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Geoscientist Online

The NE Atlantic Region: A Reappraisal of Crustal Structure, Tectonostratigraphy and Magmatic Evolution

NE Atlantic PeronThe scale, remoteness and challenging geology of the North-East Atlantic means that the majority of scientific work has been carried out in a patchwork fashion. Comparison to conjugate and adjourning margins was difficult due to the lack of a regional stratigraphic scheme and a homogenised database.

However, this is no longer the case thanks to the multinational, industry supported, Northeast Atlantic Geoscience TECtonostratigraphic Atlas (NAG-TEC) project. The project ran from 2008 to 2014, and involved 8 geological surveys and partner universities, with the aim of re-examining the evolution of the North-East Atlantic from the Devonian to the present day.  The outputs of the project are available in publication by The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), but this special publication contains 17 papers that outline the more scientific aspects of the NAG-TEC project.

The area of interest ranges from the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone to offshore Svalbard with a particular emphasis on conjugate margin studies and the insights that they provide for our understanding of North-East Atlantic evolution. The topics covered include stratigraphy, plate kinematics, geochronology, volcanism and crustal structure. A series of papers also cover interesting aspects that arose from the project.

The content is most relevant to those who work on the region due to a common database allowing the production of large-scale regional maps and correlation panels along and across the study area. The papers are well written but due to the nature of the project are ‘review-esque’ in their style with very little new data presented. Not that this detracts from their quality and usefulness. One paper that requires mention is the 57-page overview of the Upper Paleozoic-Mesozoic stratigraphy of the North-East Atlantic. The overview is one of the most comprehensive I have seen, but attempts to read it in one go are certainly not for the faint hearted!

This book will become a standard reference work for those working in the area, for the foreseeable future. So, should you buy this book? Well no, not unless you like physical printed books. Thanks to the Gold Open Access scheme, the entire publication is available to download for free from the Lyell Collection, so you can pick and choose the papers as you wish. This makes me wonder what the rationale of a printed volume is, but that is a topic for a different day.

Reviewed by Gavin Elliott

THE NE ATLANTIC REGION: A REAPPRAISAL OF CRUSTAL STRUCTURE, TECTONOSTRATIGRAPHY AND MAGMATIC EVOLUTION. By Péron-Pinvidic G, Hopper JR, Stoker MS, Gaina C, Doornenbal JC, Funck T & Árting UE (Eds) 2017. Published by: Geological Society of London SP 447, 468pp. hbk. ISBN: 978-1-78620-278-9. List Price: £120.00 Fellows’ Price: £60.00 W: