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Additional resources for The nature of stratigraphical record. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 114 pp

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3. Actual variation within constituent zones between the Dorset coast and the Mendip ‘axis’. complications. 3) with no signs of any breaks in the succession, but the twelfth actually thickens m arkedly! Such misbehaviour of strata in their most classic sections leads me to have serious doubts (in fact, positive hatred) of the concept of the ‘stratotype’ so much favoured by many continental workers. T his idea of type section for a particular stratigraphical division will be discussed in a later chapter; all I must say here is that no type section known to me can possibly pretend to be representative of a whole unit of the stratigraphical column, however small.

1). But suppose we look at some of these areas of thick ‘continuous’ sedimentation. 2). Thousands of feet of shales and mudstones represent one small part (and I suspect one small part of that small part) of the Jurassic. Here, if anywhere, one would think we must have had continuous sedimentation. But what are all those bedding planes? What is any bedding plane if it is not a mini-unconformity? If we really had continuous sedimentation then there would surely be no bedding planes at all. In fact the only time we see unbedded sediments, apart from comparatively small thicknesses of in situ reef development, we can almost always find evidence of the destruction o f the bedding planes by recrvstalllsation or by the burrowincr activity o f organisms.

C . Urey, has recently come out strongly in support of extra-terrestrial causes for mass extinctions. He has sug­ gested that rare collisions between the earth and comets, recorded as scatters of tektites, must have produced vast quantities o f energy that would have been sufficient to heat up considerably both the atmosphere and the surface layers of the oceans. T he resultant high temperatures and high humidities could have had a disastrous effect on both land and marine faunas. We cannot demonstrate anything really comparable to the sudden mass extinctions of the past happening at the present day, and in the fleeting second we have available that is hardly surprising.

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