South Midlands and Kent
C. N. Waters, N. S. Jones, B. M. Besly, 2011. "South Midlands and Kent", A Revised Correlation of Carboniferous Rocks in the British Isles, C. N. Waters, I. D. Somerville, N. S. Jones, C. J. Cleal, J. D. Collinson, R. A. Waters, B. M. Besly, M. T. Dean, M. H. Stephenson, J. R. Davies, E. C. Freshney, D. I. Jackson, W. I. Mitchell, J. H. Powell, W. J. Barclay, M. A. E. Browne, B. E. Leveridge, S. L. Long, D. McLean
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Carboniferous rocks within this area extend south from the exposed Warwickshire Coalfield (see Chapter 9) and are limited to the laterally contiguous concealed coalfields of Oxfordshire and Berkshire and the isolated Kent Coalfield. The oldest Tournaisian and Visean strata occur at subcrop within the Berkshire and Kent coalfields and include condensed ramp carbonate successions (Avon and Pembroke Limestone groups). Little is known of the stratigraphical and geographical extent of these deposits outside of these coalfields. Namurian strata have not been proved in any of the boreholes within the region. Westphalian strata are proved in all three coalfields, with progressively younger successions onlapping north-westwards onto the southern flank of the Wales-Brabant High. Pre-Asturian fluvio-lacustrine deposits (South Wales Coal Measures Group) are present in the Berkshire and Kent coalfields, but are restricted to isolated inliers beneath Asturian strata in the Oxfordshire Coalfield. A Westphalian to Stephanian succession of grey, alluvial Pennant facies (Warwickshire Group) characterized by feldspathic, micaceous and lithic sandstones occurs within all three coalfields (Fig. 22). The lithostratigraphical nomenclature is that of Waters et al. (2009).
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The report revises and expands upon the 1976 and 1978 publications for the Dinantian and Silesian, respectively, combining them into a single account of British and Irish Carboniferous stratigraphy. The need to update the two Special Reports reflects the considerable advances in Carboniferous geology over the last 30 years. The report covers developments in international chronostratigraphy and incorporates wholesale reassessments of British lithostratigraphy. A huge volume of biostratigraphical information has been published over recent decades and the report summarizes the key information.
Carboniferous rocks have long been of economic importance, but it is the search for hydrocarbons, in its infancy at the time of the previous reports, which has greatly increased our understanding of Carboniferous successions offshore and at depth, particularly in southern and eastern England.