GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 49, 6, BRATISLAVA, DECEMBER 1998
THE WESTERN CARPATHIAN FOREDEEP DEVELOPMENT
OF THE FORELAND BASIN IN FRONT OF THE ACCRETIONARY
WEDGE AND ITS BURIAL HISTORY (POLAND)
Jagiellonian University, Institute of Geological Sciences, Oleandry 2a, 30-063 Kraków, Poland
(Manuscript received June 9, 1998; accepted in revised form November 3, 1998)
Abstract: The Early to Middle Miocene Carpathian Foredeep in Poland (PCF) developed as a peripheral foreland
basin related to the moving Carpathian front. The subsidence of the basin was controlled both by the sediment and
thrust-induced load. The main episodes of intensive subsidence in the PCF correspond to the period of progressive
emplacement of the Western Carpathians onto the foreland plate, with exception of the dormant Carpathian frontal
thrust during the Middle Badenian salinary event when a low subsidence or uplift took place. The important driving
force of tectonic subsidence was the emplacement of the nappe load related to the subduction roll-back. During that
time the loading effect of the thickening of the Carpathian accretionary wedge on the foreland plate increased and was
followed by progressive acceleration of total subsidence. The mean rate of the Carpathian overthrusting, and north to
north-east migration of the axis of depocentres reached 12 mm/a at that time. During the Late Badenian-Sarmatian
time the rate of advance of the Carpathian accretionary wedge was lower than that of pinch-out migration and, as a
result, the basin widened. The Miocene convergence of the Carpathian wedge resulted in the migration of depocenters
and onlap of the successively younger deposits onto the foreland plate.
Key words: Miocene, Paratethys, Outer Carpathians, Carpathian Foredeep, lithostratigraphy, overthrusting, backstripping,
subsidence, basin evolution.
The Western Outer Carpathians were folded and thrust during
the EarlyMiddle Miocene, when the oceanic or thinned
continental crust of the Outer Carpathian flysch basin was sub-
ducted below the Central and Inner Carpathians (Alcapa and
Tisza-Dacia microplates). The Early to Middle Miocene sub-
duction was accompanied by the northeastward directed es-
cape of the Alcapa microplate, and post-Middle Badenian
eastward escape of Tisza-Dacia. At the front of the moving
crustal fragments overthrusting of the Outer Carpathians and
formation of the flexural foreland basin took place (Csontos et
al. 1992; Meulenkamp et al. 1996; Oszczypko 1997; Kováè et
al. in press). In the Polish part of the Outer Western
Carpathians the relationship between the folded and thrust
flysch deposits and the Miocene autochthonous molasse
deposits has been very well recognized from deep boreholes in
the belt 3040 km wide (see Wdowiarz 1976; Oszczypko &
Toma 1985; Oszczypko & l¹czka 1989; ¯ytko et al. 1989).
There is a lot of evidence that overthrusting of the Western
Carpathians onto the foreland plate was progressive (see
Jurkova 1979; Oszczypko & Toma 1985) and could be
palinspastically restored (Oszczypko & l¹czka 1985, 1989;
Oszczypko 1996; Kováè et al. 1989, in press; Tari et al. 1997).
The aim of this work is to describe the temporal and spatial
relation between the subsidence within the foredeep basin and
overthrusting of the orogenic wedge in the Polish segment of
the Western Carpathians.
Since the fundamental paper of Price (1973), the
development of the foreland basins has been regarded as a
result of lithosphere flexure caused by the loading effect of the
growing thrust belt. Although, the first modelling studies con-
firmed this concept (Beaumont 1981), later studies (e.g. in the
Carpathians and Appenines) revealed that the topographic
load is not always sufficient to explain the observed deflection
of the foreland plate (see Royden & Karner 1984) and it must
be connected with the deep subcrustal load of the downgoing
plate (Krzywiec & Jochym 1997).
