The Hastings Beds is a geological unit that includes interbedded clays, silts, siltstones, sands and sandstones in the High Weald of southeast England. These strata make up the component geological formations of the Ashdown Formation, the Wadhurst Clay Formation and the Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation. The term 'Hastings Beds' has been superseded and the component formations are included in the Wealden Group.
The sediments of the Weald, including the Hastings Beds, were deposited during the Early Cretaceous Period, which lasted for approximately 40 million years from 140 to 100 million years ago. The Hastings Beds are of Early Berriasian to Late Valanginian age. The Group takes its name from the fishing town of Hastings in East Sussex.
Dinosaur remains are among the fossils that have been recovered from the included formations.
Stratigraphic range: Valanginian, 140–136 Ma
|Unit of||Wealden Supergroup|
|Underlies||Weald Clay Group|
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text;
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text;
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text;
The Ashdown Formation is a geological unit, which forms part of the Wealden Group and the lowermost and oldest part of the now unofficial Hastings Beds. These geological units make up the core of the Weald in the English counties of East Sussex and Kent.
The other component formations of the Hastings Beds are the overlying Wadhurst Clay Formation and the Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation. The Hastings Beds in turn forms part of the Wealden Supergroup which underlies much of southeast England. The sediments of the Weald of East Sussex, including the Ashdown Formation, were deposited during the Early Cretaceous Period, which lasted for approximately 40 million years from 140 to 100 million years ago. The Ashdown Formation is of Late Berriasian to Early Valanginian to age. The Formation takes its name from the Ashdown Forest in the High Weald of Sussex.Camarasauridae
Camarasauridae (meaning "chambered lizards") is a family of neosauropod dinosaurs within the clade Macronaria, the sister group to Titanosauriformes. Among sauropods, camarasaurids are small to medium-sized, with relatively short necks. They are visually identifiable by a short skull with large nares, and broad, spatulate teeth filling a thick jaw. Based on cervical vertebrae and cervical rib biomechanics, camarasaurids most likely moved their necks in a vertical, rather than horizontal, sweeping motion, in contrast to most diplodocids. Cladistically, they are defined to be all sauropods more closely related to Camarasaurus supremus than to Saltasaurus loricatus.Geography of Kent
Kent is the south-easternmost county in England. It is bounded on the north by the River Thames and the North Sea, and on the south by the Straits of Dover and the English Channel. The continent of Europe is a mere 21 miles across the Strait.The major geographical features of the county are determined by a series of ridges running from west to east across the county. These ridges are the remains of the Wealden dome, a denuded anticline across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, which was the result of uplifting caused by the Alpine movements between 10-20 million years ago. The dome was formed of an upper layer of Chalk above subsequent layers of Upper Greensand, Gault, Lower Greensand, Weald Clay and the Hastings Beds. The top of the dome eventually eroded away through weathering and ridges and valleys resulted across Kent and Sussex due to the exposed clay eroding at a faster rate than the exposed chalk, greensand and red sandstone and normal sandstone. The following ridges and the valleys have formed across Kent, listed from north to south:
the low lying London Clay marshlands along the Thames/Medway estuaries and along the North Kent coast;
the chalk North Downs, containing the highest point of the county, Betsom's Hill, at 251m/823 ft.
the Vale of Holmesdale formed from Gault Clay overlaid in the north with the upper layer greensand;
the Greensand Ridge, formed from the lower layer of greensand, containing the source of the River Medway and its tributaries;
the Low Weald, a Weald Clay valley
the sandstone High Weald.The chalk comes in three layers: the upper layer, about 500 feet thick, is a pure white limestone bedded and jointed with localised masses of flint (ideal for cement); the middle layer, about 170 feet thick, is a compact white chalk occasionally hard enough for building; the lower layer, about 170 feet thick, is a greyish marly chalk.Dartford, Gravesend, The Medway Towns, Sittingbourne, Faversham, Canterbury, Deal and Dover are built on chalk.The eastern part of the Wealden dome was eroded away by the sea. The White cliffs of Dover occur where the North Downs meets the coast. From there to Westerham is now the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The chalk displays all its characteristic features such as steep sided dry valleys, and sunken roads.
