Grzegorz Pieńkowski, Michael E. Schudack, Pavel Bosák, Raymond Enay, Anna Feldman-Olszewska, Jan Golonka, Jacek Gutowski, G. F. W. Herngreen, Peter Jordan, Michał Krobicki, Bernard Lathuiliere, Reinhold R. Leinfelder, Jozef Michalík, Eckhard Mönnig, Nanna Noe-Nygaard, Jòzsef Pálfy, Anna Pint, Michael W. Rasser, Achim G. Reisdorf, Dieter U. Schmid, Günter Schweigert, Finn Surlyk, Andreas Wetzel, Theo E. Wong, 2008. "Jurassic", The Geology of Central Europe Volume 2: Mesozoic and Cenozoic, T. McCann
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The Jurassic System (199.6-145.5 Ma; Gradstein et al. 2004), the second of three systems constituting the Mesozoic era, was established in Central Europe about 200 years ago. It takes its name from the Jura Mountains of eastern France and northernmost Switzerland. The term ‘Jura Kalkstein’ was introduced by Alexander von Humboldt as early as 1799 to describe a series of carbonate shelf deposits exposed in the Jura mountains. Alexander Brongniart (1829) first used the term ‘Jurassique', while Leopold von Buch (1839) established a three-fold subdivision for the Jurassic (Lias, Dogger, Malm). This three-fold subdivision (which also uses the terms black Jura, brown Jura, white Jura) remained until recent times as three series (Lower, Middle, Upper Jurassic), although the respective boundaries have been grossly redefined. The immense wealth of fossils, particularly ammonites, in the Jurassic strata of Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland was an inspiration for the development of modern concepts of biostratigraphy, chronostratigraphy, correlation and palaeogeography. In a series of works, Alcide d'Orbigny (1842-51, 1852) distinguished stages of which seven are used today (although none of them has retained its original strati graphic range). Albert Oppel (1856-1858) developed a sequence of such divisions for the entire Jurassic System, crucially using the units in the sense of time divisions.
During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many additional stage names were proposed - more than 120 were listed by Arkell (1956). It is due to Arkell's influence that most of these have been abandoned and the table of current stages for the Jurassic (comprising 11 internationally accepted stages, grouped into three series) shows only two changes from that used by Arkell: separation of the Aalenian from the lower Bajocian was accepted by international agreement during the second Luxembourg Jurassic Colloquium in 1967, and the Tithonian was accepted as the Global Standard for the uppermost stage in preference to Portlandian and Volgian by vote of the Jurassic Subcommission (Morton 1974, 2005). As a result, the international hierarchical subdivision of the Jurassic System into series and stages has been stable for many years.
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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.