Lower Purbeck Beds of Swindon Facies in Dorset

Abstract

IN the course of a yet unpublished study of the pseudomorphs after gypsum prevalent in the ‘Purbeck Caps’ and ‘Broken Beds’ of Lower Purbeckian age in Dorset, a marl has been discovered with a fauna resembling that of the freshwater facies of the ‘Swindon Series’. In the well-known Portisham quarry with the ‘fossil elephant’ (a silicified tree trunk1), the three-foot “impure marls with seams of chert” listed by Woodward1 as occurring 9 ft. 6 in. above the Portland Stone have been found to contain the Swindon ostracod Ulwellia papulata Anderson, and well-preserved charophytes in abundance. Gastropods are also abundant and perhaps have Swindon affinities. None of these has been recorded before in British strata of indisputably Lower Purbeck age, and a full palseontological investigation of the fauna is at present proceeding.

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References

  1. 1

    Woodward, H. B., The Middle and Upper Oolitic Rocks of England (Mem. Geol. Surv. 1895).

  2. 2

    Taitt, A. H., and Kent, P. E., Deep Boreholes at Portsdown (Hants.) and Henfield (Sussex) (Brit. Pet. Co., Ltd., London, 1958).

  3. 3

    Sylvester-Bradley, P. C., Proc. Geol. Assoc., 51, 349 (1940).

  4. 4

    Arkell, W. J., and Sylvester-Bradley, P. C., Proc. Geol. Assoc., 52, 321 (1941).

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WEST, I. Lower Purbeck Beds of Swindon Facies in Dorset. Nature 190, 526 (1961). https://doi.org/10.1038/190526a0

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