Kimmeridge Clay Formation

Formal (NAM & RGD 1980). Amended (Herngreen & Wong 1989; Van Adrichem Boogaert & Kouwe 1993; Munsterman et al. 2012).
Lithological description

Olive-grey, generally silty claystones with thin dolomite streaks (expressed on wire-line logs with a characteristic spiky appearance). Fossil fragments are common in lenses, lignite particles occur frequently. Dolomitic interbeds increase to the north. Towards the south, the claystones may become increasingly silty to sandy and the carbonate streaks and olive hue disappear gradually.

Depositional setting

Outer shelf setting.

Definition of lower boundary

Conformably overlies the marginal marine barrier sandstones of the Upper Graben Formation (F03-03), the lacustrine to coastal Middle Graben Formation (F03-01), or the delta plain deposits of the Puzzle Hole Formation. The Kimmeridge Clay Formation interfingers with the Puzzle Hole Formation and the Upper and Middle Graben formations.

Definition of upper boundary

(slightly) Unconformably overlain by the glauconitic Scruff Greensand Formation, or any younger unit.

Thickness indication
Up to 1000 m (F06-01).
Geographical distribution
Regional correlation
UK: Kimmeridge Clay Formation; GER: ?; BEL: -.
late Oxfordian - late Tithonian.
Depth (thickness) AH:
1780 - 2547 m (767 m)
Origin of name
Name derived from the British stratigraphic nomenclature where it is applied to similar argillaceous deposits which are widespread in the general North Sea area (NAM and RGD 1980).
Previous name(s)
Reviewed by (date)
Sander Houben (2017).
NAM & RGD 1980. Stratigraphic nomenclature of The Netherlands. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Nederlands Geologisch Mijnbouwkundig Genootschap 32, 77 p.
Herngreen, G.F.W. and Wong, Th.E. 1989. Revision of the ’Late Jurassic’ stratigraphy of the Dutch Central North Sea Graben - Geol. en Mijnbouw, 68, p. 73-105.
Van Adrichem Boogaert, H.A. & Kouwe, W.F.P. 1993. Stratigraphic nomenclature of The Netherlands; revision and update by RGD and NOGEPA, Section G, Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous. Mededelingen Rijks Geologische Dienst, 50, 1-80..
D.K. Munsterman, R.M.C.H. Verreussel, H.F. Mijnlieff, N. Witmans, S. Kerstholt-Boegehold, Abbink, O.A. 2012. Revision and update of the Callovian-Ryazanian Stratigraphic Nomenclature in the northern Dutch Offshore, i.e. Central Graben Subgroup and Scruff Group. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences-Geologie en Mijnbouw, 91, 555-590.
Cite as
TNO-GDN ([YEAR]). Kimmeridge Clay Formation. In: Stratigraphic Nomenclature of the Netherlands, TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands. Accessed on [DATE] from