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A Revised Correlation of Tertiary Rocks in the British Isles and adjacent areas of NW Europe

yyjThe first edition of this publication issued in 1978 was just 72 pages long; this revision is 10 times longer. This is a reflection of the amount of research that has taken place on the Tertiary of the British Isles and adjacent areas in the last 40 years, the greatest change being in the exploration of the offshore basins.

The initial chapters place Tertiary sediments and igneous rocks in their respective settings and cover general stratigraphic issues. While the emphasis is on chrono- and biostratigraphy, non-biological correlation techniques are not neglected, with discussion of magnetostratigraphy, isotope stratigraphy and tephrostratigraphy. The various stratigraphic problems are discussed, in particular the difficulty of correlating non-marine, part-marine and fully marine sequences. Conflicting arguments are set out and possible solutions suggested.

It is the bulk of the book, however, that will undoubtedly interest most readers. It describes the lithostratigraphic successions and their correlation in 13 onshore and offshore continental shelf areas. There are inevitable variations in the level of lithostratigraphic detail provided simply because of differences in classifications applied in different countries and the fact that in some areas no formal classification is currently available. While some offshore data remain restricted due to commercial considerations, a synthesis of the available information is presented.

Furthermore, most valuably some of the author’s previously unpublished personal studies are incorporated in the text. Some readers might be disappointed by the limited discussion of sequence stratigraphy, which is only used as a key framework where there is general agreement on its validity. In many areas, much more research will be necessary to provide the data required to develop sequence stratigraphic schemes. Under these circumstances, this cautious approach seems reasonable.

While entitled a ‘revision’, this volume covers several geographical areas not covered in the original book. An immense amount of data is presented and analysed. In so doing, this book delivers a potent stimulus for new lines of research. This is not a volume that will be read from cover to cover, but one that will be a primary source of information for many years. It is an essential book for everyone interested in the Tertiary of northwest Europe and adjacent offshore areas.

The publication is a fitting memorial to Chris King and the editors must be congratulated for their hard work in bringing the work to fruition after Chris’s untimely death.

A REVISED CORRELATION OF TERTIARY ROCKS IN THE BRITISH ISLES AND ADJACENT AREAS OF NW EUROPE by KING, C, GALE A S AND BARRY T L. Geological Society Publishing House Special Report #27, 2016. ISBN 978-1-86239-728-6, sbk. 724pp.  List Price: £120.00. Fellows: £60.00. W: www.geolsoc.org.uk/SR027