Intensive drilling activity, particularly in the United Kingdom part of the North Sea, has greatly increased our knowledge of the subsurface geology of north-west Europe. The Triassic, perhaps more than any other system, has provided results of a special interest. In this paper a stratigraphical study of the Triassic System of the southern North Sea basin has been undertaken by lithological and palynological analysis. The type Germanic Triassic and the dated Alpine Triassic are briefly reviewed. The facies development of the Germanic Triassic is traced by means of subsurface data from north-west Germany and the northern Netherlands into the North Sea. Further studies of the onshore Triassic of England from subsurface well data and surface outcrop sections are discussed. The results, particularly those from wells in the North Sea, provide a lead to the understanding of the position of the English Triassic of Keuper and Bunter within the framework of the Germanic Triassic.