Published:January 01, 2008
Charlotte M. Krawczyk, Tom McCann, L. Robin M. Cocks, Richard W. England, John H. McBride, Stanislaw Wybraniec, 2008. "Caledonian tectonics", The Geology of Central Europe: Volume 1: Precambrian and Palaeozoic, T. McCann
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The Caledonian Orogeny lasted from the late Cambrian to the Devonian with the main collisional events occurring during Ordovician and Silurian times. Direct evidence of the extent of this orogenic event across central Europe is limited because of the lack of outcrops of this age. The Caledonian Orogeny, together with the subsequent Variscan and Alpine orogenies, is one of a succession of major tectonic events which have defined the geological evolution of Central Europe. Thus, the present configuration and condition of the lithosphere of central Europe is the result of superimposed periods of deformation (Fig. 7.1). Consequently, a wide range of investigative techniques needs to be employed to unravel these events in order to determine the properties of the various elements of the Caledonides and to elucidate the evolution of the Caledonian Orogeny. Additionally, evidence of the orogeny is deeply buried beneath thick successions of younger sediments, e.g. Dutch and North German Basin, or has been reworked extensively by later events, e.g. Belgium or to the SE of the Trans-European Suture Zone.
The word ‘Caledonia’, the Latin name for northern Scotland, was used by Eduard Suess (1885-1909) not only to describe a geographic region but also to indicate an orogen he termed ‘Caledonisches Gebirge’. Furthermore, Suess was the first to put his definition into a tectonic context: ‘Die in der Kaledonischen Faltungsära gebildeten Gebirge treten vor allem in Irland, Wales, Schottland und im Westteil Skandinaviens in Erscheinung’. [The mountains built during the Caledonian folding era appear particularly in Ireland,
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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.