The Polish Carpathians are a part of the great arc of moun-
tains, which stretches for more than 1300 km from the Vienna
Forest to the Iron Gate on the Danube (Fig. 1A). In the west,
the Carpathians are linked with the Eastern Alps and, in the
east they pass into the Balkan chain. Traditionally, the Western
Carpathians have always been subdivided into two distinct
ranges. The Inner Carpathians are considered the older range
and the Outer Carpathians the younger one (Fig. 1B). Between
the Inner and Outer Carpathians the Pieniny Klippen Belt
(PKB) is situated. It is Tertiary strike-slip boundary, consinst-
ing of a strongly tectonized terrain about 800 km long and 1
20 km wide (Birkenmajer 1986). The Outer Carpathians con-
sist of stacked nappes and thrust-sheets which reveal different
lithostratigraphy and structure (Figs. 1B, 2). The Outer Car-
pathians are composed of Late Jurassic to Early Miocene
mainly turbidite (flysch) deposits, completely uprooted from
their basement. The largest and innermost unit of the Outer
Carpathians is the Magura Nappe a Late Oligocene/Early
Miocene accretionary wedge. The Magura Nappe is horizon-
tally overthrust onto the Moldavides (Sãndulescu 1988) an
Early/Middle Miocene accretionary wedge, which consists of
several nappes: the Fore-Magura-Dukla group, Silesian, sub-
Silesian, Skole and Boryslav-Pokuty units. In the Outer Car-
pathians the main decollement surfaces are located at different
stratigraphic levels. The Magura Nappe was uprooted from its
substratum at the base of the Turonian-Senonian variegated
shales (Oszczypko 1992), whereas the main decollement sur-
faces of the Moldavides are located in the Lower Cretaceous
black shales. All the Outer Carpathian nappes are horizontally
overthrust onto the Miocene deposits of the Carpathian Fore-
deep (see Oszczypko & Toma 1985; ¯ytko et al. 1989). How-
ever, along the frontal Carpathian thrust a narrow zone of fold-
ed Miocene deposits developed [Stebnik (Sambor-Rozniatov)
and Zg³obice units (Figs. 1B, 3)]. The detachment levels of the
folded Miocene units are connected with the Lower and Mid-
dle Miocene evaporites.
The basement of the Carpathian Foredeep represents the
epi-Variscan platform and its cover (Oszczypko et al. 1989).
The depth to the platform basement, recognized from
boreholes, changes from a few hundred metres in the marginal
part of the foredeep up to more than 7000 m beneath the
Carpathians (Figs. 1B, 2, 3). The magneto-telluric soundings
in the Polish Carpathians have revealed a high resistivity
horizon, which is connected with the top of the consolidated-
crystalline basement (Ry³ko & Toma 1995; ¯ytko 1997). The
depth of the top of the magneto-telluric basement reaches
about 35 km in the northern part of the Carpathians, drops to
approximately 1520 km at its deepest point and then peaks at
810 km in the southern part. The axis of the magneto-telluric
low coincides, more or less, with the axis of gravimetric mini-
mum. South of the gravimetric minimum and, more or less
parallel to the PKB, the zone of zero values related to the
Wiese vectors, was recognized by geomagnetic soundings
(Jankowski et al. 1982). This zone is connected with a high
conductivity body occurring at the depth of 1025 km and is
located at the boundary between the North European Plate and
the Central West Carpathian Block (¯ytko 1997). In the Polish
Carpathians, the depth to the crust-mantle boundary ranges
from 3740 km at the front of the Carpathians and increases to
54 km towards the south and then, peaks along the PKB at 36
38 km (Aizberg et al. 1997).
Miocene deposits of the Carpathian Foredeep
Miocene deposits have been discovered both in the Outer
Carpathians and in the Carpathian Foredeep. In the Outer
Carpathians the Lower Miocene deposits were incorporated
into the Moldavides accretionary wedge (Eggenburgian-Ott-
nangian, NN 23 zones). These deposits represent the young-
est part of the flysch sequence.
