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Title: Tertiary tectonics and uplift of the Inner Moray Firth and adjacent areas
Author: Thomson, Ken
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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The latest Cretaceous and Tertiary saw a significant change in the tectonic regime of northwestern Europe. North Atlantic rifting over the Iceland "hot-spot" to the northwest resulted in the total separation of North America from Europe by the mid-Miocene while to the southeast the closure of the Tethyan Ocean resulted in the Alpine Orogeny which culminated by the Pliocene. Contemporaneous with these events many of the pre-existing Mesozoic basins of northwestern Europe experienced tectonic reactivation characterised by dip-slip inversion, while regional uplift of both basin and massif areas occurred. Seismic reflection profiles and field studies indicate that the Inner Moray Firth experienced tectonic reactivation during the Tertiary, although the precise dating remains uncertain. Extensional reactivation of the pre-existing half graben bounding faults and the formation of new extensional features such as the faults forming the Sinclair Horst was the most common form of reactivation. The Great Glen Fault shows structures indicative of dextral strike-slip motion. This dextral movement combined with sinistral motion of the Helmsdale Fault resulted in the folding seen in the Sutherland Terrace (the area between the two faults) as a result of space problems. Minor inversion folds with their associated shortcut faults can also be found within the basin and attest to a period of compression. Probably the most regionally important structure within the basin is the eastward dipping mid-late Danian unconformity which provides evidence for a period of uplift and erosion in the area prior to the deposition of Cenozoic sediments. Apatite fission track analysis of the Scottish Highlands shows that samples currently at surface experienced elevated palaeotemperatures and consequently must have been uplifted and eroded from their maximum burial-depth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available