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The chalk facies dominates Upper Cretaceous strata in the Anglo-Paris Basin, northern Germany, Poland, southern Sweden, Denmark and the North Sea Basin. The very name of the Cretaceous is derived from ‘creta’, the Latin word for chalk. It is unsurprising, therefore, that some of the earliest uses of micropalaeontology in France and the United Kingdom was to determine the biostratigraphy of the chalk: by Alcide d’Orbigny in France and by staff of the (British) Geological Survey in the UK. This approach was extended, in the 1940s, to the analysis of on-shore, and then offshore, hydrocarbon exploration wells. The continuing...

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