Author Topic: Red Crag Suffolk, England  (Read 19030 times)

electrobleme

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Red Crag Suffolk, England
« on: August 10, 2012, 21:54:30 »
Red Crag Suffolk, England

What is the Suffolk Red Crag layer and how was it formed?

Why does the Norwich Crag, Red Crag and Coralline Crag have such different fossils?

What does Red Crag mean or what is it?

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In geology, certain strata of Pliocene age occurring in the southeastern counties of England. They consist of sandy and shelly deposits similar in character to those now forming in the North Sea, and contain numerous fossils. There are three divisions of the crag, the white, red or Suffolk, and Norwich, the latter containing many bones of the elephant, mastodon, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and other large mammals.

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In Britain Neogene deposits are most widespread in East Anglia, though to a considerable extent below a Pleistocene cover, whilst elsewhere, a few outliers include the limestone fissure fills of Miocene–Pliocene Lenham Beds, preserved only in solution pipes in Kent, and of Brassington, Derbyshire. The few onshore remnants of Neogene strata provide glimpses of palaeoenvironmental conditions in the British area.

The lower Crag was termed the ‘Coralline Crag’ after the abundance of ‘corals’, later found to be the skeletal remains of bryozoans. The upper Crag was termed the ‘Red Crag’ after its characteristic ferruginous coloration. The Coralline Crag is a formation of marine skeletal carbonate sands and silty sands with an outcrop restricted to south-east Suffolk and an adjacent area of the southern North Sea. The outcrop consists of an elongate NE–SW trending main body and three small outlying bodies to the south-west of the main outcrop. Erosion, probably during the late Pliocene time, has removed much of the former extent of this deposit. The formation exceeds 20 m thick in places and everywhere rests unconformably on the London Clay Formation (Palaeocene–Eocene) which had already been deeply eroded into an undulose surface before the Pliocene marine transgression.

The Red Crag is restricted to south-east Suffolk and north-east Essex, and is marked by an unconformity at its base. In places it overlies Coralline Crag.The relationship between the Red Crag and succeeding Norwich Crag has not been yet elucidated.
Neogene (NEO) | jncc.defra.gov.uk
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 07:00:36 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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Sutton Knoll Suffolk - Red Crag
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 22:30:16 »
Sutton Knoll Suffolk - Red Crag

The detailed The Crags of Sutton Knoll, Suffolk (pdf) gives great information, background and recent historical stories about the Sutton Knoll Red Crag.

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The SSSI at Sutton Knoll (TM305441), also known as Rockhall Wood, southeast of Woodbridge, reveals excellent exposures of a fascinating aspect of the Neogene Crags of East Anglia. Here the Coralline Crag, about 3.75 Ma in age, forms an upstanding hill, while the later Red Crag, about 2.5 Ma in age, can be seen lapping over the Coralline Crag around the sides of the inlier.


Sutton Knoll Red Crag Suffolk

Why is the Sutton Knoll there, how was it formed?

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The Red Crag was formed in a high-energy shallow sea with strong tidal currents, dominated by molluscan shell assemblages indicating a climate similar to the present day, while assemblages in the underlying Ramsholt Member indicate a warmer, Mediterranean climate.

The Red Crag was formed in a high-energy shallow sea with strong tidal currents, dominated by molluscan shell assemblages indicating a climate similar to the present day, while assemblages in the underlying Ramsholt Member indicate a warmer, Mediterranean climate.

Chicken Pit  ... the blocks are much larger boulders, up to 1.5 m in length, interspersed with pockets of relatively clean sand with perfectly preserved bivalve shells. Barnacles encrusting blocks of Rock Bed show that this was fully lithified by the time of the Red Crag deposition.

At one side of the Chicken Pit, excavations have revealed the Red Crag resting directly upon the London Clay, a surface heavily bored by the bivalve Zirfaea crispate. The absence of the Ramsholt Member at this point reminds us that at the time of the Red Crag transgression, the site was an isolated hill outlier of Coralline Crag surrounded by a flat terrain of London Clay.


Suffolk Red Crag Sutton Knoll - Rockhall Wood

Geology and the ideas of each area and layer are changing all the time. Is this how it was formed and why the Sutton Knoll is there today?


Fossils, shells Suffolk Red Crag Sutton Knoll
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 22:45:44 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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Sutton Knoll Suffolk - Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 07:00:14 »


Sutton Knoll Suffolk - Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

The Sutton Knoll Suffolk is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and famous for its geology and unconformity of Coralline Crag, Red Crag and London Clay.


Sutton Knoll Suffolk Site of Special Scientific Interest


Sutton Knoll Suffolk SSSI

The holes in the Red Crag are birds nests.

electrobleme

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Sutton Knoll Suffolk Coralline Crag fossil island
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 07:27:01 »
Sutton Knoll Suffolk Coralline Crag fossil island


Sutton Knoll Suffolk England UK - Coralline Crag fossil island

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This Earth Heritage site lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and takes the form of a small hill composed of approximately 20 metres of hard marine shelly sands called the Coralline Crag, which is surrounded by younger Red Crag sands, and rests unconformably on much older London Clay.

