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Sweden: Lithotectonic Framework, Tectonic Evolution and Mineral Resources

Stephens_SwedenMy initial impression of this publication was formed upon its arrival. My postman said, “You’ll need both hands for this!”, and he wasn’t wrong! This is, in many ways, an impressive tome, which seems entirely appropriate considering the contents, which are comprised of roughly 79% of Swedish geological history. Needless to say, this is not a handy book for taking out into the field, but it would proudly grace any serious Earth scientist’s bookshelves.

The content is at least as heavy as the book itself. This is not a geological tourist guide, and does not pretend to be one. The editors have deliberately targeted a professional audience, with an aspiration to bring their unifying language for Swedish geology into more mainstream markets in the future. However, this is not ‘all work and no play’; the superb quality and quantity of maps, diagrams, photos and cross sections provide ample visual stimuli and much welcome distraction. 

The purpose of the book is partly to provide a unifying resource, bringing together the major geological components of pre-Quaternary Sweden. The editors note that previous works have described the distinct organic zones across the country using disparate foci: for instance, concentrating on tectonic contexts to the exclusion of early crystalline shield development. They describe terminology which has developed in a disjointed fashion as components have been described separately, and so this unifying publication seeks to bridge the gaps. They also highlight both the rich history of mineral exploitation and the richness of Sweden’s geological heritage. The ancient geological history of Northern Europe remains evident here, alongside geology unique to this area which has been removed by more recent orogenic events elsewhere.

The eight parts of the book forge a path from the most ancient and eastern Svecokarelian organic zone, travelling progressively up through the time scale as it moves around the map towards the Caledonian orogenic remnants of the north-west. The chapters detail discrete units within orogenic zones, describing contemporary magmatism, metamorphism, sedimentation and also reworking of ancient crust. The editors' new lithotectonic framework is reinforced repeatedly, connecting the lithological signatures with their associated tectonic events and highlighting in very good detail the mineralisation evident and the resulting resources in each area. 

SWEDEN: LITHOTECTONIC FRAMEWORK, TECTONIC EVOLUTION AND MINERAL RESOURCES edited by M.B. STEPHENS and J. BERGMAN WEIHED, 2020. Published by: The Geological Society London 631pp (hbk) ISBN: 9781786204608 List Price £140 W: