The opening and closure of the Palaeozoic oceans that lay between equatorial Laurentia and the southern polar Gondwana continue to fascinate geologists. The geological history of this region would have been simpler if there had only been one ocean between these two continents. As we now know, there was one other major continent (Baltica) and over a dozen microcontinents that complicated the intervening area. Most of these fragments were rifted off the Gondwanan margin and drifted northward to accrete with Laurentia. Baltica and the archipelago comprising the Rheno-Hercynian zone and Avalonia separated two oceanic branches. For a time, the research...

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