The Caledonian orogeny was a mountain building era which left its mark in the northern parts of the British Isles, the Scandinavian Mountains, Svalbard, eastern Greenland and parts of north-central Europe.
The events occurred from the Ordovician to early Devonian, roughly 490–390 million years ago (mya). It was caused by the closure of the Iapetus Ocean when the continents and lands of Laurentia, Baltica and Avalonia collided.
Part of the mountain chain ended up in modern North America, where it is called the Acadian orogeny.
Stages[change | change source]
The Caledonian orogeny was one of several orogenies that would eventually form the supercontinent Pangaea later in the Palaeozoic era. The main phase of the Caledonian orogeny happened from about 425 to 395 million years ago.
References[change | change source]
- Reconstruction based on Matte (2001); Stampfli et al. (2002); Torsvik et al. (1996) and Ziegler (1990)
- Cocks L.R.M. & Torsvik T.H. 2006. European geography in a global context from the Vendian to the end of the Palaeozoic. In Gee D.G. & Stephenson R.A. (eds) European lithosphere dynamics. Geological Society of London Memoirs 32, pp. 83–95.
- Jones K. & Blake S. 2003. Mountain building in Scotland. ISBN 0-7492-5847-0
- Torsvik, T.H. et al 1996. Continental break-up and collision in the Neoproterozoic and Palaeozoic – a tale of Baltica and Laurentia, Earth-Science Reviews 40, p. 229–258.