Publication record details

Title The rocks of Spireslack surface coal mine and its subsurface data : an introduction.
Ref no OR/16/053
Author Ellen, R.; Callaghan, E.; Leslie, A.G.; Browne, M.A.E.
Year of publication 2016
Abstract Surface coal mining at Spireslack, East Ayrshire, has exposed a one kilometre long, vertical section of over 130 m of Carboniferous strata. This includes a variably exposed complete sequence through the Limestone Coal Formation, one of the main coal producing units in Central Scotland, and also the underlying Lower Limestone Formation. Parts of the Lawmuir and Upper Limestone formations are also exposed. Such laterally continuous exposures of these Carboniferous strata are rarely exposed in nature, and therefore Spireslack allows the opportunity to study their features in detail. These include laterally extensive fluvial sandstone sequences; palaeosol horizons with in situ tree casts; regionally correlateable limestones; fold and fault-related structures and their relation to differing mechanical rock properties; and regionally important marine bands and other fossils within the Carboniferous. Data obtained from abandonment plans of earlier underground coal mining, and from more recent surface coal mining, have been used in combination with 1:10 250 geological fieldslips, to reconstruct the position and structure of seven mined coal seams from Spireslack in a 3D geological model. The model reveals geological folds previously photographed but not mapped before and allows the structure and position of the Muirkirk Syncline to be mapped accurately in this area. This report firstly presents an account of the geology exposed at Spireslack, and secondly the results of the 3D geological model. The 3D model will underpin future geological investigations of Spireslack and act as a foundation for subsequent sub-surface geological modelling (e.g. seismic modelling, fluid flow modelling, etc).
Publisher British Geological Survey
Place of publication Keyworth, Nottingham
Series Open Reports
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