Geological Society of London
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An improved chronology for the Arthur’s Seat volcano and Carboniferous magmatism of the Midland Valley of Scotland

posted on 2016-06-21, 11:41 authored by Alison A. Monaghan, Mike A. E. Browne, Dan N. Barfod

The Early Carboniferous Arthur’s Seat volcano in central Edinburgh is of geological significance and landscape value but lacks a precise chronology. New 40Ar/39Ar step-heating plateau analyses date the lowest Lava 1 of the eruptive sequence to 341.2 ± 0.8 Ma (Visean, Holkerian), with Lava 3a at 336.7 ± 4.7 Ma. Intrusive or lava-lake basalts within the Lion’s Haunch Vent are precisely dated at 338 ± 0.6 Ma at Dunsapie and 335.1 ± 0.6 Ma at Crow Hill (Visean, Asbian). Taken together with existing 40Ar/39Ar dates recalculated to recent decay constant and standard values, and U/Pb dates, a revised magmatic chronology consistent with biostratigraphy is presented for the Midland Valley of Scotland. The Garleton Hills Volcanic Formation is older than the Arthur’s Seat Volcanic Formation, whereas the Clyde Plateau and Arthur’s Seat volcanic formations are partly coeval, requiring minor re-adjustments to existing stratigraphy.