The Iberian Massif provides the largest outcrop of Variscan and pre-Variscan rocks in Europe (Fig. 2.1a). It has been divided into several zones (Fig. 2.1b) and, within the Spanish part of these zones,extensive areas are occupied by Precambrian rocks (Fig. 2.1c). These Neoproterozoic successions are known under informal and local stratigraphic names so that it is not easy to provide a comprehensive synthesis of the Precambrian in Spain to a wide audience. Additional difficulties arise because different authors have focused their attention on different aspects (stratigraphy, petrology, tectonics, etc.) in widely separated geographic areas. Furthermore, widespread overprinting by Palaeozoic igneous and medium- to highgrade metamorphic processes has erased much sedimentological data and obscured correlations within and between Precambrian areas. As a consequence, many different local names have been proposed for stratigraphic units that are partially coincident with units in other localities. Thus, readers unfamiliar with geographic names may become discouraged when trying to compare and understand Precambrian stratigraphy from area to area in the Iberian Massif. To help readers, the names of the stratigraphic units and correlations across the zones are summarized in Figures 2.2 and 2.3.
Correlation chart of lithostratigraphic units from the Upper Neoproterozoic–Lower Cambrian in the different zones of the Spanish Iberian Massif. The Neoproterozoic–Cambrian boundary according to Bowring & Erwin (1998). U-Pb isotopic data after Lancelot et al. (1985), Schäfer et al. (1993), Ordóñez (1998), Fernández Suárez
Figures & Tables
This book provides the first comprehensive account in English of the geology of mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary islands. It has been written by 159 research-active, mostly Spanish authors working together in teams from over 20 universities and other centres of research excellence. The 19 chapters begin with an overview of Spanish geology prepared by the editors, followed by a detailed examination of Iberian Precambrian and Palaeozoic rocks in Spain, Variscan magmatism and tectonics, and the Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary record and fossil record. Subsequent chapters deal with the Alpine orogeny in the Pyrenees, Betics and other mountain ranges of Spain and the Balearic Islands, and with Cenozoic magmatism, including the classic hot-spot-related volcanism of the Canary Islands. The final chapter focuses on economic and environmental geology, emphasizing metallic deposits and industrial minerals, hydrocarbon energy resources, water supply, and modern seismic hazard. Finally a bibliography of around 4000 references provides a uniquely valuable information source. Encompassing subjects as diverse as the origin of Spanish granites, the palaeogeographic and tectonometamorphic history of the Iberian plate, human evolution in the SW Mediterranean, and modern volcanism and earthquake activity, The Geology of Spain is a key reference work suitable not only for libraries across the world, but of interest to all researchers, teachers and students of SW European geology.