Greensand is a calcareous sandstone containing an uneven distribution of the mineral glauconite, giving the sandstone a greenish tinge. On exposure to the air this oxidises into a yellow stain. Sevenoaks, Maidstone, Ashford, and Folkestone are built on the greensand. Greensand comes in four layers: the Folkestone Beds 60–250 ft thick; The Sandgate Beds 5–120 ft thick; the Hythe beds 60–350 ft thick and Atherfield Clays 15–50 ft thick. The soil of the greensand is quite varied, ranging from fertile to fairly sterile. On the fertile soils we see chestnut and stands of hazel and oak, while Scots Pine and Birch colonise the poorer soils.The Hastings Beds, which are resistant to weathering, leading to outcrops, such as High Rocks Tunbridge Wells, and sterile soil only suited to heathland and forests of Scots Pine. The Hastings Beds are divided into three formations: Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation 130–400 ft; Wadhurst Clay Formation 100–230 ft, shales with bands of sandstone and iron ore; and the Ashdown Formation 160–700 ft; sandstones. The Fairlight Clays form the upper part of the Ashdown Formation; grey and varigated shales. Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells are built on the Hastings Beds.The Weald derives its ancient name from the Germanic word wald meaning simply woodland. Much of the area remains today densely wooded; where there are also heavy clays the tracks through are nearly impassable for much of the year.
The Wealden dome is a Mesozoic structure lying on a Palaeozoic foundation, which usually creates the right conditions for coal formation. This is found in East Kent, roughly between Deal, Canterbury, and Dover. The coal measures within the Westphalian Sandstone are deep (below 244m - 396m) and subject to flooding. They occur in two major troughs, which extend under the English Channel where similar coalfields are sited.Seismic activity has occasionally been recorded in Kent, though the epicentre is offshore. In 1382 and 1580 there were two earthquakes exceeding 6.0 on the Richter Scale. In 1776, 1950, and 28 April 2007 there were earthquakes of around 4.3. The 2007 earthquake caused physical damage in Folkestone.The coastline of Kent is continually changing, due to uplift, sedimentation, and marine erosion. The Isle of Thanet was till recently (AD 960) an island, formed around a deposit of chalk. The channels silted up with alluvium. Similarly Romney Marsh and Dungeness have been formed by accumulation of alluvium.Kent's principal river, the River Medway, rises near Edenbridge and flows some 25 miles (40 km) eastwards to a point near Maidstone, when it turns north. Here it breaks through the North Downs at Rochester before joining the River Thames as its final tributary near Sheerness. The river is tidal as far as Allington lock, but in earlier times cargo-carrying vessels reached as far upstream as Tonbridge. The Medway has captured the head waters of other rivers such as the River Darent. There are other rivers in Kent, most notably the River Stour in the east.Geology of East Sussex
The geology of East Sussex is defined by the Weald–Artois anticline, a 60 kilometres (37 mi) wide and 100 kilometres (62 mi) long fold within which caused the arching up of the chalk into a broad dome within the middle Miocene, which has subsequently been eroded to reveal a lower Cretaceous to Upper Jurassic stratigraphy. East Sussex is best known geologically for the identification of the first dinosaur by Gideon Mantell, near Cuckfield, to the famous hoax of the Piltdown man near Uckfield.
The county’s chalk has provided a world-class stratigraphic marker giving a great deal of detail in Cretaceous Chalk palaeoecology and palaeontology while in the east of the county on the Kentish border the Dungeness Foreland is important for the study of geomorphology and Holocene sea level fluctuations.Geology of Kent
This article describes the geology of the ceremonial county of Kent. It includes the borough of Medway.The geology of Kent in southeast England largely consists of a succession of northward dipping late Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks overlain by a suite of unconsolidated deposits of more recent origin.Geology of Surrey
Geology of Surrey. Towards the beginning of the Cretaceous age (146–66 million years ago) Surrey alternated between a fresh-to-brackish water embayment depositing Hastings Beds and Weald Clay, comprising shales and mudstones that are often finely banded. Offshore muds (now shales and mudstones) of the Atherfield Clay were deposited followed by shallow marine sands of the Hythe, Sandgate and Folkestone Beds. Where not eroded to lower heights, there is then a marine layer of the sands of the Hythe Beds topped by chert seen on today's remaining Greensand Hills. Instead of the mudstone and sandstone-producing three beds mentioned before Hythe Beds, west of Dorking the marine Bargate Beds made of calcareous (chalk and limestone-rich) sandstone were deposited. The Folkestone Beds contain phosphatic and iron-rich nodules, which locally yield a rich fossil fauna of marine shells.
