Published:January 01, 2008
Uwe Kroner, Jean-Louis Mansy, Stanisław Mazur, Paweł Aleksandrowski, Horst Peter Hann, Hermann Huckriede, Frédéric Lacquement, Juliette Lamarche, Patrick Ledru, Timothy C. Pharaoh, Hubert Zedler, Armin Zeh, Gernold Zulauf, 2008. "Variscan tectonics", The Geology of Central Europe: Volume 1: Precambrian and Palaeozoic, T. McCann
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The Variscan Orogeny is the major Middle to Late Palaeozoic tectonometamorphic event in Central Europe representing the final collision of Gondwana with the northern continent of Laurussia. Thus, large areas of the pre-Permian basement consist of continental crust that achieved its final form during this event. The Variscan Orogeny represents the European version of the evolution of the supercontinent of Pangaea at the end of the Palaeozoic. Western Pangaea, including the Variscan Orogen, formed as a result of the continuous closing of the oceanic domains between Gondwana and Laurussia (Old Red Continent: North American Craton + East European Craton + Avalonia). Coeval accretion of large volumes of oceanic crust along the Eastern Uralides and Altaids (Sengör et al. 1993) as well as Precambrian continental crust (e.g. Siberia and Kazakhstan) along the eastern edge of Laurussia represents the formation of eastern Pangaea. Following the Permian termination of collisional tectonics along western Pangaea there was ongoing convergence in the Asian part until the Early Mesozoic, as demonstrated by the evidence of Triassic continental subduction within the Qinling–Dabie–Sulu Belt between the northern Sino- Korean Craton and the southern Yangtze Craton (Ernst 2001, and references therein).
Despite the occurrence of both pre- and synorogenic subduction processes within the area of the Variscan Orogen, the accretion of juvenile crust plays a relatively minor role in terms of the crustal evolution of the region. Recycling of basement formed during the Neoproterozoic–Early Cambrian Cadomian Orogeny and its Early Palaeozoic cover can be considered to be one
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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.