By Paul Wignall
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Additional info for Benthic palaeoecology of the Late Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay of England
Benthic conditions were highly favourable as a diverse fauna occurs, including bivalves, such as Hartwellia and Arcomytilus, which have not been recorded from elsewhere in the Kimmeridge Clay during this study. The proportion of epifaunal forms fluctuates markedly suggesting varying substrates (Oates 1974). No younger Kimmeridgian sediments are known from the region. WIGNALL: KIMMERIDGE CLAY BENTHIC PALAEOECOLOGY 59 Eastern England The Kimmeridge Clay north of the London Platform accumulated in two main depocentres, separated by the Market Weighton High.
In many modern seas a summer thermocline develops in the water column which inhibits oxygen renewal to the bottom waters. Sometimes oxygen is totally absent for a period of months with disastrous effects for most marine life. g. Dries and Theede 1974; Kitching et al. 1976; Pearson and Rosenberg 1978). The Kimmeridge Clay mudstones were probably deposited beneath a seasonally-stratified water column in which benthic oxygen levels may have been very low or totally anoxic in the summer, a conclusion also reached by Oschmann (1988).
Morinica valves are much rarer and scattered throughout, although they are often of a large size, being up to 35 mm in height compared to the normal size of less than 20 mm in the aerobic associations. Rare specimens of C. suprajurensis in E2a are also substantially larger than those found in other associations. E2a occurs in some of the most organic rich beds of the Kimmeridge Clay and it also bounds some of the rare beds of the Kimmeridge Clay which are totally devoid of 36 WIGNALL: KIMMERIDGE CLAY BENTHIC PALAEOECOLOGY 24.
Benthic palaeoecology of the Late Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay of England by Paul Wignall