Sequence stratigraphic models for the Paleogene of NW Europe can be said to have already been initiated in the early nineteenth century. Cuvier & Brongniart (1811) classified the sediments of the Paris area into packages, the boundaries of which are generally regional hiatuses or unconformities. Classification of Paleogene successions on the southern margins of the North Sea Basin into transgressive-regressive ‘cycles’ by Leriche (1905), a technique adopted and extended by Stamp (1921) to the Hampshire and London Basins, was an innovative approach, well ahead of its time, which introduced order into the complex pattern of lithofacies. This approach was, however, subsequently largely neglected in favour of primarily biostratigraphic attempts at correlation, until the arrival of process-based sedimentology in the 1960s. The identification of depositional sequences in the Paleogene of southern England, based on detailed stratigraphical and sedimentological analysis, was revived by Edwards (1967), Curry et al. (1977), Plint (1980, 1983a, b) and King (1981), and has since been applied to almost all onshore Tertiary successions (e.g. Steurbaut 1998; Vandenberghe et al. 1998, 2004) for Belgium.
Figures & Tables
This Special Report comprehensively describes the stratigraphy and correlation of the Tertiary (Paleogene-Neogene) rocks of NW Europe and the adjacent Atlantic Ocean and is the summation of fifty years of research on Tertiary sediments by Chris King. His book is essential reading for all geologists who deal with Tertiary rocks across NW Europe, including those in the petroleum industry and geotechnical services as well as academic stratigraphers and palaeontologists.
Introductory sections on chronostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and other methods of dating and correlation are followed by a regional summary of Tertiary sedimentary basins and their framework and an introduction to Tertiary igneous rocks. The third and largest segment comprises the regional stratigraphic summaries. Regions covered are the North Sea Basin, on shore areas of southern England and the eastern English Channel area, the North Atlantic margins (including non-marine basins in the Irish Sea and elsewhere) and the Paleogene igneous rocks of Scotland.