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Lateral variations in the topmost part of the Blue Lias and basal Charmouth Mudstone Formations (Lower Jurassic) on the Devon and Dorset coast

By R.W. Gallois and C.R.C. Paul

Abstract

The beds adjacent to the junction of the Lower Jurassic Blue Lias and Charmouth Mudstone formations are intermittently exposed\ud in cliff and foreshore sections over a distance of 8 km on the east Devon and west Dorset coast on either side of Lyme Regis.\ud Comparison of the successions in the highest part of the Blue Lias shows little lateral variation in thickness or lithology, with the\ud exception of minor thickness changes in the two highest limestone beds. In contrast, the basal beds of the Shales-with-Beef\ud Member, the lowest part of the Charmouth Mudstone, are laterally variable. Up to five beds of limestone that are present in the\ud most westerly exposure in Devon are absent at the more easterly exposures in Dorset. This lateral variation does not appear to\ud be related to contemporaneous fault activity. It is largely due to an unconformity at the base of the Shales-with-Beef which cuts\ud out successively more of the basal beds when traced from west to east. The strict application of the definition of the Blue Lias\ud Formation, currently taken at the top of the highest limestone in an interbedded mudstone-limestone succession, would include\ud beds previously classified as Shales-with-Beef in east Devon

Publisher: Ussher Society
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:10023

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