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The Alps, with their outstanding outcrop conditions, represent a superb natural laboratory for many geological processes, and have played a crucial role in the history of geology. This book gives an up-to-date and holistic overview of the key aspects of Alpine geology. After a brief presentation of the plate tectonic framework, the rock suites are discussed, starting with the pre-Triassic crystalline basement, followed by Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary sequences. The lithological description of the rock types is supplemented by a discussion of their paleogeographic and plate tectonic contexts. The book goes on to describe the structure of the Alps (including the Jura Mountains and the Alpine foreland to the north and south) illustrated by numerous cross-sections. The evolution of the Alps as a mountain chain incorporates a discussion of the Alpine metamorphic history and a compilation of orogenic timetables. The final sections cover the evolution of Alpine drainage patterns and the region’s glacial history. Readership: The book is essential reading for students and lecturers on Alpine courses and excursions, and all earth-scientists interested in the geology of the region.
The Alps are an arched mountain chain stretching 1500 km between Vienna and Graz in Austria and Genova in Italy. They resulted from the collision of the African and Laurasian plates during Mesozoic and Tertiary times. The high standard of knowledge attained over the last 30 years by the working groups on "Alpine Metamorphism" is well known and helped considerably to recognize pre-Mesozoic elements in the Alps. In Part I of this book the subdivision of the major Alpine units and pre-Mesozoic pal inspastic reconstructions are covered before discussion of the pre-Mesozoic geology in Parts II, III and IV It is understood that the Mesozoic and later events overprinted pre-existing structures veiling the earlier history and the nature of protoliths. Although the Alpine overprint does not facilitate the recognition of older struc tures, pre-Mesozoic basement units were recognized during the first beginnings of geological observations in the Alps, about 200 years ago. Fifty percent of the Alpine domain is underlain by basement units that have been unconformably covered since Permian and Mesozoic times. This basement appears today in a complex pattern among the Alpine structures. The history of their discovery and explanation, parallel with a growing sophistication of research methods, are the subject of the introductory chapter of Part II.
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 24. Chapters: Glarus thrust, Flims, Iberian plate, Wetterstein limestone, Elm, Switzerland, Molasse basin, Penninic, Austroalpine nappes, Betic corridor, Alpine orogeny, Gotthard nappe, Helvetic, Ha eg Island, Sesia zone, Periadriatic Seam, Aarmassif, External massif, Valais Ocean, Piemont-Liguria Ocean, Apulian Plate, Helvetic nappes, Piz Dolf, Southern Alps, Giudic rie line, Ringelspitz, B ndner schist, Piz Segnas, Greywacke zone, Ivrea zone, Lepontin dome, Brian onnais zone, Infrahelvetic complex, Hohe Tauern window, Dent Blanche nappe, Zermatt-Saas zone, Rh ne-Simplon line, Penninic thrustfront, M rtschenstock. Excerpt: The Alps form a part of a Tertiary orogenic belt of mountain chains, called the Alpide belt, that stretches through southern Europe and Asia from the Atlantic all the way to the Himalayas. This belt of mountain chains was formed during the Alpine orogeny. A gap in these mountain chains in central Europe separates the Alps from the Carpathians to the east. Orogeny took place continuously and tectonic subsidence has produced the gaps in between. The Alps arose as a result of the collision of the African and European tectonic plates, in which the Alpine Tethys, which was formerly in between these continents, disappeared. Enormous stress was exerted on sediments of the Alpine Tethys basin and its Mesozoic and early Cenozoic strata were pushed against the stable Eurasian landmass by the northward-moving African landmass. Most of this occurred during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs. The pressure formed great recumbent folds, or nappes, that rose out of what had become the Alpine Tethys and pushed northward, often breaking and sliding one over the other to form gigantic thrust faults. Crystalline basement rocks, which are exposed in the higher central regions, are the rocks forming Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and hi...
Volume 2 provides an overview of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic evolution of Central Europe. This period commenced with the destruction of Pangaea and ended with the formation of the Alps and Carpathians and the subsequent Ice Ages. Separate summary chapters on the Permian to Cretaceous tectonics and the Alpine evolution are also included. The final chapter provides an overview of the fossils fuels, ore and industrial minerals in the region.
Volume 1 focuses on the evolution of Central Europe from the Precambrian to the Permian, a dynamic period which traces the formation of Central Europe from a series of microcontinents that separated from Gondwana through to the creation of Pangaea. Separate summary chapters on the Cadomian, Caledonian and Variscan orogenic events as well as on Palaeozoic magmatism provide an overview of the tectonic and magmatic evolution of the region. These descriptions sometimes extend beyond the borders of Central Europe to take in the Scottish and Irish Caledonides as well as the Palaeozoic successions in the Baltic region
Murchison's authoritative study of 1849 which transformed contemporary understanding of European geology.

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