Carboniferous and Permian Igneous Rocks of Great Britain North of the Variscan Front
(2003)
GCR Volume No. 27
Stephenson, D., Loughlin, S.C., Millward, D., Waters, C.N. & Williamson, I.T.
This volume describes the volcanic rocks and associated intrusions that were emplaced during the Carboniferous and Permian periods 350 to 250 million years ago.

Summary

During Carboniferous and Permian times the geological basement of Great Britain was part of the supercontinent of Pangaea, which was drifting slowly northwards through tropical latitudes, sequentially developing semi-arid river flood-plains, shallow tropical seas with carbonate reefs, thickly vegetated coastal deltas with coal-forming swamps and finally, deserts. Stretching and thinning of the Earth's outer layers, well to the north of the nearest zone of continental collision, facilitated melting of the underlying mantle. Rifting provided weaknesses along which the resulting magmas could reach the surface or near-surface and volcanoes erupted across the wide range of geographical and climatic settings. Their products are dominantly basaltic but during the Early Carboniferous in central Scotland, the ascent of the magmas was interrupted locally, allowing a wide range of more-evolved compositions to form.
 
The resistant igneous rocks tend to dominate the landscapes of the surrounding lowland areas in which they occur, particularly in northern Britain where they form areas of higher moorland and distinctive craggy outcrops. Detailed site descriptions illustrate their variety and distribution and highlight critical localities of historical and continuing national and international importance. The descriptions are linked by chapter introductions that provide more complete discussions of the various suites in their full geological context and the magmatism is related to the overall tectonic history of NW Europe in an introductory chapter. The volume constitutes a comprehensive summary of a major province that has contributed greatly to our knowledge of igneous rocks and their origin since the earliest days of geological investigations.
 
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374 pages, illustrations, A4 hardback
ISBN 1 86107 497 2
 
Please cite as: Stephenson, D., Loughlin, S.C., Millward, D., Waters, C.N. & Williamson, I.T. (2003) Carboniferous and Permian Igneous Rocks of Great Britain North of the Variscan Front, Geological Conservation Review Series, No. 27, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough, 374 pp.