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The solid rock geology of Sweden comprises three principal components: (1) Proterozoic and (locally) Archean rocks belonging to the western part of the Fennoscandian Shield; (2) Phanerozoic and (locally) Neoproterozoic sedimentary cover rocks deposited on top of this ancient crust; and (3) the early to mid-Paleozoic (0.5–0.4 Ga) Caledonide orogen. Earlier compilations have applied different principles for the subdivision of the geology in the Fennoscandian Shield and the Caledonide orogen. A uniform lithotectonic framework has been developed here. Crustal segments affected by orogenesis have been identified and their ages determined by the youngest tectonothermal event. Four ancient mountain belts and six orogenies are preserved. Solid rocks outside the orogens have been assigned to different magmatic complexes or sedimentary successions based on their time of formation and tectonic affiliation. This approach allows relicts of older mountain-building activity to be preserved inside a younger orogen – for example, the effects of the Archean (2.8–2.6 Ga) orogeny inside the 2.0–1.8 Ga Svecokarelian orogen and Paleo–Mesoproterozoic (1.7–1.5 and 1.5–1.4 Ga) mountain-building processes inside the 1.1–0.9 Ga Sveconorwegian orogen. Sweden's five largest mineral districts are addressed in the context of this new lithotectonic framework, which forms the architecture to the contents of the chapters in this Memoir.

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