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https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-73
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-73
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 May 2020

06 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal SE and is expected to appear here in due course.

Near-surface Palaeocene fluid flow, mineralisation and faulting at Flamborough Head, UK: new field observations and U-Pb calcite dating constraints

Nick M. W. Roberts1, Jack K. Lee1,2, Robert E. Holdsworth2, Christopher Jeans3, Andrew R. Farrant4, and Richard Haslam4 Nick M. W. Roberts et al.
  • 1Geochronology & Tracers Facility, British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, Science Labs, Durham, UK
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Place, Cambridge, UK
  • 4British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre, Nottingham, UK

Abstract. We present new field observations from Selwicks Bay, NE England, an exposure of the Flamborough Head Fault Zone (FHFZ). We combine these with U-Pb geochronology of syn- to post-tectonic calcite mineralisation to provide absolute constraints on the timing of deformation. The extensional Frontal Fault zone was active at ca. 63 Ma, with protracted fluid activity occurring as young as ca. 55 Ma. Other dated tensile fractures overlap this timeframe, and also cross-cut earlier formed fold structures, providing a lower bracket for the timing of folding and compressional deformation. The Frontal Fault zone acted as a conduit for voluminous fluid flow, linking deeper sedimentary units to the shallow sub-surface, and exhibiting a protracted history of several million years. Most structures at Selwicks Bay may have formed in a deformation history that is simpler than previously interpreted, with a protracted phase of extensional and strike-slip motion along the FHFZ. The timing of this deformation overlaps that of the nearby Cleveland Dyke intrusion and of regional uplift in NW Britain, opening the possibility that extensional deformation and hydrothermal mineralisation at Selwicks Bay are linked to these regional and far-field processes.

Nick M. W. Roberts et al.

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Nick M. W. Roberts et al.

Nick M. W. Roberts et al.

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Latest update: 23 Oct 2020
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Short summary
We characterise a well-known fractured and faulted exposure of Cretaceous chalk in NE England, combining field observations with novel U-Pb calcite dating. We show that the faulting and associated fluid-flow occurred during the interval of ca. 64–56 Ma, predating earlier estimates of Alpine-related tectonic inversion. We demonstrate that the main extensional fault zone acted as a conduit linking voluminous fluid-flow, and linking deeper sedimentary layers with the shallow sub-surface.
We characterise a well-known fractured and faulted exposure of Cretaceous chalk in NE England,...
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