ABSTRACT: Serious discrepancies exist in the correlation between North American, West European and East European chronostratigraphic classifications of the Pennsylvanian Subsystem. Asketch map (text-fig. 1) shows tectono-stratigraphic zones/areas in their paleogeographic relationship. The complexity of western Europe is noted with regard to eastern Europe and North America. Regional stratigraphic histories are discussed for revised correlations leading to modified charts as included in the present paper (text-figs. 2, 3). Reasons are given for lowering the base of the Moscovian in the Donbass to conform to Moscovian in its conceptual stratotype in the Moscow Syneclise. There may be an overlap between the upper Bashkirian in its South Urals (Gornaya Bashkiria) stratotype and the lower Moscovian in the Moscow Syneclise. It is also noted that American authors have assumed that a major extinction event coincides with the Desmoinesian-Missourian boundary in North America, where abrupt changes in paleontological composition have been recorded. No such 'extinction event', however, is apparent in NW Spain where a continuous stratigraphic succession from uppermost Westphalian to a full lower Stephanian representation shows only gradual changes in faunal and floral composition. An alternative explanation of the American record would be a stratigraphic gap at the Desmoinesian-Missourian boundary. This gap is regarded herein as widespread in North America as well as in northern Europe, where most of Stephanian time is unrepresented. A general interpretation of paleogeographic zones is proposed herein based on shared geological histories, which are briefly discussed. Paleogeographical areas are recognized as follows: (1) a large northern continental region (Laurasia) with epicratonic basins from the Moscow Basin in the east to the North American Midcontinent in the west; (2) the Paralic Coal Belt of northern Europe extending WNW into the Appalachian region in eastern North America; (3) a Mid-German Crystalline Rise which provoked the Variscan Orogeny; (4) the Saxothuringian Zone in central Europe with strike-slip controlled basins; (5) a Moldanubian Zone defined on criteria independent of the Pennsylvanian record; (6) the Massif Central of south-central France; (7) Montagne Noire and Pyrenees extending eastwards into the western and southern Alps; (8) Cantabrian Mountains at the western end of a Paleotethyan area, which is also represented in the Carnic Alps, the Donbass, and central Anatolia; (9) a West Iberian area characterized by terrane assembly by major strike-slip movements in Pennsylvanian times; and (10) South European areas including southeastern Iberian Peninsula, most of Morocco, SE France, Tuscany (Italy) and Corsica/Sardinia. Alternating marine and terrestrial deposits in the most nearly complete successions in the Cantabrian Mountains and the Donbass are the key to a fully integrated set of chronostratigraphic units of global validity within the context of a Pennsylvanian paleoequatorial belt.
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