The Coralline Crag is so named because it contains abundant fossil ‘corallines’, or bryozoans. It is of Pliocene age, some 4.0 million years old and is unique to Suffolk. The main outcrop forms a ridge, some 12 km long, running north-eastwards from Gedgrave to the north of Aldeburgh.

The shelly marine Red Crag is named after its rusty red colour. It is approximately 2.5 million years old and outcrops in coastal Suffolk and northeast Essex.

First described by Charles Lyell in 1839, and later famously studied by Joseph Prestwich in the 1860s, the Knoll has long been known as a ‘fossil island’ of Coralline Crag once set in Red Crag seas, with striking Coralline Crag sea cliffs and fallen blocks and boulders ‘buried’ in the Red Crag beach.

At the base of the Crags a pebble bed is often found. Within it have been discovered whale remains, shark teeth, flints, Boxstones (rounded pebbles of late Miocene age, remnants of a sandstone laid down some 8 to 5 million years ago), crustaceans and, importantly, phosphatic nodules derived from older and underlying deposits.

Flints and Boxstones from this bed have been used as a building material in the restoration of Sutton and Shottisham churches, as well as barns on the Sutton Hall Estate.

The fossils preserved in the Crags show an increasingly strong affinity to modern day forms. They show that the sea gradually cooled during the Pliocene, culminating in the climatic swings of the Pleistocene Ice Age.

There is evidence to suggest that immediately prior to the Ice Age, about 750,000 years ago, Sutton Knoll was buried by the proto-Thames flood plain. Quartz pebbles found on the summit may be all that is left here of river gravels from this fore-runner of the Thames.
SUTTON KNOLL Site of Special Scientific Interest | geosuffolk.co.uk

« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 07:32:24 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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Sutton Knoll Fossils - Suffolk, England
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 07:39:06 »
Sutton Knoll Fossils - Suffolk, England

Sutton Knoll Fossils (Suffolk, England, UK) are seen in the photograph below and above in another post.


Sutton Knoll Fossils - Suffolk, England

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MUSSELS
Colonies of fossil edible mussel, Mytilus edulis, occur in the Red Crag in signifi cant numbers near to the Red Crag/Coralline Crag boundary in several places. Mussels are typical of intertidal rocky shores, and were well suited to life around the Coralline Crag island. Barnacles also thrived in this environment.

BRYOZOANS
Bryozoans live in colonies of many tiny individual animals, and include the living ‘sea mats’ and ‘sea mosses’. Colonies may be attached to shells, stones or seaweeds and are common in clear waters. There are many different forms, but may be leaf-like, or branching and bush-like, or encrust other objects. Many different fossil species occur in the Coralline Crag and are commonly found.

PIDDOCKS
Abundant burrows can be found in the London Clay surface in the Chicken Pit. These belong to the oval piddock, Zirfaea crispata, whose descendants live today, boring into soft rock and other substrates. This would have been a thriving community living in shallow water less than10 metres deep before apparently being overwhelmed by sand waves.

SUTTON KNOLL Site of Special Scientific Interest | geosuffolk.co.uk


electrobleme

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Sutton Knoll - Phosphatic nodules (coprolites)
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 07:50:37 »

Sutton Knoll - Phosphatic nodules (coprolites)


Sutton Knoll - Phosphatic nodules (coprolites)

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‘COPROLITES’
Phosphatic nodules, mistakenly called ‘coprolites’ (a name usually given to fossil animal droppings which they somewhat resemble), are found at the base of the Crags. They were excavated at Sutton during the mid-nineteenth century for making phosphate fertiliser – needed as agricultural techniques responded to expanding Victorian populations.

... phosphatic nodules derived from older and underlying deposits.

SUTTON KNOLL Site of Special Scientific Interest | geosuffolk.co.uk

Phosphatic nodules are interesting when studying or thinking about gEUlogy (Electric Universe geology) in that they appear where energetic events have occurred. Are they formed in a similar way to other nodules, geodes, crystals - are they the result of large electromagnetic discharge events?

Are fossils caused by near instant electromagnetic events? Explaining the reason why fossils are so well preserved?

electrobleme

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Sutton Knoll geology and pits
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 08:21:28 »

Sutton Knoll geology and pits

Sutton Knoll Suffolk England geology and pits - text info from SUTTON KNOLL Site of Special Scientific Interest | geosuffolk.co.uk

Sutton Knoll North Pit


North Pit - prominent infilled solution pipe descending from the top of the Coralline Crag (secateurs at base).


North Pit - this is the Coralline Crag pit in front of you which shows medium scale sand waves.

Sutton Knoll Chicken Pit


Chicken Pit - January 2007. The pond surface indicates the water table in the Red Crag to be 1 metre above the London Clay.


Chicken Pit - April 2008. The large Coralline Crag boulder (arrowed) is a fallen block buried in the Red Crag beach.

Sutton Knoll Bullockyard Pit


Bullockyard Pit - The gulley exposes the wave cut platform and ancient beach which dips southwards at 10 degrees.


Bullockyard Pit - Red Crag overlying Coralline Crag, with boulders of Coralline Crag within the basal Red Crag on the former ‘beach’ surface. Mussel colonies can be found in the Red Crag above the junction.