Caledonian Igneous Rocks of Great Britain
GCR Volume No. 17
Stephenson, D., Bevins, R.E., Millward, D., Highton, A.J., Parsons, I., Stone, P. & Wadsworth, W.J.
This volume describes the igneous rocks of Great Britain that were erupted, intruded or emplaced tectonically as a direct result of the Caledonian Orogeny, between 500 and 390 million years ago.



At the beginning of Ordovician time, the geological basements of Scotland and of England and Wales were parts of separate continents on opposite sides of a great ocean. As the tectonic plates bearing the continents converged, igneous rocks were generated on both sides of the contracting ocean as oceanic crust was subducted beneath island arcs and the continental margins. When the continents finally collided in Silurian time, the resulting crustal thickening and uplift was accompanied by major magma generation that continued until the end of Early Devonian time.


Many of the highest and most rugged mountains of mainland Britain are carved out of Caledonian igneous rocks, which also form prominent hills in lowland areas and impressive coastal cliffs. The detailed site descriptions illustrate the widespread and varied nature of the igneous activity and highlight critical localities of historical and continuing international importance. The descriptions are linked by chapter introductions that provide more complete discussions of the various suites in their full geological context and the magmatism is related to the overall tectonic history of the orogeny in an introductory chapter. The volume constitutes a comprehensive summary of a major province that has increased worldwide understanding of igneous rocks and their origin since the earliest days of geological investigations.


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648 pages, illustrations, A4 hardback
ISBN 1 86107 471 9
Please cite as: Stephenson, D., Bevins, R.E., Millward, D., Highton, A.J., Parsons, I., Stone, P. & Wadsworth, W.J. (1999) Caledonian Igneous Rocks of Great Britain, Geological Conservation Review Series, No. 17, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough, 648 pp.