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The Rheic Ocean is a persistent feature of Paleozoic palaeogeographies whose closure contributed to the development of the Variscan Orogen and the formation of Pangaea. Geological and geophysical data indicate repeated episodes of Paleozoic rifting and plate convergence around SW England and the adjacent offshore areas. SW England occupied a lower plate position during the Devonian–Carboniferous, on the northern passive margin of the short-lived Rhenohercynian Ocean that had formed near a recently closed segment of the Rheic Ocean. Variscan plate convergence resulted in the development of the composite southwards-dipping Rheic–Rhenohercynian suture zone by the latest Devonian and inversion of...

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