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Palynology of the Palaeocene and early Eocene of the London Basin

Allen, Lynn Olive; (1982) Palynology of the Palaeocene and early Eocene of the London Basin. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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To date no detailed examination of the spore/pollen content of the Thanet Beds and Woolwich and Reading Beds (late Palaeocene) of the London Basin has been undertaken. The present investigation aims to record the diversity in the plant microfossils (particularly miospores) present in the late Palaeocene to early Eocene deposits of the London Basin ; to determine their geographical and stratigraphical distribution ; and to compare the microfloras with those previously described from adjacent areas of northwest Europe, the North Sea Basin and North America. Samples were examined from nine main sections which include the Thanet Beds, various facies of the Woolwich and Reading Beds, the Blackheath and Oldhaven Beds and the London Clay. Part of the sequence at Alum Bay, Isle of Wight (the Reading Beds to basal Bracklesham Beds) was also studied for comparison. In all two hundred spore/pollen taxa are distinguished, ten of which are new species, twenty are identified only to generic level and at least thirty-five are considered to be reworked. The presence of dinoflagellate cysts, acritarchs and other algae is also recorded although no detailed taxonomy is given. Although most of the spore/pollen taxa present occur throughout the strata examined it has been possible to recognise a series of microfloral associations based mainly on changes in relative abundance of both the miospores and the acid resistant microplankton. 1) Thanet Beds: a microflora defined on dinoflagellate cyst taxa, correlating with the northwest European Deflandrea speciosa Zone. 2) Woolwich and Reading Beds: two distinct, local spore/pollen floras: and one dinoflagellate cyst/pollen association, correlating with the Apectodinium hyperacanthum Zone of Costa & Downie 1976 ; 3) London Clay/basal Bracklesham Beds; two spore/pollen associations; a lower, reworked microflora and an upper one marked by the incoming of stratigraphically restricted taxa.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Palynology of the Palaeocene and early Eocene of the London Basin
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049904
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