Then under even deeper seas, Gault Clay and the Upper Greensand were deposited. The Gault Clay contains phosphate-rich nodules in discrete bands and has a rich marine fauna with abundant ammonites, bivalves and gastropods. The Upper Greensand comprises a variety of sediments with fine silts at the base giving way upwards into sandstones.
90 million years ago the North Downs hard chalk was deposited, a white limestone which is over 95% calcium carbonate. It contains thin beds of marl and nodules of flint, either scattered or in bands. The North Downs extending from Farnham to Dover, Kent are formed by this chalk. They now have an often white, almost vertical south-facing slope.Just before the Paleogene, which included the mass-extinction event of the non-avian dinosaurs, sea levels dropped, exposing Sussex and Kent, and the marine Upnor Beds were deposited in Surrey. In the Paleogene, Southern England rose slightly, and the seas retreated, and the reddish and mottled clays of the Reading Beds were deposited by a large river sand delta system. Later, a rise in sea level, around 50 million years ago, caused widespread deposition, until 2 million years ago, of the London Clay across the County. The London Clay is a bluish-grey marine clay with isolated pockets of fossils especially where chalkier. The youngest part of the London Clay is known as the Claygate Beds and occurs widely in Surrey. This even sandier material represents a transition between the deeper water London Clay and the succeeding shallower water, possibly estuarine, Bagshot Sand.Major climate changes in Britain causing sea level changes in the last 2.58 million years, with mini Ice Ages, the ice sheets did not extend to Surrey but sand and gravel deposits swept towards the fledgling River Thames were spread in all lower parts. Gravel terraces at various heights on the valley sides are the remnants of successive floodplains, the highest terrace being the oldest and the lowest the youngest. The most prominent terraces mark the former levels of the Thames in north Surrey. Along tributary slopes, a deposit, head, forms the main sediment of latest age. Head comprises angular pieces of rock and soil derived locally from the extensive frost-shattering of rocks and the subsequent movement of this material down valley slopes. Large areas of clay-with-flints, derived from the weathering of material overlying the present day chalk, occur across the North Downs. One particular suite of sediments that occur in the Guildford vale is known as the Headley Formation and comprises gravel and sand on top of the chalk. These sediments contain marine fossils and were probably derived from erosion of the Greensand and Tertiary rocks during the Paleogene.The above describes the various many types of the sedimentary rocks of the Cretaceous and Tertiary age in their more modern nomenclature that cover the whole county, and in terms of a still visible structure, makes up the Wealden anticline that covers most of the county.Hastingford Cutting
Hastingford Cutting is a 0.04-hectare (0.099-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest south of Crowborough in East Sussex. It is a Geological Conservation Review site.This site exposes rocks dating to the Hastings Beds of the Early Cretaceous. It has coarse sandstone with pebbles and fossil charcoal in a channel which is interpreted as part of a braided system. It underlies a layer which is thought to be part of the shore of a lake.The site is on the side of Hastingford Lane.Heterosuchus
Heterosuchus is an extinct genus of crocodylomorph that may have been a eusuchian. It is known only from neck and back vertebrae recovered from Early Cretaceous-age rocks of the Hastings Beds (Wealden Group) of Hastings, Sussex. These vertebrae are procoelous (ball-and-socket articulation with the socket in front and the ball on the back of individual vertebrae), which is a trait of eusuchians. Heterosuchus was described by Harry Seeley in 1887, with H. valdensis as the type species. It may be the same genus as the slightly younger Hylaeochampsa, inferred to have been of similar evolutionary grade, but there is no overlapping material as Hylaeochampsa is known only from a partial skull; Hylaeochampsa would be the name used for both in that case, because it is the older name (coined in 1874). Because of the sparse material and apparent lack of distinguishing characteristics, James Clark and Mark Norell (1992) considered Heterosuchus a dubious name.List of stratigraphic units with dinosaur body fossils
This is a list of stratigraphic units from which dinosaur body fossils have been recovered. Although Dinosauria is a clade which includes modern birds, this article covers only Mesozoic stratigraphic units. Units listed are all either formation rank or higher (e.g. group).List of stratigraphic units with theropod tracks
The following tables list the global geological sites where tracks of theropod dinosaurs have been found, together with the proper names of the rock formations (stratigraphic units) that contain them.Lower Greensand Group
The Lower Greensand Group is a geological unit, which forms part of the underlying geological structure of southeast England. South of London in the counties of West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey and Kent, which together form the wider Weald, the Lower Greensand can usually be subdivided to formational levels with varying properties into the Atherfield Clay Formation, the Hythe Formation, the Sandgate Formation, and the Folkestone Formation. In areas north and west of London, including Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire the Lower Greensand is referred to as the Woburn Sands Formation.Pelorosaurus
Pelorosaurus ( pə-LORR-oh-SOR-əs; meaning "monstrous lizard") is a genus of titanosauriform sauropod dinosaur. Remains referred to Pelorosaurus date from the Early Cretaceous period, about 140-125 million years ago, and have been found in England and Portugal.
