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Geoscientist Online

Tectonic Evolution of the Eastern Black Sea and Caucasus

TECTONIC EVOLUTION OF THE EASTERN BLACK SEA AND CAUCASUS sossonFollowing a brief introduction that provides an overview over the area, this book is divided into two parts; the ‘Caucasus’ domain and the ‘Black Sea’ domain. As a whole the compilation of 15 papers provide a good, balanced overview of recent studies covering an area from northern Turkey to Crimea in the west, to NW Iran and Armenia in the east.

Contributions come from both western and eastern European academia, as well as from the near East. No less than 8 oil companies have sponsored the book, showing the significant interest of the area to the oil industry. The editors have included a good overview figure, appropriately positioned as figure 1, to guide the reader to the spatial extents of the included papers.

The region is an extremely complex area. It incorporates a long-lived convergence zone between plates, a recently enclosed ocean, as wells as an orogen that is still actively building. The book starts with reviews of the plate tectonic evolution of the area. Given the large amount of on-going discussion on this topic, it may have been appropriate to include additional, alternative models side-by-side.

The papers cover very diverse fields, from outcrop studies with fault and sedimentological mapping, to palaeomagnetism and volcanic geochemistry. In addition, there are several papers that include recent industry and academic seismic reflection and refraction lines. These display the marine geology of the eastern Black Sea and Sea of Azov and are explained nicely together with tectono-stratigraphic diagrams. As such the book covers the geology from surface to the shallow mantle. Early discussion of the Neoproterozoic to Paleozoic basement and sediments is included, but the main focus is the time span from Jurassic to Recent.

In general, the book’s figures are of a high standard and easy to comprehend, albeit occasionally a bit too small for the amount of detail. I was particularly fond of the many field photographs that made me wish I had seen the outcrops myself! One paper even provides a free Google Earth file to aid future expeditions. Overall the book provides a good compilation of the tectonic geology of the area, is of high quality and is well worth the read for academics and as a key background reference for petroleum geoscientists.

Reviewed by Douwe van der Meer

TECTONIC EVOLUTION OF THE EASTERN BLACK SEA AND CAUCASUS, by M. SOSSON, R.A. STEPHENSON AND S.A. ADAMIA (Eds) 2017. Published by: Geological Society of London, SP 428, 368pp. hbk. ISBN978-1-86239-739-2. List Price: £120.00 Fellow's Price: £60.00. W: https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SP428