An overview of the Upper Palaeozoic-Mesozoic stratigraphy of the NE Atlantic region
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This study describes the distribution and stratigraphic range of the Upper Palaeozoic–Mesozoic succession in the NE Atlantic region, and is correlated between conjugate margins and along the axis of the NE Atlantic rift system. The stratigraphic framework has yielded important new constraints on the timing and nature of sedimentary basin development in the NE Atlantic, with implications for rifting and the break-up of the Pangaean supercontinent. From a regional perspective, the Permian–Triassic succession records a northwards transition from an arid interior to a passively subsiding, mixed carbonate–siliciclastic shelf margin. A Late Permian–earliest Triassic rift pulse has regional expression in the stratigraphic record. A fragmentary paralic to shallow-marine Lower Jurassic succession reflects Early Jurassic thermal subsidence and mild extensional tectonism; this was interrupted by widespread Mid-Jurassic uplift and erosion, and followed by an intense phase of Late Jurassic rifting in some (but not all) parts of the NE Atlantic region. The Cretaceous succession is dominated by thick basinal-marine deposits, which accumulated within and along a broad zone of extension and subsidence between Rockall and NE Greenland. There is no evidence for a substantive and continuous rift system along the proto-NE Atlantic until the Late Cretaceous.