Published:January 01, 2008
Tom McCann, Stanislaw Skompski, Edouard Poty, Michel Dusar, Anna Vozárová, Jörg Schneider, Andreas Wetzel, Karl Krainer, Kristijan Kornpihl, Andreas Schäfer, Michael Krings, Stanislav Oplustil, Jenny Tait, 2008. "Carboniferous", The Geology of Central Europe: Volume 1: Precambrian and Palaeozoic, T. McCann
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The Carboniferous (359.2–299 Ma, Gradstein et al. 2004) succession of Central Europe records one of the most important time periods with respect to European geology, since it marks the final collision of Gondwana with the northern continent of Laurussia (i.e. Laurentia, Baltica and Avalonia). Oblique convergence resulted in collisional processes which created a mountain belt extending from Russia, through western Europe and into North America. The climax of the Variscan Orogeny was the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea leaving a relict Palaeo-tethys to the east (Scotese & Langford 1995) (Fig. 9.1). The Variscan belt is a broad (c. 1000 km) complex curvilinear feature extending across Europe and marking the zones of Variscan-age deformation (Figs 9.2 & 9.3). The final phase of Variscan activity was also a period of terrane mobility and tectonic instability in the Central European region with sinistral wrench faulting causing widespread rifting of the northern European crust (Pegrum 1984a, b; Ziegler 1990).
The Carboniferous succession in Central Europe is generally dominated by marine sediments (both clastic and carbonate) in the lower part of the succession¨ The clastic sediments tend to be deeper-water shelf or turbiditic successions, although in some areas (e.g. Belgium, northern Germany) limestones are locally important or even dominant, particularly during the Tournaisian and Visean. In late Carboniferous times, successions are predominantly continental with some coal-bearing units being deposited (particularly in Westphalian times). An exception to the dominantly sedimentary record is provided
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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.