C. N. Waters, I. D. Somerville, M. H. Stephenson, 2011. "International correlation", A Revised Correlation of Carboniferous Rocks in the British Isles, C. N. Waters, I. D. Somerville, N. S. Jones, C. J. Cleal, J. D. Collinson, R. A. Waters, B. M. Besly, M. T. Dean, M. H. Stephenson, J. R. Davies, E. C. Freshney, D. I. Jackson, W. I. Mitchell, J. H. Powell, W. J. Barclay, M. A. E. Browne, B. E. Leveridge, S. L. Long, D. McLean
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Globally, the Carboniferous System can be subdivided into two time intervals, associated with a climatic change which produced quite distinct ?oral and faunal distribution and characteristics of sedimentation (Wagner & Winkler Prins 1991). The early Carboniferous, equivalent to the Mississippian of the USA and Lower Carboniferous of Russia, was a time of equitable climate in which sea levels were generally high and successions within low latitudes were typically marine. Unobstructed marine communication between the Palaeo-Tethys and Panthalassan shelves (Davydov et al. 2004) allowed marine fauna to have a world-wide distribution, in which latitudinal variations were stronger than longitudinal differences (Ross & Ross 1988). The late Carboniferous, equivalent to the Pennsylvanian of the USA, and Middle and Upper Carboniferous of Russia, is typi?ed by coal-bearing successions that displayed marked latitudinal climatic differentiation associated with the Gondwanan Ice Age. The mid-Carboniferous boundary, which separates the two climatic periods, is associated with widespread regression and on many cratonic areas by the presence of a non-sequence or unconformity. The comparable transition is seen in Western Europe between the Visean and Namurian stages, though this is not a direct time equivalent of the Mississippian–Pennsylvanian boundary (Fig. 2). The carbonate-dominated succession of the Visean and terrestrial clastic-dominated succession of the Namurian are interpreted as a facies change with no world-wide signi?cance (Wagner & Winkler Prins 1991).
During the Carboniferous, Gondwana was located at high southern latitudes. South America, Africa, India, Arabia, Australia and Antarctica were affected by near-field glaciations.
Figures & Tables
The report revises and expands upon the 1976 and 1978 publications for the Dinantian and Silesian, respectively, combining them into a single account of British and Irish Carboniferous stratigraphy. The need to update the two Special Reports reflects the considerable advances in Carboniferous geology over the last 30 years. The report covers developments in international chronostratigraphy and incorporates wholesale reassessments of British lithostratigraphy. A huge volume of biostratigraphical information has been published over recent decades and the report summarizes the key information.
Carboniferous rocks have long been of economic importance, but it is the search for hydrocarbons, in its infancy at the time of the previous reports, which has greatly increased our understanding of Carboniferous successions offshore and at depth, particularly in southern and eastern England.