Tony Hallam & Paul Wignall write: we welcome the paper by Hesselbo et al. (2004) for its thorough description and careful evaluation of the environmental significance of an important group of system boundary strata, but beg to take issue on a number of key points.

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(1) Most importantly, while we agree with the evidence of a regressive phase within the Cotham Member, we maintain in marked contrast to their opinion that there was also a sharp regression followed by a rapid transgression at the junction of the Langport Member (of the Lilstock Formation) and Blue Lias. It is pertinent...

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