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The Gault Clay is a formation of stiff blue clay deposited in a calm, fairly deep water marine environment during the Lower Cretaceous Period (Upper and Middle Albian). It is well exposed in the coastal cliffs at Copt Point in Folkestone, Kent, England, where it overlays the Lower Greensand formation,and is found in exposure on the south side of The North Downs and the north side of the South Downs. It is also to be found beneath the scarp of the White Horse Hills, in the Vale of White Horse, in Oxfordshire, England, and on the Isle of Wight where it is known as Blue Slipper. The clay has been used in several locations for making bricks, notably near Wye in Kent
Additional recommended knowledge
The Gault Clay often contains numerous phosphatic nodules,some thought to be coprolites and may also contain sand as well as small grains of the mineral glauconite. Crystals of the mineral selenite are fairly common in places, as are nodules of pyrite.
The Gault Clay yields abundant marine fossils, including ammonites (such as Hoplites, Hamites, Euhoplites, Anahoplites, and Dimorphoplites), belemnites (such as Neohibolites), bivalves (such as Birostrina and Pectinucula), gastropods (such as Anchura), solitary corals, fish remains (including shark teeth), scattered crinoid remains, and crustaceans (such as the crab Notopocorystes). Occasional fragments of fossil wood may also be found.
The Gault Formation consists of both the Gault Clay and Upper Greensand. GaULt Clay comes between the Upper and Lower Greensand.
The Gault clay represents a marine transgression, or a deepening of the water level from the shallow Folkstone beds to the deeper chalk. It is subdivided into two sections the Upper Gault and the Lower Gault. The Upper Gault onlaps onto the lower Gault. The Gault formation thins across the London platform and then terminates against the Red Chalk just to the south of the Wash.
The Gault exposure at Copt Point, which is the type locality for the formation, is 40 m in thickness.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gault_Clay". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|