Wealden Supergroup

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Wealden Supergroup
Stratigraphic range: Berriasian-Aptian, 140–125 Ma
Type Supergroup
Sub-units
Underlies Lower Greensand Group
Overlies Purbeck Group
Location
Region England
Country  UK

The Wealden Supergroup is a group (a sequence of rock strata) in the lithostratigraphy of southern England. The Wealden group consists of paralic to continental (freshwater) facies sedimentary rocks of Valanginian to Barremian age and thus forms part of the English Lower Cretaceous. It is composed of alternating sands and clays. The sandy units were deposited in a flood plain of braided rivers, the clays mostly in a lagoonal coastal plain.[1]

The Wealden Group can be found in almost all Early Cretaceous basins of England: its outcrops curve from the Wessex Basin in the south to the Cleveland Basin in the northeast. It is not found in northwest England and Wales, areas which were at the time tectonic highs where no deposition took place. The same is true for the London Platform around London and Essex. Offshore, the Wealden Group can reach a thickness of 700 metres.[1]

Stratigraphy[edit]

The Wealden Group lies stratigraphically on top of the Purbeck Group, which spans the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary. The Wessex Formation and overlying Vectis Formation are the two formations within the Wealden Group.

On top of the Wealden Group is the Lower Greensand Group. The difference between these two groups has been formed by a major eustatic (global) transgression of the sea. The Greensand (Aptian/Albian in age) consists of marine deposits.

Palaeontology[edit]

The Wealden Group forms outcrops covering a large part of south and south-eastern England including the Isle of Wight. It takes its name from the Weald region of Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. It has yielded many fossils, including dinosaurs like Iguanodon and Hypsilophodon.[2] Apart from fossils, it shows many other signs of being deposited in a continental environment, such as mudcracks and -in some rare cases- dinosaur footprints.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jackson (2008)
  2. ^ Weishampel et al. (2004)
  • Jackson, A.A.; 2008: Bedrock geology UK south. An explanation of the bedrock geology map of England and Wales - 1:625,000 edition, Keyworth, Nottingham, British Geological Survey, ISBN 978-0-85272-586-3.
  • Weishampel, D.B.; Barrett, P.M.; Coria, R.A.; Le Loeuff, J.; Xu, X.; Zhao, X.; Sahni, A.; Gomani, E.M.P. & Noto, C.R.; 2004: Dinosaur distribution, in: Weishampel, D.B.; Dodson, P. & Osmólska, H. (eds.): The Dinosauria, University of California Press, Berkeley, p. 517–606.

See also[edit]