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During the Upper Jurassic epoch, Pangaea broke up into two supercontinents, Laurasia to the north, and Gondwana to the south. The result of this break-up was the spawning of the Atlantic Ocean. However, at this time, the Atlantic Ocean was relatively narrow.
Sea level was high, though not so high as during the Upper Cretaceous. The Laurasian landmass was broken up by the rising sea into large islands. The rocks were carbonate limestones and clays. The epoch included the famous Solnhofen limestone lagerstätte, where Archaeopteryx was found.
The Upper Jurassic of England and Europe bears a huge amount of the products of life. The Kimmeridge clay is the main source for the huge North Sea oil reserves, and the whole epoch is stuffed full of marine fossils. Many dinosaur remains have also been found. The epoch starts with the Oxford Clay deposited in a shallow seaway of 10 to 50 metres depth.
- Tang C.M. 2002. Oxford Clay: England's Jurassic Marine Park, in Bottjer, Etter, Hagadorn & Tang Exceptional fossil preservation. Columbia N.Y.
|Precambrian (4.567 gya – 541 mya)|
|In the left column are Eons, bold are Eras, not bold are Periods. gya = billion years ago, mya = million years ago|
|Hadean (4.567 gya – 4 gya)||Chaotian||Zirconian||Archaean (4 gya – 2.5 gya)||Eoarchaean (4 gya – 3.6 gya)|
|Proterozoic (4 gya – 2.5 gya)||Palaeoproterozoic (2.5 gya – 1.6 gya) Siderian (2.5 gya – 2.3 gya) Rhyacian (2.3 gya – 2.05 gya) Orosirian (2.05 gya – 1.8 gya) Statherian (1.8 gya – 1.6 gya)|
|Phanerozoic (541 mya – today)|
|In the left column are Eras, bold are Periods, not bold or italics are Epochs, Italics are stages. kya = thousand years ago, mya = million years ago|
|Palaeozoic (541 mya – 252.17 mya)||Cambrian (541 mya – 485.4 mya)|
|Mesozoic (252.17 mya – 66.0 mya)||Triassic (252.17 mya – 201.3 mya) Lower Triassic (252.17 mya – 247.2 mya) Middle Triassic (247.2 mya – 237 mya) Upper Triassic (237 mya – 201.3 mya)|
|Cainozoic (66.0 mya – today)||Palaeogene (66.0 mya – 23.03 mya) Palaeocene (66.0 mya – 56 mya) Eocene (56 mya - 33.9 mya) Oligocene (33.9 mya – 23.03 mya)|