Shining a light into the dark corners of the sedimentary record

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Jan 28, 2014
from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM


Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1

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0116 252 2320

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Professor Sarah Davies

Department of Geology

Lecture Summary

Mudstones, fine-grained sedimentary rocks, are the commonly overlooked dark corners of the geological record and yet they are an abundant sedimentary rock type, preserve key fossil assemblages and contain long-term records of climate and environmental change. Research examining the controls on deposition in deep time, from the end of the Devonian, 359 million years ago, into the Carboniferous sheds new light on depositional processes and the evolution of ancient environments and ecosystems during an important and fascinating time in Earth history. This interval of geological time represents one of the critical stepwise transitions in the evolution of Earth, when rapid changes in climate and atmospheric composition coincided with key events in evolution of life onto land.  The rocks that give us the insights into this period of Earth history are exposed across Britain and Ireland underpinning some of our most dramatic scenery and hosting a wealth of resources that promoted the economic expansion of the British Isles during the 18th and 19th centuries. The studies to exploit these resources have shaped our understanding of the Carboniferous but these fascinating sedimentary rocks continue to yield new information about the foundations of our modern ecosystem and the response of depositional systems during icehouse climatic periods.

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