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Abstract

This chapter summarizes the style, timing, composition and tectonic setting of the main occurrences of Cambrian to early Permian magmatic rocks in central Europe, which are here described within the framework of the Cadomian and Variscan Orogenies. In general terms, the Variscan Orogeny may be considered to be the result of Silurian to early Carboniferous accretion onto the southern margin of Laurussia of various Gondwana-derived terranes or microplates of predominantly Neoproterozoic (Cadomian/Pan-African) crust, together with their passive margin sequences and accreted island arcs (Franke 1989; Matte 1991; Ziegler 1993). These microplates originated from various parts along the northern margin of Gondwana in the Early Palaeozoic, and moved northward towards Laurentia and Baltica (see Krawczyk et al. 2008). These rifting, spreading, subduction, accretion and collision events occurred over a long period and were associated with magmatic activity of varying styles, compositions and volumes, of which the variously deformed and metamorphosed equivalents are found throughout Variscan Europe. Another important, late to post-Variscan phase of magmatism which occurred throughout Europe was of late Carboniferous to early Permian age.

The magmatic rocks and their metamorphosed equivalents are exposed in basement uplifts (the Variscan massifs), such as the Bohemian Massif, Odenwald, Spessart, Black Forest, Vosges, Massif Central, Iberia and the Rhenohercynian Zone (Fig. 12.1). In these internal parts of the Variscan Orogen, magmatic rocks are ubiquitous but are predominantly plutonic rocks and their metamorphosed equivalents, since mainly deep crustal levels are exposed. To the south, von Raumer (1998)

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