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Variscan Orogeny, The: Extent, Timescale and the Formation of the European Crust

Product Code: SP405
Series: GSL Special Publications - print copy
Author/Editor: Edited by K. Schulmann, J.R. Martínez Catalán, J.M. Lardeaux, V. Janousek and G. Oggiano
Publication Date: 23 July 2014
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Special Publication 405.

This volume summarizes the state of the art of Variscan geology from Iberia to the Bohemian Massif. The European Variscan belt consists of two orogens: the older, northern and the younger, southern. The northern Variscan realm was dominated by Late Devonian–Carboniferous rifting, subduction and collisional events as defined by sedimentary records, crustal growth, recycling of continental crust and large-scale deformations. In contrast, the southern European crust was reworked by major Late Carboniferous collision followed by Permian wrenching. The Late Carboniferous–Permian orogeny overprinted the previously accreted system in the north, but with much lower intensity, resulting in magmatic recycling and extensional tectonics.
These two main orogenic cycles do not reflect episodic evolution of a single orogenic system but a complete change in orientation of stress field, thermal regime, degree of reworking and recycling of European crust, reflecting a major switch in plate configurations at the Early–Late Carboniferous boundary.

Published online 23/06/2014. Print copy available from 23/07/2014.

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Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN:
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-658-6
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 406
Weight: 1.05 kg


SCHULMANN, K., MARTÍNEZ CATALÁN, J. R., LARDEAUX, J. M., JANOUŠEK, V. & OGGIANO, G. The Variscan orogeny: extent, timescale and the formation of the European crust

LARDEAUX, J. M., SCHULMANN, K., FAURE, M., JANOUŠEK, V., LEXA, O., SKRZYPEK, E., EDEL, J. B. & ŠTÍPSKÁ, P. The Moldanubian Zone in the French Massif Central, Vosges/Schwarzwald and Bohemian Massif revisited: differences and similarities

SKRZYPEK, E., SCHULMANN, K., TABAUD, A.-S. & EDEL, J.-B. Palaeozoic evolution of the Variscan Vosges Mountains

BALLÈVRE, M., MARTÍNEZ CATALÁN, J. R., LÓPEZ-CARMONA, A., PITRA, P., ABATI, J., FERNÁNDEZ, R. D., DUCASSOU, C., ARENAS, R., BOSSE, V., CASTIÑEIRAS, P., FERNÁNDEZ-SUÁREZ, J., GÓMEZ BARREIRO, J., PAQUETTE, J.-L., PEUCAT, J.-J., POUJOL, M., RUFFET, G. & SÁNCHEZ MARTÍNEZ, S. Correlation of the nappe stack in the Ibero-Armorican arc across the Bay of Biscay: a joint French–Spanish project

DIAS DA SILVA, Í., VALVERDE-VAQUERO, P., GONZÁLEZ-CLAVIJO, E., DÍEZ-MONTES, A. & MARTÍNEZ CATALÁN, J. R. Structural and stratigraphical significance of U–Pb ages from the Mora and Saldanha volcanic complexes (NE Portugal, Iberian Variscides)

DUCASSOU, C., POUJOL, M., RUFFET, G., BRUGUIER, O. & BALLÈVRE, M. Relief variation and erosion of the Variscan belt: detrital geochronology of the Palaeozoic sediments from the Mauges Unit (Armorican Massif, France)

ŽÁK, J., VERNER, K., JANOUŠEK, V., HOLUB, F. V., KACHLÍK, V., FINGER, F., HAJNÁ, J., TOMEK, F., VONDROVIC, L. & TRUBAČ, J. A plate-kinematic model for the assembly of the Bohemian Massif constrained by structural relationships around granitoid plutons

TABAUD, A.-S., WHITECHURCH, H., ROSSI, P., SCHULMANN, K., GUERROT, C. & COCHERIE, A. Devonian–Permian magmatic pulses in the northern Vosges Mountains (NE France): result of continuous subduction of the Rhenohercynian Ocean and Avalonian passive margin

MARTÍNEZ CATALÁN, J. R., RUBIO PASCUAL, F. J., MONTES, A. D., FERNÁNDEZ, R. D., BARREIRO, J. G., DIAS DA SILVA, Í., CLAVIJO, E. G., AYARZA, P. & ALCOCK, J. E. The late Variscan HT/LP metamorphic event in NW and Central Iberia: relationships to crustal thickening, extension, orocline development and crustal evolution

CARRERAS, J. & DRUGUET, E. Framing the tectonic regime of the NE Iberian Variscan segment

DENÈLE, Y., LAUMONIER, B., PAQUETTE, J.-L., OLIVIER, P., GLEIZES, G. & BARBEY, P. Timing of granite emplacement, crustal flow and gneiss dome formation in the Variscan segment of the Pyrenees

FAURE, M., COCHERIE, A., GACHÉ, J., ESNAULT, C., GUERROT, C., ROSSI, P., WEI, L. & QIULI, L. Middle Carboniferous intracontinental subduction in the Outer Zone of the Variscan Belt (Montagne Noire Axial Zone, French Massif Central): multimethod geochronological approach of polyphase metamorphism

SCHNEIDER, J., CORSINI, M., REVERSO-PEILA, A. & LARDEAUX, J.-M. Thermal and mechanical evolution of an orogenic wedge during Variscan collision: an example in the Maures–Tanneron Massif (SE France)

EDEL, J.-B., CASINI, L., OGGIANO, G., ROSSI, P. & SCHULMANN, K. Early Permian 90° clockwise rotation of the Maures–Estérel–Corsica–Sardinia block confirmed by new palaeomagnetic data and followed by a Triassic 60° clockwise rotation

SPALLA, M. I., ZANONI, D., MAROTTA, A. M., REBAY, G., RODA, M., ZUCALI, M. & GOSSO, G. The transition from Variscan collision to continental break-up in the Alps: insights from the comparison between natural data and numerical model predictions



Gordon Neighbour

Featured in Geoscientist Vol 25/10 Nov 2015

The papers are an excellent mix, helping us develop our understanding and showing how there was a major switch in plate configurations at the Early-Late Carboniferous boundary.

The papers have been arranged to reflect the evolution of the Variscan system in both space and time. In so doing they provide the readership with an insight into not only the similarities, but also the differences between the different orogenic events.

The volume is a valuable addition to the subject as it seeks to explain both major Variscan realms. …..this volume is a superb addition to the subject.

The quality of the binding is as one has come to expect from the Geological Society with the papers clearly set out in the double-column format typical of the publisher. There are a number of graphs, maps, sections and charts included with the papers and these have been produced very clearly. It is good to see that the publisher has reproduced many of these in colour as it does help with their interpretation.

The book makes an invaluable contribution to this area of study. With the mixture of papers presented it allows a comparison of several different models and gives a suitable starting point for wider in-depth studies.

I would recommend this book to anyone in the Earth sciences studying in this particular field. I think it should be made available to undergraduates studying the complexities of the development of the European crust and should definitely be found on the bookshelves of all university geoscience departments. The papers herein presented archive our knowledge and opinions on a complex subject at a specific point in time.

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