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Sourcing mudsprings using integrated paleontological analyses: an example from Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England

Sourcing mudsprings using integrated paleontological analyses: an example from Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England
Sourcing mudsprings using integrated paleontological analyses: an example from Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England
This paper presents comprehensive macro- and micropalaeontological analyses of taxa recovered from mud and stream lags disgorged from mudsprings at Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England. These mudsprings are unusual as they are found in a stable intraplate tectonic setting, but the techniques and provisos employed in this investigation can equally well be employed to source the material venting from other mudsprings, including those found in compressional tectonic settings. The Wootton Bassett mudsprings Site of Special Scientific Interest at Templars Firs (Wiltshire, England), has become renowned through considerable media coverage over the past few years, largely on account of the well preserved fossils exhumed in the outpourings of mud from a series of springs. However, it is emphasized that care must be exercised when undertaking sourcing investigations to ensure that the possibilities of contamination are minimized. Thus micropalaeontological analysis of freshly disgorged mud samples is shown to be a more accurate method of obtaining biostratigraphic information than the use of macrofossil material from stream lags. The erupted material contains biostratigraphically diagnosed microfossil species from several Later Jurassic ammonite zones, indicating sourcing from more than one subsurface stratigraphical horizon. Integrating this information with the local lithostratigraphy described herein, the source material for the mud can therefore be identified as the local Ampthill and Kimmeridge clays immediately underlying the site at a depth of around 10 m.
MUD SPRINGS, PALAEONTOLOGY
0072-1050
115-132
Harding, I.C.
5d63b829-a9a7-447f-aa3f-62e8d0e715cb
Armitage, J.
643a8882-6485-4037-ac4d-c2ec553b0b85
Hollingworth, N.
bafe34db-a596-4ebb-b181-101413d7db4a
Ainsworth, N.
b1f188e7-1cd6-4701-a50c-4834d067f145
Harding, I.C.
5d63b829-a9a7-447f-aa3f-62e8d0e715cb
Armitage, J.
643a8882-6485-4037-ac4d-c2ec553b0b85
Hollingworth, N.
bafe34db-a596-4ebb-b181-101413d7db4a
Ainsworth, N.
b1f188e7-1cd6-4701-a50c-4834d067f145

Harding, I.C., Armitage, J., Hollingworth, N. and Ainsworth, N. (2000) Sourcing mudsprings using integrated paleontological analyses: an example from Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England. Geological Journal, 35 (2), 115-132.

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper presents comprehensive macro- and micropalaeontological analyses of taxa recovered from mud and stream lags disgorged from mudsprings at Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England. These mudsprings are unusual as they are found in a stable intraplate tectonic setting, but the techniques and provisos employed in this investigation can equally well be employed to source the material venting from other mudsprings, including those found in compressional tectonic settings. The Wootton Bassett mudsprings Site of Special Scientific Interest at Templars Firs (Wiltshire, England), has become renowned through considerable media coverage over the past few years, largely on account of the well preserved fossils exhumed in the outpourings of mud from a series of springs. However, it is emphasized that care must be exercised when undertaking sourcing investigations to ensure that the possibilities of contamination are minimized. Thus micropalaeontological analysis of freshly disgorged mud samples is shown to be a more accurate method of obtaining biostratigraphic information than the use of macrofossil material from stream lags. The erupted material contains biostratigraphically diagnosed microfossil species from several Later Jurassic ammonite zones, indicating sourcing from more than one subsurface stratigraphical horizon. Integrating this information with the local lithostratigraphy described herein, the source material for the mud can therefore be identified as the local Ampthill and Kimmeridge clays immediately underlying the site at a depth of around 10 m.

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More information

Published date: 2000
Keywords: MUD SPRINGS, PALAEONTOLOGY

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 8978
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/8978
ISSN: 0072-1050
PURE UUID: 3e1a7b16-a721-418f-8fa0-a9302e7afcfe
ORCID for I.C. Harding: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4281-0581

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Sep 2004
Last modified: 17 Jan 2019 01:38

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