Britain and Ireland have a remarkably varied geology for so small a fragment of continental crust, with a fine rock record back through three billion years of geological time. This history would have been interesting enough if it had been played out on relatively stable continental crust. However, Britain and Ireland have developed at a tectonic crossroads, on crust once traversed by subduction zones and volcanic arcs, continental rifts and mountain belts. The resulting complexity is instructive, fascinating and perplexing.
"Geological History of Britain and Ireland" tells the region's story at a level accessible to undergraduate geologists, as well as to postgraduates, professionals or informed amateurs. This second edition is fully revised and updated, reflecting our continually developing knowledge of the region's geology. Full coverage is again given to the rich Precambrian and Early Palaeozoic history, as well as to later events more relevant to hydrocarbon exploration. The book is an essential starting point for more detailed studies of the regional geology.
List of Contributors
Part 1 Introduction
1. Regional Geological History: Why and How?
2. Geological Framework of Britain and Ireland
Part 2 The Northern Margin of the Iapetus Ocean
3. Early Earth History and Development of the Archaean Crust
4. Proterozoic Sedimentation, Orogenesis and Magmatism on the Laurentian Craton (2500-750 Ma)
5. Middle Neoproterozoic (<750 Ma) to Early Ordovician Sedimentation along the Laurentian Margin of Iapetus
6. The Grampian Orogeny: Mid-Ordovician Arc-Continent Collision along the Laurentian Margin of Iapetus
7. Mid-Ordovician to Silurian Subduction and Collision: Closure of the Iapetus Ocean
Part 3 The Southern Margin of the Iapetus Ocean
8. Late Neoproterozoic to Cambrian Accretionary History of Eastern Avalonia and Armorica on the Active Margin of Gondwana
9. The Cambrian and Earliest Ordovician Quiescent Margin of Gondwana
10. Ordovician Volcanism and Sedimentation on Eastern Avalonia
11. Late Ordovician to Silurian Evolution of Eastern Avalonia during Iapetus Closure
Part 4 The End of the Iapetus Ocean
12. Early Devonian Sedimentary and Magmatic Interlude after Iapetus Closure
13. The Acadian Orogeny and its Mid-Late Devonian Depositional Aftermath
Part 5 The Variscan Cycle: Consolidation of Pangaea
14. Carboniferous Sedimentation and Volcanism on the Laurussian Margin
15. The Variscan Orogeny: the Welding of Pangaea
Part 6 Post-Variscan Intraplate Setting
16. Permian to Late Triassic Post-orogenic Collapse and Rifting, Arid Deserts, Evaporating Seas and Mass Extinctions
17. Triassic-Jurassic Boundary and Jurassic: Disintegrating Pangaea
18. Early Cretaceous: Rifting and Sedimentation before the Flood
19. Late Cretaceous to Early Paleogene Pelagic Deposits: Deposition on Greenhouse Earth
Part 7 The Thulean Plume and its Aftermath
20. Paleogene and Neogene Events: the North Atlantic Plume and Alpine Pulses
21. The Quaternary: History of an Ice Age
Nigel Woodcock teaches structural geology and sedimentology in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge. His published research of over 150 papers spans these two fields and regional tectonics, mostly resulting from field work on Palaeozoic rocks in England and Wales.
Rob Strachan teaches tectonics in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Portsmouth. His published research of over 140 papers mainly results from fieldwork on Precambrian and Lower Palaeozoic rocks in Scotland, Greenland and France.
Review of the previous edition:
"Has anything new come out of the geology of Britain and Ireland in the last 20 years since Roger Anderton and his co-authors published their masterly 'Dynamic Stratigraphy of the British Isles'? Do we need a new text book on this topic? Is this it? Yes. Yes. Yes."
- David Macdonald, Journal of Sedimentary Research
"This is an excellent book, with few vices and many virtues. It could form the basis of an excellent course in historical geology, and is outstanding value for impoverished undergraduates. If you are un-impoverished, buy it anyway and see what I mean about Britain and Ireland as a candidate type area for world geology."