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Dating the Cambrian Purley Shale Formation, Midland Microcraton, England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2013

MARK WILLIAMS*
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
ADRIAN W. A. RUSHTON
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottinghamshire NG12 5GG, UK
ALAN F. COOK
Affiliation:
75 Church Lane, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 0EY, UK
JAN ZALASIEWICZ
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
ADAM P. MARTIN
Affiliation:
NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK
DANIEL J. CONDON
Affiliation:
NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK
PAUL WINROW
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
*
Author for correspondence: mri@le.ac.uk

Abstract

Zircons from a bentonite near the base of the Purley Shale Formation in the Nuneaton area, Warwickshire, yield a 206Pb/238U age of 517.22 ± 0.31 Ma. Based on the fauna of small shelly fossils and the brachiopod Micromitra phillipsii in the underlying Home Farm Member of the Hartshill Sandstone Formation, trilobite fragments that are questionably referred to Callavia from the basal Purley Shale Formation, and the presence of trilobites diagnostic of the sabulosa Biozone 66 m above the base of the Purley Shale Formation, the bentonite likely dates an horizon within Cambrian Stage 3, at about the level of the Fallotaspis or basal Callavia Biozone. This is consistent with bentonite ages from other localities in southern Britain, which constrain the age of the lower and uppermost parts of Cambrian Stage 3. The new date provides additional chronological control on the earliest occurrence of trilobites in the Midland Microcraton, a date for the marine transgression at the base of the Purley Shale Formation, and is the first radiometric age from the Cambrian succession of Warwickshire.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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