Walking Through Time: Jurassic Coast — the reading list

There is so much packed into episode 3 of Walking Through Time, that this reading list only does the science and history partial justice. But here goes anyway…

[Where I can I’ve included links to open access of free to access papers, or popular summaries]

Ocean Anoxia

[Strictly speaking, the anoxia in the seas at Kimmeridge is only local scale, rather than ocean anoxia]

Anoxia *generally* seems to happen when something (eg increased nutrients to the sea waters) cause a sudden increase in the amount of algae, which then use up most or all of the oxygen in the surrounding waters. These algae then also die and sink to the seafloor in a kind of sludge, which is the source of the oil in the shale beds. Other factors can contribute, though. For example, warm water can hold less oxygen, so warmer climates are more susceptible to anoxic events. And warm climates also tend to have more weathering on land (increased rainfall, and run-off), meaning more nutrients enter the oceans, further increasing that risk.

This is a nice intro to the multifaceted causes of anoxic events throughout the history of the Earth:

Katja M. Meyer and Lee R. Kump (2008) Oceanic Euxinia in Earth History: Causes and Consequences. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 36:251–88. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.earth.36.031207.124256 [pdf free here]

And Wiggers Paul Wignall has written an ace book on the subject of the Permo-Triassic extinction. It is well worth a read: The Worst of Times: How Earth Survived Eighty Million Years of Extinctions

More specifically, here are some refs for anoxia in:

The Late Jurassic (like at Kimmeridge) 

Wiggers *cough* Professor Wignall on the subject:

P.B. Wignall*, R. Newton (2001). Black shales on the basin margin: a model based on examples from the Upper Jurassic of the Boulonnais, northern France. Sedimentary Geology 144, 335-356. [free pdf here]

This is also quite interesting on an alternative explanation for why some rock layers at Kimmeridge are rich in organic material, while others aren’t (resulting in that stripey appearance): Burn-down events explain patterns of organic richness in the Kimmeridge Clay formation

 

In the early Jurassic (like at the Ammonite Pavement)

The best UK evidence for anoxia in the Early Jurassic is actually from Yorkshire, not Dorset. Lots of good research on that, like this:

 Danise S, Twitchett RJ, Little CTS, Clémence M-E (2013) The Impact of Global Warming and Anoxia on Marine Benthic Community Dynamics: an Example from the Toarcian (Early Jurassic). PLoS ONE 8(2): e56255. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056255. [OPEN ACCESS HERE]

 

But this, on the Ammonite Pavement, is really interesting, as it considers what the preservation bias caused by anoxic sediments can mean when we try to estimate last biodiversity. Conclusion — it is a bit of a problem!

Jordan, N., Allison, P.A., Hill, J., Sutton, M.D. 2015: Not all aragonitic molluscs are missing: taphonomy and significance of a unique shelly lagerstatte from the Jurassic of SW Britain. Lethaia, Vol. 48, pp. 540–548. [FREE PDF HERE]

 

At the Permo-Triassic boundary

There’s Paul’s book (see above), plus another addition to the Wiggers Canon:

Haijun Song, Paul B. Wignall, Daoliang Chu, Jinnan Tong, Yadong Sun, Huyue Song, Weihong He & Li Tian (2014). Anoxia/high temperature double whammy during the Permian-Triassic marine crisis and its aftermath. Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 4132. DOI:10.1038/srep04132 [OPEN ACCESS here]

Pliosaurus kevani

Here is the paper describing Kevan’s pliosaur, and where it fits in the plesiosaur hall of fame:

Roger B. J. Benson, Mark Evans, Adam S. Smith, Judyth Sassoon, Scott Moore-Faye, Hilary F. Ketchum, Richard Forrest (2013). A Giant Pliosaurid skull from the Late Jurassic of England. PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065989 [Open Access paper here]

And here is a summary of the paper’s key points by one the co-authors, Adam Smith: Pliosaur kevani, the Weymouth Bay Pliosaur

Mary Anning, Elizabeth Philpot and Mary Buckland

The rich network of 19th Century women scientists will come as no surprise to those of you who already follow my other baby, TrowelBlazers. But for those of you who are new to this idea, do check out trowelblazers.com.

My TrowelBlazers co-conspirator Suzanne Pilaar Birch shows just how many women were collecting fossils on the South Coast in the 19th Century in this post — Does this photo show Mary Anning?

Eliza Howlett wrote a post for TrowelBlazers about the Philpot letter, including some lovely images that will allow you to read more than just the little bits we read out — Eliza Philpot: Walking Through Time in Lyme Regis

Here’s some  background info on Mary Buckland courtesy of Fernada CastanoMary Buckland: A Fossiliferous Life

Eleanor Coade and Coade Stone

Beautiful Belmont House, where you can stay. Plus some background detail. Landmark Trust website:  http://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/belmont

How a sculptor cracked the recipe for Coade Stone, plus some historical detail (warning: some of this is at odds with the Landmark Trust info, which I can’t share on here) — FT article

Dead Squid!

We were so lucky to be allowed to show that squid dying in the Kemp Caldera, as it is unpublished data. Thanks to Jon Copley from the University of Southampton and the NERC-funded ChEsSO research project for allowing us to use this.

This paper summarises the key findings of the ChEsSO project:

Rogers AD, Tyler PA, Connelly DP, Copley JT, James R, Larter RD, et al. (2012) The Discovery of New Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Communities in the Southern Ocean and Implications for Biogeography. PLoS Biol 10(1): e1001234. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001234 [OPEN ACCESS HERE]

And the whale fall from the Kemp Caldera, that could be an analogue for what happened to a Pliosaur when it dies, has been published on by the truly excellent Diva Amon & co (including Adrian & Leigh who featured in the prog):

Diva J. Amon, Adrian G. Glover, Helena Wiklund, Leigh Marsh, Katrin Linse, Alex D. Rogers, Jonathan T. Copley. (2013). The discovery of a natural whale fall in the Antarctic deep sea. Deep-Sea Research II 92, 87–96. [PDF HERE]

One comment

  1. Pete Stott · October 10

    Phew! What a race along the Jurassic Coast and its famous leg-gnawing ascents! You’re right to say there was a lot of time and ground to cover. Would have been worth two hours. “Mammoths” programme was about the right pace for me. Enjoying all the programmes and must return to the locations when the weather’s as good as you filmed.

    Like

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