Ulf Linnemann on the Assembly of Central Europe in the Paleozoic
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The geological history of Central Europe is quite complicated.  The region is composed of several continental blocks having quite distinct origins that came together over 300 million years ago in the Paleozoic Era.  Then, in the Mesozoic, many of the original rocks were overlaid, and continued plate movements caused mountain belts to form.  In a previous Geology Bites podcast, Douwe van Hinsbergen explained how he used an analysis of the geological structure of mountain belts to reconstruct tectonic plate motions.  In this episode, we hear about a totally different approach to reconstructing plate motions and paleogeography, and see how it was able to reveal the plate motions that assembled central Europe.   Ulf Linnemann is the Head of the Geochronology Department at the Senckenberg Museum of Mineralogy and Geology in Dresden.  In his research he uses detrital zircon crystals, which are crystals that have survived the erosion of the magmatic rocks in which they formed, and that have been recycled into sedimentary rocks.  His team has determined the ages of large populations of detrital zircons as the basis for disentangling the events that led to the assembly of central Europe.
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