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1. 1 Geographical and 1. 2 Previous work palaeogeographical setting Stratigraphic exploration of the Swiss Jura range began before The measuring of detailed sections and the excavation of fossils 1820. MERIAN (1821) described the Jurassic sediments in the ar were done in an area which is confined to the west by a line be ea of Basel for the first time and gave a short and appropriate tween Boncourt in Canton Jura and Biel in Canton Bern description of the principal lithostratigraphic units. Merian (fig. 1). The belt of outcrops becomes narrower towards the east was aware that fossils were a means for correlation, but he stated and then runs northeast from Canton Aargau to Mohringen on that fossils were not known well enough at the time for this the Danube river in southern Germany. This whole area is purpose. Therefore he correlated strictly lithostratigraphically. where the Burgundy platform (PuRSER 1979) interfingers with He correlated the marls of the Biirschwil Formation of the early sediments of the rhodano-swabian epicontinental sea which and middle Oxfordian in the central Jura with the marls of the was situated adjacent to northern Tethys (fig. 63). The whole Effingen Member of the middle and late Oxfordian in the east area was transformed into an epicontinental sea (fig. 2) by the ern Jura range (fig. 3).