The Upper Carboniferous ranks as one of the most significant parts of the geological column in Britain. This is a consequence of the economic importance of the coal, iron and clay contained within strata of this age - deposits that were central to Britain's rise as an industrial power in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The British Upper Carboniferous is also important for scientific reasons. The term 'Carboniferous' was first coined with reference to British geology and now, over a hundred and seventy years later, the IUGS Subcommission has returned to Britain, where rocks of this age are wonderfully exposed, in its search for Upper Carboniferous stratotypes.
For these reasons British sites are of prime importance in the study of Upper Carboniferous stratigraphy and over one hundred sites have been designated as SSSIs. This volume catalogues these sites, shows their historical and scientific importance, and indicates their significance to our understanding of the British Upper Carboniferous as a whole.
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