The Polish Carpathian Foredeep (PCF) can be subdivided
into two parts: outer and inner (Oszczypko 1982, 1997). The
width of the outer foredeep (outside the Carpathians) varies
between 3040 km in the western segment and up to 90 km
in the eastern part (Fig. 1B). The outer foredeep is filled up
Fig. 1. APosition of the Polish Carpathian Foredeep in the Carpathian-Pannonian region. BSketch-map of the Polish Carpathians and
their foredeep (after Oszczypko 1997, supplemented); 1 crystalline core of Tatra Mts., 2 high and sub-Tatra units, 3 Podhale Flysch,
4 Pieniny Klippen Belt, 5 Outer Carpathians, 6 Stebnik Unit, 7 Miocene deposits upon Carpathians, 8 Zg³obice Unit, 9
Miocene of the foredeep, 10 Mesozoic and Paleozoic foreland deposits, 11 andesites, 12 northern extent of Lower Miocene, 13
axis of subsidence (EM Early Miocene, EB Early Badenian, LB Late Badenian, S Sarmatian), 14 isobath of Miocene substra-
tum, 15 selected boreholes, 16 boreholes on the cross-section, 17 geological cross-section, 18 subsidence cross-section, 19
THE WESTERN CARPATHIAN FOREDEEP DEVELOPMENT OF FORELAND BASIN 417
with Middle Miocene (Badenian and Sarmatian) marine de-
posits, which range from a few hundred metres in thickness
in the northern-marginal part up to 3500 m in the south-east-
ern part. The inner foredeep, located beneath the Carpathian
nappes, is more than 50 km wide (Figs.1B, 2, see also Oszc-
zypko & l¹czka 1989) and is composed of Lower to Middle
Miocene autochthonous deposits. Although these deposits
were tectonically eroded by the Carpathian nappes, their pre-
served thickness is up to 1500 m. The Lower Miocene strata
are mainly terrestrial in origin, whereas the Badenian and
Sarmatian ones are marine.
The oldest autochthonous Lower Miocene strata, up to
1000 m thick, have been drilled by the Zawoja-1 borehole
(Moryc1989; Po³towicz 1995). The lowermost portion of this
sequence, 159 m thick, known as the Zawoja Fm. has
recently been regarded as autochthonous Paleogene deposits
(Oszczypko 1997), similar to those described from Southern
Moravia (Picha 1979, 1996). The Zawoja Fm. is covered by a
260 to 370 m thick flysch-derived olistoplaque, referred to the
Sucha Fm., and known from the: Sucha IG 1, Zawoja 1 and
Lachowice 1, 2 boreholes (Figs. 1B, 2, 4; see also l¹czka
1977; Moryc 1989; Baran et al. 1997). In the Sucha IG 1
borehole this formation is composed of a few separate flysch
olistoliths of varying age (Paleocene to Lower Cretaceous),
showing connections with the Silesian and sub-Silesian suc-
cessions (l¹czka 1977). In the Zawoja 1 borehole, the olis-
tostrome formation is represented by a uniform sequence of
dark, calcareous-free shales with rare intercalations of thin-
bedded, very fine-grained sandstones. These deposists cor-
respond to the Veøovice Shales and Lgota Formation of the
sub-SilesianSilesian units and the Spas Shales of the Skole
Unit. The age of the black deposits from the Zawoja 1
borehole has been determined by the Dinoflagellata studies as
the Aptian-Late Albian (Gedl 1997). In the Sucha-Zawoja area
the age of the flysch olistoplaque development could be esti-
mated as Ottnangian-Karpatian? (Garecka et al. 1996). This
formation is overlapped by the Stryszawa Formation that
reaches the thickness of 360566 m (Fig. 4, see also l¹czka
1977; Moryc 1989). These deposits are composed of coarse to
medium-grained, polimictic conglomerates with carbonate and
locally gypsum-anhydrite cement. The thickness of these con-
glomerates varies from 140 m (Sucha IG 1) to 229 m (La-
chowice 2), rising up to 650 m in borehole lemieñ 1 (Baran et
al. 1997). The material was derived both from the crystalline
and Paleozoic basement of the Carpathian Foredeep, as well as
from the front of the Carpathian nappes (see Moryc 1989).