The name Pelorosaurus was one of the first to be given to any sauropod. Many species have been assigned to the genus historically, but most are currently considered to belong to other genera. Problematically, the first named species of Pelorosaurus, P. conybeari, is a junior synonym of Cetiosaurus brevis.Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation
The Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation is a geological unit which forms part of the Wealden Group and the uppermost and youngest part of the unofficial Hastings Beds. These geological units make up the core of the geology of the Weald in the English counties of West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent.
The other component formations of the Hastings Beds are the underlying Wadhurst Clay Formation and the Ashdown Formation. The Hastings Beds in turn form part of the Wealden Group which underlies much of southeast England. The sediments of the Weald, including the Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation, were deposited during the Early Cretaceous Period, which lasted for approximately 40 million years from 140 to 100 million years ago. The Tunbridge Wells Sands are of Late Valanginian age. The Formation takes its name from the spa town of Tunbridge Wells in Kent.Turners Hill SSSI
Turners Hill SSSI is a 0.2-hectare (0.49-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Turners Hill in West Sussex. It is a Geological Conservation Review site.This former quarry exposed the Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation, part of the Hastings Beds, which dates to the Early Cretaceous between about 140 and 100 million years ago. It provided excellent three dimensional sections through the Ardingly Sandstone Member of the Formation.The site is private land with no public access. The quarry has been filled in and no geology is visible.Valdosaurus
Valdosaurus ("Weald Lizard") is a genus of bipedal herbivorous iguanodont ornithopod dinosaur found on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere in England. It lived during the Early Cretaceous.Wadhurst Clay Formation
The Wadhurst Clay Formation is a geological unit which forms part of the Wealden Group and the middle part of the now unofficial Hastings Beds. These geological units make up the core of the geology of the High Weald in the English counties of West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent.
The other component formations of the Hastings Beds are the underlying Ashdown Formation and the overlying Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation. The Hastings Beds in turn form part of the Wealden Group which underlies much of southeast England. The sediments of the Weald, including the Wadhurst Clay Formation, were deposited during the Early Cretaceous Period, which lasted for approximately 40 million years from 140 to 100 million years ago. The Wadhurst Clay is of Early to Late Valanginian age. The Formation takes its name from the market town of Wadhurst in East Sussex.Wyleyia
Wyleyia is a prehistoric bird genus with a single species, Wyleyia valdensis, known from the early Cretaceous period of England. Even this is only known from a single damaged right humerus. It has been named to honor J. F. Wyley, who found the specimen in Weald Clay deposits of Henfield in Sussex (England). The specific name valdensis means "from the Weald".
The bone was found in the Hastings Beds, a series of Valanginian deposits, dated to between 140 and 136 million years ago.Sometimes believed to be from a non-avialan coelurosaur, it is now generally accepted as an early bird, although its exact systematic position is unresolved. It has been proposed to be an enantiornithine or an early neornithine palaeognathe. C.J.O. Harrison and C.A. Walker found it "advisable to consider the new genus incertae sedis until further evidence of affinity is forthcoming."