The BGS Lexicon of Named Rock Units — Result Details

White Limestone Formation

Computer Code: WHL Preferred Map Code: WhL
Status Code: Full
Age range: Bathonian Age (JN) — Bathonian Age (JN)
Lithological Description: A pale grey to off-white or yellowish limestone, peloidal wackestone and packstone with subordinate ooidal and shell fragmental grainstone; with recrystallised limestone and/or hardgrounds at some levels with rare sandy limestone, muddy limestone, calcareous mudstone and silicate mudstone/clay. Coralliferous units (including Fairford Coral Bed) occur at or close to the top.
Definition of Lower Boundary: The base of the described peloidal wackestone, packstone or grainstone, overlying calcareous mudstone or fine-grained ooidal grainstones of the Hampen Formation or calcareous mudstone of the Rutland Formation.
Definition of Upper Boundary: Generally a sharp, erosive boundary, with a cross-bedded shell-fragmental ooidal limestone of the Forest Marble Formation or mudstone of the Forest Marble Formation or Blisworth Clay Formation.
Thickness: Up to 30 m, and typically 20 m thick in the type area.
Geographical Limits: The Stroud to Cirencester area, where it passes south-westwards through passage into the high energy ooid limestone of the Athelstan Oolite Formation, and north-eastward through Oxon and Bucks to the south Northamptonshire area, where it passes through gradual facies change into limestone with greater terrigenous influence of the Blisworth Limestone Formation. In the subcrop, passes south-east in Berkshire into the Athelstan Oolite and Chalfield Oolite formations of the Weald (Wyatt, 2011).
Parent Unit: Great Oolite Group (GOG)
Previous Name(s): White Limestone (WLM)
Great Oolite Limestone [Obsolete Name And Code: Use BWL, GOG or CFDO] (GOL)
Blisworth Limestone [Obsolete Name and Code: Use WHL] (-3759)
White Limestone (WLM)
Alternative Name(s): none recorded or not applicable
Type Area  From Woodstock to Ardley, in the Cherwell Valley, north of Oxford. Palmer, 1979. 
Type Section  Shipton-on-Cherwell Quarry, formerly exposed up to 16 m of the upper part of the formation, including the entire Bladon and Ardley members and part of the Shipton Member; lower beds now obscured by backfill; overlain by Forest Marble Formation (Arkell, 1931; Barker, 1976; Palmer, 1979; Richardson et al., 1946; Sumbler, 1984; Cox and Sumbler, 2002). 
Reference Section  Ardley Railway Cutting, Ardley Fields Farm Quarry and Ardley Wood Quarry together expose the full thickness of the formation, over 13 m thick, near to the eastern edge of its range, showing terrigenous influence at some levels; it is divided here into three members: Shipton, Ardley and Bladon (Arkell et al., 1933; Cox and Sumbler, 2002; also see Sumbler, 1984, and Sumbler et al., 2000 for additional reference sections). 
Cox, B M, and Sumbler, M G. 2002. British Middle Jurassic Stratigraphy. Geological Conservation Review Series No.26. [Peterborough: Joint Nature Conservation Committee.] 
Palmer, T J, 1979. The Hampen Marly and White Limestone formations: Florida-type carbonate lagoons in the Jurassic of central England. Palaeontology, Vol.22, 189-228. 
Arkell, W J, Richardson, L and Pringle, J. 1933. The Lower Oolites exposed in the Ardley-Fritwell railway cuttings, between Bicester and Banbury, Oxford. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol.44, 340-354. 
Sumbler, M G, 1984. The stratigraphy of the Bathonian White Limestone and Forest Marble formations of Oxfordshire. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol.95, 51-64. 
Sumbler, M G, Barron, A J M and Morigi, A N, 2000. Geology of the Cirencester district. Memoir of the British Geological Survey, Sheet 235 (England and Wales). 
Arkell, W J. 1931. The Upper Great Oolite, Bradford Beds and Forest Marble of south Oxfordshire, and the succession of gastropod faunas in the Great Oolite. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, Vol.87, 563-629. 
Barker, M J, 1976. A stratigraphical, palaeoecological and biometrical study of some English Bathonian gastropoda (especially Nerinacea). (University of Keele: Unpublished PhD thesis). 
Richardson, L, Arkell, W J and Dines, H G. 1946. Geology of the country around Witney. Memoir of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. Sheet 236 ( England and Wales). 
Woodward, H B, 1894. The Jurassic Rocks of Britain, Vol.4. The Lower Oolitic Rocks of England (Yorkshire excepted). Memoir of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom. 
Waters, C N, Smith, K, Hopson, P M, Wilson, D, Bridge, D M, Carney, J N, Cooper, A H, Crofts, R G, Ellison, R A, Mathers, S J, Moorlock, B S P, Scrivener, R C, McMillan, A A, Ambrose, K, Barclay, W J, and Barron, A J M. 2007. Stratigraphical Chart of the United Kingdom: Southern Britain. British Geological Survey, 1 poster. 
Wyatt, R J. 2011. A gamma-ray correlation of boreholes and oil wells in the Bathonian Stage succession (Middle Jurassic) of the Wealden Shelf subcrop. British Geological Survey Open Report, OR/11/048. 
Barron, A J M, Lott, G K, and Riding, J B. 2012. Stratigraphical framework for the Middle Jurassic strata of Great Britain and the adjoining continental shelf. British Geological Survey Research Report RR/11/06. 
1:50K maps on which the lithostratigraphical unit is found, and map code used:
E235 E236 E237 E219 E217 E218 E234