The Iberian Peninsula has some of the most extensive Cambrian outcrops in Europe (Lotze 1961c), including a diverse, continuous record of fossils and facies, and is thus a fundamental source of biostratigraphic information for the Cambrian System and its intercontinental correlations. Most exposures of Iberian Cambrian rocks occur in the Iberian Massif, but they are also known from the Pyrenees, the Catalonian Coastal Ranges and the Iberian Ranges (Fig. 3.1).
Many exposures are geographically isolated and/or show tectonic boundaries, and facies changes are common, and these characteristics have led to a profuse stratigraphic nomenclature (see Fig. 3.2; Zamarreño 1983;, Liñán et al. 1993a). Following Lotze (1961c), however, the Cambrian sequence can be overviewed as a diachronous Lower to Middle Cambrian carbonate sequence sandwiched by silici-clastic successions (Fig. 3.2). The lower of the siliciclastic units is entirely Lower Cambrian, whereas the upper unit ranges from upper Lower or Middle Cambrian to Upper Cambrian (Fig. 3.2). The Lower Cambrian series has been subdivided into the Corduban, Ovetian, Marianian and Bilbilian stages, and the Middle Cambrian series subdivided into the Leonian, Caesaraugustan and Languedocian stages (Fig. 3.2).
The Precambrian/Cambrian boundary stratotype was erected by the International Subcommission on Cambrian Stratigraphy (ISCS) at the Fortune Head section in eastern Newfoundland (Canada) with the first appearance datum (FAD) of Phycodes (= Trichophycus) pedum (Landing 1994). This FAD coincides with behavioural changes, increased
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This book provides the first comprehensive account in English of the geology of mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary islands. It has been written by 159 research-active, mostly Spanish authors working together in teams from over 20 universities and other centres of research excellence. The 19 chapters begin with an overview of Spanish geology prepared by the editors, followed by a detailed examination of Iberian Precambrian and Palaeozoic rocks in Spain, Variscan magmatism and tectonics, and the Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary record and fossil record. Subsequent chapters deal with the Alpine orogeny in the Pyrenees, Betics and other mountain ranges of Spain and the Balearic Islands, and with Cenozoic magmatism, including the classic hot-spot-related volcanism of the Canary Islands. The final chapter focuses on economic and environmental geology, emphasizing metallic deposits and industrial minerals, hydrocarbon energy resources, water supply, and modern seismic hazard. Finally a bibliography of around 4000 references provides a uniquely valuable information source. Encompassing subjects as diverse as the origin of Spanish granites, the palaeogeographic and tectonometamorphic history of the Iberian plate, human evolution in the SW Mediterranean, and modern volcanism and earthquake activity, The Geology of Spain is a key reference work suitable not only for libraries across the world, but of interest to all researchers, teachers and students of SW European geology.