Skip to content Skip to navigation

Article: Growth and disintegration of bivalve-dominated patch reefs in the Upper Jurassic of southern England

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 37
Part: 1
Publication Date: April 1994
Page(s): 131 171
Author(s): Franz T. Fürsich, Timothy J. Palmer and Kay L. Goodyear
Addition Information

How to Cite

FÃœRSICH, F. T., PALMER, T. J., GOODYEAR, K. L. 1994. Growth and disintegration of bivalve-dominated patch reefs in the Upper Jurassic of southern England. Palaeontology37, 1, 131–171.

Online Version Hosted By

The Palaeontological Association (Free Access)


Patch reefs, up to 4 metres high and 8 metres across, grew amongst oolith shoals at the top of the Portland Limestone Formation (Portlandian, Upper Jurassic) on the Isle of Portland, southern England. Principal reef framebuilders, which provided between 55 and 70 per cent of the reef volume, were cementing bivalves, solenoporacean algae, and bryozoans. The remaining pore-space in the reef was filled by sediment, most of which is in the form of a precipitated peloidal cement. The cement lithified the reef while it was still exposed on the sea floor, and was probably precipitated under bacterial control. A diverse accessory fauna of small cementing encrusters and nestlers includes groups such as terebratulid brachiopods and lithistid sponges -that have not previously been found in the Portland Limestone. Serpula (Cycloserpula) striatissima sp. nov. and Carterochaena pulcherrima gen. et sp. nov. are described. Both the primary organic framework of the reef and the submarine cements were bored by a variety of endoliths, which locally removed as much as 40 per cent of the reef volume. Vacated borings acted as sites for precipitation of further peloidal cement. Borings are well preserved as natural three-dimensional casts in cases where they originally perforated an aragonite substrate which has since dissolved. New taxa of borings consist of Cunctichnus probans ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov., Spirichnus spiralis ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov., Talpina bromleyi ichnosp. nov., and Entobia cervicornis ichnosp. nov.
PalAss Go! URL: | Twitter: Share on Twitter | Facebook: Share on Facebook | Google+: Share on Google+