Old Red Sandstone

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Related to Old Red Sandstone: New Red Sandstone, Old Red Sandstone continent

Old Red Sandstone,

series of red and brown sandstones, conglomerates, and shales deposited in Wales and Scotland and in England near the Welsh and Scottish borders in the Devonian periodDevonian period
, fourth period of the Paleozoic era of geologic time between 408 and 360 million years ago (see Geologic Timescale, table). It was named (1838) by the geologists Sir Roderick Impey Murchison and Adam Sedgwick for Devonshire, England, where they first
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 of geologic time. The Old Red Sandstone, in contrast to the typical formations of the Devonian, is largely a continental formation, laid down in freshwater and on land as a result of the erosion of the highlands of the Silurian periodSilurian period
[from the Silures, ancient tribe of S Wales, where the period was first studied; named by the British geologist R. I. Murchison], third period of the Paleozoic era of geologic time (see Geologic Timescale, table) lasting from 405 to 435 million years ago.
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. It is very thick in Scotland and contains a large assemblage of well-preserved fossils, particularly of the Devonian fishes. The Old Red Sandstone was correlated with the marine Devonian by the British geologists Rodney MurchisonMurchison, Sir Roderick Impey
, 1792–1871, British geologist. He served in the Napoleonic Wars but after the peace turned his attention to science. In the 1830s he undertook the investigation of previously undifferentiated rock strata in Wales and England; as a result of
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 and Adam SedgwickSedgwick, Adam,
1785–1873, English geologist. He was a professor at Cambridge from 1818. His most important work was a study, made with R. I. Murchison, of the rock formation of Devonshire, which they named the Devonian system. Sedgwick also introduced the term Cambrian.
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. The New Red Sandstone is a thick red sandstone of PermianPermian period
[from Perm, Russia], sixth and last period of the Paleozoic era (see Geologic Timescale, table) from 250 to 290 million years ago. Historical Geology of the Period
The Lower Permian
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 and TriassicTriassic period
, first period of the Mesozoic era of geologic time (see Geologic Timescale, table) from 205 to 250 million years ago.

Throughout the Triassic, E North America, as a result of the mountain-building episode that formed the Appalachians in the late Paleozoic
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 age found in the British Isles.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Old Red Sandstone


deposits from the Devonian period (British Isles, northwest parts of the USSR, and other places) consisting of micaceous red and gray sandstone and slate. Frequently found in Old Red sandstone are the remains of fish of the generaCoccosteus, Dipterus, and Holoptychius as well as large anthropods of the genus Eurypterus and specific pelecypods. It is believed that Old Red sandstone is continental and, in part, lagoonal deposits. The lagoons at times were joined with the open sea. The disintegration of the Caledonian mountain system, which had arisen shortly before, aided the accumulation of thick beds of Old Red sandstone.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Old Red Sandstone

[′ōld ′red ′san‚stōn]
A Devonian formation in Great Britain and northwestern Europe, of nonmarine, predominantly red sedimentary rocks, consisting principally of sandstone, conglomerates, and shales.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
On fossil fishes of the Old Red Sandstone of Caithness and Sutherland, with notices of some new to those counties.
Silurian and Devonian spore zones of the Old Red Sandstone continent and adjacent regions.
He said, 'The Old Red Sandstone was well known for preserving the fossils of the fish, but the fish trails and their significance have never been recorded before.'
This will be particularly so when the top soil is composed largely of clay produced by the chemical weathering of the underlying rock strata which in large parts of South Wales is Old Red Sandstone. But all is not lost.
This is the one hour of the year I can move around the promontory, down the old red sandstone bulwark to the limestone karst, that landsker where geology's language changes, down to the crevices and gwlis and overhung beaches that are usually no-gos, exclusive as some Mediterranean enclave, whitewalled, camera-scanned.
Other herbs like purple saxifrage reach the southernmost edge of their range in Britain on Powys's old red sandstone cliffs.
Much of the rural Welsh landscape is characterised by its traditional stone field boundaries, with Old Red Sandstone walls in the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains, Carboniferous limestone and Millstone Grit in the Valleys and limestone and slate in West and North Wales.
'The old red sandstone buildings of the Prya site, constructed 100 years ago with a craftsmanship which will last another 100 years, were formerly the site of a rural hospital.
As a member of the Grasshopper group of farmers, Stephen aims to exploit the quality of the old red sandstone, lowland peat and alluvial silt and clay to achieve maximum returns from grassland forage and reduce production costs.