Late Carboniferous-Permian of NW Europe: An introduction to a new regional map
Published:January 01, 2004
Michel Heeremans, Jan I. Faleide, Bjørn T. Larsen, 2004. "Late Carboniferous-Permian of NW Europe: An introduction to a new regional map", Permo-Carboniferous Magmatism and Rifting in Europe, M. Wilson, E.-R. Neumann, G. R. Davies, M. J. Timmerman, M. Heeremans, B. T. Larsen
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The Carboniferous-Permian evolution of NW Europe has recently been the focus of an EC-funded Training and Mobility of Researchers (TMR) project ‘Permo-Carboniferous-Rifting in Europe’ (PCR). One of the main goals of this project was to produce a new map for this time period showing the distribution of Late Carboniferous-Early Permian (Lower Rotliegend) volcanics, dykes and sills, and the extent of the tectonic structures of the Early-Late Permian (Upper Rotliegend) sedimentary basins (better known as the Southern and Northern Permian Basins). In order to produce this map, an overview of all the available literature was made. The new map was completed based on our own interpretations from seismic and borehole data. Unpublished data were available through industrial partners associated with the PCR project.
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Permo-Carboniferous Magmatism and Rifting in Europe
Widespread extension occurred within the Variscan orogen and its northern foreland during Late Carboniferous to Early Permian times. This was associated with magmatism and with a fundamental change, at the Westphalian-Stephanian boundary, in the regional stress field, coincident with the termination of orogenic activity and onset of dextral translation between North Africa and Europe. Rifting propagated across basement terranes with different ages and thermal histories. Most of the rift basins developed on relatively thin lithosphere; however, the highly magmatic Oslo Graben initiated within the edge of a craton. Early Stephanian regional uplift is contemporaneous with the onset of magmatism, inviting speculation that it might have been induced by a thermal anomaly within the upper mantle. The contributions to this volume suggest that the geodynamic setting in which magmatism occurred was complex, involving wrench tectonics, slab detachment, and delamination or thermal erosion of the base of the lithosphere.