Published:January 01, 2008
The Cambrian (c. 545-488 Ma) is probably the most poorly studied and least documented of all Phanerozoic systems in Central Europe. Cambrian deposits in Central Europe are generally of limited extent, often largely covered by vegetation and slightly to strongly metamorphosed so that data on depositional environments and palaeogeographic history are very limited. Regional differences in the tectonic and resulting sedimentary history as well as faunal characteristics indicate a melange of plates and terranes in a configuration that differs extremely from their original spatial distribution.
Despite considerable interest in the Cambrian on a global scale following recognition of the ‘Cambrian Explosion’, and various areas with peculiar regional and faunal aspects (e.g. Burgess Shale, Chengjiang, Kaili), there has been a lack of detailed and general research on the Cambrian of Central Europe during the last two decades. Relevant studies have concentrated on a few areas such as Lusatia, the Holy Cross Mountains, or the Barrandian area in Bohemia.
The most relevant surface exposures are found in Bohemia, the Franconian Forest area in Bavaria, in western Thuringia, in the Lusatia area in Saxony, the Holy Cross Mountains of southern Poland, and in the Brabant Massif of Belgium (Fig. 4.1). These outcrops are of relatively limited extent, but some yield important fossil assemblages. In addition, Cambrian strata are known from a number of drillholes such as in the Delitzsch-Torgau-Doberlug Syncline of NW Saxony, Upper Silesia, and a large area in north and east Poland, which is part of the East European Platform. Our
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The Geology of Central Europe: Volume 1: Precambrian and Palaeozoic
This two-volume set provides the first comprehensive account in English of the geology of Central Europe. Written by more than 200 scientists from universities and research centres spread across Europe and North America, the 21 chapters are based on the main stratigraphic periods. Individual chapters outline the evolution of the region divided into a variety of sections which include overviews of the stratigraphic framework, climate, sea-level variations, palaeogeography and magmatic activity. These are followed by more detailed descriptions of the Central European succession, covering the main basins and magmatic provinces. Each chapter is thoroughly referenced, providing a unique and valuable information source.
Volume 1 focuses on the evolution of Central Europe from the Precambrian to the Permian, a dynamic period which traces the formation of Central Europe from a series of microcontinents that separated from Gondwana through to the creation of Pangaea. Separate summary chapters on the Cadomian, Caledonian and Variscan orogenic events as well as on Palaeozoic magmatism provide an overview of the tectonic and magmatic evolution of the region. These descriptions sometimes extend beyond the borders of Central Europe to take in the Scottish and Irish Caledonides as well as the Palaeozoic successions in the Baltic region.
Volume 2 provides an overview of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic evolution of Central Europe. This period commenced with the destruction of Pangaea and ended with the formation of the Alps and Carpathians and the subsequent Ice Ages. Separate summary chapters on the Permian to Cretaceous tectonics and the Alpine evolution are also included. The final chapter provides an overview of the fossil fuels, ore and industrial minerals in the region.
The Geology of Central Europe is a key reference work suitable not only for libraries across the world, but of interest to all researchers, teachers and students of European Geology.