(Geological Conservation Review Series 19). 2000. RJ Aldridge, David J Siveter, Derek J Siveter, PD Lane, DG Palmer and NH Woodcock
542 pages, hardback, JNCC. £76.00.
The Silurian volume contains an outline introduction to Silurian stratigraphy by Nigel Woodcock, followed by a chapter on Silurian palaeontology by Doug Palmer. The chapter on Silurian fossils includes the acritarchs, chitinozoans, foraminiferans, radiolaria, scolecodonts and spores. The summary diagram for the acritarchs is not very useful as the numbered acritarch assemblages are different to the standard acritarch biozonation derived from Hill 1974 and Dorning 1981, which is used in the site descriptions. As the original site selection was undertaken by myself and Howard Armstrong in the early 1980’s, there are only a few additional sites that I feel should be considered for inclusion. The sections in the Pentamerus Beds and Purple Shales of Sheinton Brook in Shropshire could certainly be considered a potential GCR site.
For each of the 127 localities, the information is mostly taken from published sources, though there are a few references to unpublished theses. The diagrams, mostly redrawn from publications, are clear and easy to use. The poor reproduction quality of the black and white locality photographs is unfortunate. Some have no indication of scale, which is fine if you know the sections, but potentially misleading if they are not familiar. Some of the photographs were clearly taken several years ago, and an indication of the year taken would be interesting, as sites, particularly active quarries, can change a great deal with time. The sites are dealt with in stratigraphical order, grouped into chapters dealing with the Llandovery, Wenlock, Ludlow and Pridoili series. Within the chapters, the sites are grouped geographically. The total list of sites covered is on the website.
All in all, this is a very valuable reference work, as it brings together the published material from many sources for each locality. At £76.00 this reference book will be useful to researchers working on the Silurian stratigraphy of England, Scotland and Wales.