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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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.