The Variscan Orogeny: Extent, Timescale and the Formation of the European Crust
This volume summarizes the state of the art of Variscan geology from Iberia to the Bohemian Massif. The European Variscan belt consists of two orogens: the older, northern and the younger, southern. The northern Variscan realm was dominated by Late Devonian–Carboniferous rifting, subduction and collisional events as defined by sedimentary records, crustal growth, recycling of continental crust and large-scale deformations. In contrast, the southern European crust was reworked by major Late Carboniferous collision followed by Permian wrenching. The Late Carboniferous–Permian orogeny overprinted the previously accreted system in the north, but with much lower intensity, resulting in magmatic recycling and extensional tectonics.
These two main orogenic cycles do not reflect episodic evolution of a single orogenic system but a complete change in orientation of stress field, thermal regime, degree of reworking and recycling of European crust, reflecting a major switch in plate configurations at the Early–Late Carboniferous boundary.
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