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Sedimentology of the Triassic–Jurassic boundary beds in Pinhay Bay (Devon, SW England)

By P.B. Wignall


Sedimentology of the Triassic–Jurassic boundary beds in Pinhay Bay(Devon, SW England). Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 112. 349–360. New exposures\ud in Pinhay Bay (SE Devon) of the White Lias (Langport Member of the Lilstock Formation)and basal Blue Lias reveal rapidly changing palaeoenvironments during the Triassic–Jurassic(T–J) boundary interval. During deposition of the topmost White Lias a soft seafloor of micritic mudstone was lithified and bored. The resultant hardground was locally eroded, probably in a\ud shallow marine setting, to form a spectacular intraformational conglomerate that was itself lithified. Brief subaerial emergence then followed and produced a fissured and pitted top surface to the White Lias. The regression was short lived and rapid transgression at the base of the Blue Lias established organic-rich shale deposition with a small framboidal pyrite population and\ud low Th/U ratios indicative of a stable, sulphidic lower water column (euxinic conditions). The White Lias/Blue Lias contact thus records a short duration, high amplitude relative sea-level change. This sea-level oscillation has also been postulated for other T–J boundary sections in\ud Europe, although the failure to identify it in regional-scale sequence stratigraphic studies is probably due to its brief duration. Deposition of the basal beds of the Blue Lias was marked by a discrete phase of syn-sedimentary folding and small growth fault activity that may record a regional pulse of extensional tectonic activity

Year: 2001
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