The evolution of marine sedimentary basins deformed by the Hercynian Orogeny was studied in Germany, France, Iberia, Northwest Africa, and North America in the Lower Carboniferous. These basins opened along strike–slip faults and were filled with turbidites and shelf deposits until the main compressive phase at the end of Visean and the Namurian. The infilling was interrupted with frequent volcanic episodes and gravity-induced movements. According to sedimentary vergence, these basins were set into two festoons on both sides of an elongated and emergent swell structured during the Devonian and corresponding to the internal zones of the orogen. These basins were filled during a general tectonic compression phase; they correspond to the foreland basins of the Hercynian belt.

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