Geological Magazine

Introduction

Introduction: from the British Tertiary into the future – modern perspectives on the British Palaeogene and North Atlantic Igneous provinces

DOUGAL A. JERRAMa1 c1, KATHRYN M. GOODENOUGHa2 and VALENTIN R. TROLLa3

a1 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK

a2 British Geological Survey, Murchison House, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3LA, UK

a3 Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villavägen 16, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden

The study of volcanic rocks and igneous centres has long been a classic part of geological research. Despite the lack of active volcanism, the British Isles have been a key centre for the study of igneous rocks ever since ancient lava flows and excavated igneous centres were recognized there in the 18th century (Hutton, 1788). This led to some of the earliest detailed studies of petrology. The starting point for many of these studies was the British Palaeogene Igneous Province (BPIP; formerly known as the ‘British Tertiary’ (Judd, 1889), and still recognized by this name by many geologists around the globe). This collection of lavas, volcanic centres and sill/dyke swarms covers much of the west of Scotland and the Antrim plateau of Northern Ireland, and together with similar rocks in the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland forms a world-class Large Igneous Province. This North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP) began to form through continental rifting above a mantle plume at c. 60 Ma, and subsequently evolved as North America separated from Europe, creating the North Atlantic Ocean.

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: D.A.Jerram@durham.ac.uk

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