On the structural age of the Rhoscolyn antiform Anglesey, North Wales

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    In the Rhoscolyn area of Anglesey, the late Precambrian interbedded psammites and pelites of the Monian Supergroup are folded into a kilometre-scale antiform, plunging about 25°NE and with an axial surface dipping about 40°NW. Numerous folds of up to a few tens of metres in wavelength are present on both limbs of this antiform. These smaller-scale folds also plunge about 25°NE but clearly belong to two separate episodes of folding, and it has become a matter of longstanding controversy as to whether the larger antiform belongs to the first or second of these episodes. Close examination of the cleavage/bedding asymmetries from all the lithologies, however, shows that the large antiform is a second-generation structure, and that on the gently dipping northwest limb, the sense of cleavage/bedding asymmetry of the earlier cleavage in the psammitic units has been almost uniformly and homogeneously reversed (so that it appears to be axial planar to the antiform), while in the pelitic units the sense of cleavage/bedding asymmetry of the earlier cleavage has been preserved. Many of the small-scale complexities of the observed cleavage/bedding relationships may be explained by appealing to differences in the timing of the formation of buckling instabilities relative to this reorientation of the early cleavage in the psammites during the second deformation. A first-order analysis of the finite strains from around the large-scale antiform shows that the orientation of the first cleavage prior to the second deformation was steeply dipping to the southeast. The second deformation correlates with the southeast-verging Caledonian deformation affecting the Monian and Ordovician units elsewhere in northwest Anglesey, while the northwest-verging first deformation event, which is not present in the Ordovician rocks, must have occurred before they were deposited. © 2004 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)141-156
    Number of pages15
    JournalGeological Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


    • Anglesey
    • Cleavage/bedding asymmetry
    • Monian Supergroup
    • Rhoscolyn antiform
    • South Stack Group


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