian marine transgression. The mineralogy of the Triassic sandstones indicates that the main source was from medium to low rank metamorphic rocks with additional supplies from igneous and metamorphic rocks. The study of size-composition trends shows that the climate was semiarid in early Triassic time and became more humid later.
The Triassic sandstones show a variety of diagenetic features typical of continental red beds; these include: 1. the dissolution of unstable ferromagnesian silicates, 2. the replacement of detri tal grains by clay, 3. the pseudomorphism of bioti te by haemati te, and 4. the formation of a suite of authigenic minerals including quartz, illite, mixed-layer illitemontmorillonite, kaolinite, k-feldspar, haematite,
titanium oxide and later carbonate cement. Palaeomagnetic studies of selected samples show that the magnetization is multicomponent with the various components being carried by different textural phases of haematite.