Category:Southern Region Chalk Group Lithostratigraphy: Summary of Schemes

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Throughout the nineteenth century there were various attempts to lithostratigraphically classify the Chalk Group of southern England (e.g. Phillips, 1818; Mantell, 1822;Evans, 1870, Hébert, 1874, Barrois, 1876). Several of these classifications relied on the distributions of flints and fossils. However, work by Penning and Jukes-Browne (1881) around Cambridge, and Whitaker (1861) and Whitaker et al. (1872) in the Chilterns, led to the establishment by the British Geological Survey (Jukes-Browne and Hill, 1903, 1904) of a tripartite subdivision into Lower, Middle and Upper Chalk, based on the occurrence of feature-forming horizons. The latter superseded all previous classifications, and until recently has remained the traditional scheme for the lithostratigraphical subdivision of the Chalk Group in southern England. For most of the twentieth century interest lapsed in Chalk lithostratigraphy as workers focussed on developing biozonal classifications, which seemed to offer greater potential for refinement. However, recently published research has shown that a more detailed lithostratigraphical classification of the Chalk Group is often possible, and detailed schemes have been published for the South Downs (Mortimore, 1983, 1986; Mortimore and Pomerol, 1996), North Downs (Robinson, 1986) and southern England (Bristow et al., 1997).


BARROIS, C. 1876. Recherches sur le Terrain Crétace supérieur de l'Angleterre et de l'Irlande. Memoir Sociéte Géologique du Nord, Vol. 1, 234 pp.

BRISTOW, C. R., MORTIMORE, R. N. & WOOD, C. J. 1997. Lithostratigraphy for mapping the Chalk of southern England. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 108, 293-315.

EVANS, C. 1870. On some sections of Chalk between Croydon and Oxstead, with observations on the classification of the Chalk. Being a paper read before the Geologists' Association, January 7, 1870. G. P. Bacon, Lewes.

HÉBERT, E, 1847. Comparaison de la Craie des cotes d'Angleterre avec celle de France. Bulletin of the Geological Society of France, Series 3, Vol. II, 416-29.

JUKES-BROWNE, A J & HILL, W.1903. The Cretaceous rocks of Britain. Vol. 2 - The Lower and Middle Chalk of England. Memoir of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom.

JUKES-BROWNE, A J & HILL, W.1904. The Cretaceous rocks of Britain. Vol. 3 - The Upper Chalk of England. Memoir of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom.

MANTELL, G A. 1822. The fossils of the South Downs: or illustrations of the geology of Sussex. (Lupton Relfe, London), 327 pp.

MORTIMORE, R N.1983. The stratigraphy and sedimentation of the Turonian - Campanian in the Southern Province of England. Zitteliana, Vol. 10, 27-41.

MORTIMORE, R N.1986a. Stratigraphy of the Upper Cretaceous White Chalk of Sussex. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 97(2), 97-139.

MORTIMORE, R N & POMEROL, B.1996. A revision of Turonian litho- and biostratigraphy in the Anglo-Paris Basin. Mitteilungen aus dem Geologisch-Paläontologischen Institut der Universitat Hamburg, Vol. 77, 423-441.

PENNING, W. H. & JUKES-BROWNE, A. J.1881. Geology of the neighbourhood of Cambridge. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of England & Wales.

PHILLIPS, W. 1818. A selection of facts from the best authorities arranged so as to form an outline of the geology of England and Wales. London.

ROBINSON, N D.1986. Lithostratigraphy of the Chalk Group of the North Downs, southeast England. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 97, 141-170.

WHITAKER, W. 1861. On the "Chalk-rock", the topmost bed of the Lower Chalk, in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire etc. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, Vol. 17, 166-170.

WHITAKER, W, BRISTOW, H W & HUGHES, T McK, 1872. The geology of the London Basin Part I. The Chalk and the Eocene beds of the southern and western tracts. Memoir of the Geological Survey of England & Wales.