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Mochras Revisited



MochrasWe are preparing a workshop to develop plans for an ICDP borehole that will recover a complete Early Jurassic sedimentary record at the site of a previously drilled borehole at Llanbedr (Mochras Farm), on the eastern margin of the Cardigan Bay Basin, West Wales. The new Mochras record will comprise an exceptionally thick (1300 m) and biostratigraphically complete succession of marine mudrocks. The attributes of the succession are ideal for an integrated astrochronology, chemostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and magnetostratigraphy, which would become the international standard for these 25 million years of Earth history. The new materials and data would be applied to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the Earth system during the Early Jurassic and its history of change, including some of the most extreme environmental change events in the Mesozoic. The Workshop will be based in Oxford and Keyworth, UK, and will include optional field excursions in Bristol Channel and Cleveland basins where coastal exposures have been the focus of previous detailed but un-integrated stratigraphic studies. The preliminarily identified science team includes members that ensure a global perspective and links to cognate international geoscience projects.

Scientific Objectives
To recover a full succession of marine mudrock (1300 m) of Early Jurassic age from a site at Mochras, on the eastern margin of the Cardigan Bay Basin, Wales. To recover a full suite of downhole and pass-through geophysical logs. To generate high-resolution time series of physical and chemical attributes of the core, including mineralogical, elemental, and isotopic abundances. To construct an age model based on cyclostratigraphic analysis of these datasets for the whole Early Jurassic interval. To document and understand the pacing of palaeoenvironmental changes taking place through the Early Jurassic, focussing both on the major events already identified, such as the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event, and other events that are much less well known, such as at the Sinemurian-Pliensbachian boundary. To generate and use high-resolution datasets for regional and global correlation (e.g. biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy) and to use these to understand the origins of environmental and evolutionary changes in a global context. To generate isotopic, molecular, and elemental datasets of emerging palaeoceanographic and palaeoatmospheric proxies, and to use these to understand the full range of environmental changes that characterise the Early Jurassic interval and the processes that link them.
(Figure ©:Hesselbo et al. [2000])



Europe, United Kingdom, Wales, Shell Island, Mochras



52° 49' N, 4° 9' W (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)


Project Start and End
  • not yet determined


Programs and Funding


Principal Investigators
  • Stephen Peter Hesselbo, University of Exeter, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Camborne School of Mines
  • Kenneth G. Miller, Rutgers University, Wright Labs, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Christian Jannik Bjerrum, University of Copenhagen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management
  • Bas van de Schootbrugge, University of Utrecht, Faculty of Geosciences, Department of Earth Sciences
  • James B. Riding, British Geological Survey


Partners and Contractors



Astrochronology, Chemostratigraphy, Europe, ICDP-2012/06, Jurassic, Paleoenvironmental Change, United Kingdom, Wales


Current State



Google Earth/Maps