These conglomerates show features of alluvial deposits, pass-
ing upwards into variegated, conglomeratic-sandy-mudstone
strata (Oszczypko 1997). The upper part of the Stryszawa For-
mation (Bielsko Mb. according to Moryc 1989) is 210 to
240 m thick. This part of the formation was probably deposit-
ed as an alluvial fan. The Stryszawa Fm. contains relatively
frequent recycled flysch microfauna of the Lower Cretaceous
Oligocene age, showing a connection with the sediments of
the sub-Silesian development (E. Malata pers. comm. 1997).
In the Sucha IG-1 borehole (Strzêpka 1981; Garecka et al.
1996), the Lower Miocene (Ottnangian-Karpatian?) microfau-
na has been found in the sporadic samples. Recently, M. Gon-
era (pers. comm. 1997) has found in the borehole Zawoja-1
(depth 42714278 m) an assemblage which allows us to as-
sume that its age is EggenburgianOttnangian (N 5-N 6). This
microfauna is representative for the middle-upper bathyal
depths. There is a contradiction between the sedimentary
record of the Stryszawa Fm., which reveals both shallow-wa-
ter and/or terrestrial origin, and a deep-water character of mi-
crofauna. This suggests that the above-mentioned microfauna
Fig. 2. Geological cross-section AB (Andrychów-Chy¿ne, location see Fig. 1) through Polish Outer Carpathians (after Oszczypko 1997,
supplemented); 1 crystalline basement, 2 Paleozoic, 3 Paleogene, 4 Outer Carpathians, 5 Pieniny Klippen Belt, 6 Inner Car-
pathian units, 7 Podhale Flysch, 8 Lower Miocene, 9 Badenian, 10 Upper Miocene. Abreviations: FP Podhale Flysch, IC In-
ner Carpathians, PKB Pieniny Klippen Belt, M Magura, G Grybow, O Obidowa-Slopnice, S Silesian, SS sub-Silesian units.
was also recycled from the youngest (Lower Miocene) flysch
strata?. Karpatian calcareous nannoplankton (NN 4 zone) has
also been reported from the Stryszawa Fm. (Garecka et al.
1996). In the Bielsko-Cieszyn area, green-grey mudstones
with intercalations of conglomerates occur (Bielsko and ? Ze-
brzydowice formations, see Bu³a & Jura 1983). These could
be interpreted as a marine equivalent of the Stryszawa Fm.
(see Garecka et al. 1996; Oszczypko 1997).
The Middle Miocene began with the extensive Early Bade-
nian marine transgression which flooded both the foredeep
and the marginal part of the Carpathians. In the foredeep, the
strata rest directly on the platform basement with
the exception of the SE part of the inner foredeep, where
they cover Lower Miocene deposits. Usually the Lower
Badenian (Ney 1968; Ney et al. 1974) begins with a thin
layer of conglomerates, however, in the western part of the
Fig. 3. Geological cross-section through marginal part of Polish Outer Carpathians (Olszyny-Tarnów, location see Fig. 1).Flysch Car-
pathians: 1 Oligocene, 2 Eocene, 3 Senonian-Paleocene, 4 Cenomanian-Senonian, 5 Lower Cretaceous; Carpathian
Foredeep (Badenian): 6 Grabowiec Beds, 7 Chodenice Beds, 8 evaporites, 9 Baranów Beds; Platform basement: 10 Tu-
ronian-Senonian, 11 Upper Jurassic, 12 Lower Triassic, 13 Lower Carboniferous, 14 boreholes.
Fig. 4. Lithostratigraphic model of the Miocene deposits of the Polish Carpathian Foredeep (after Oszczypko 1997, supplemented); chronos-
tratigraphy of the Central Paratethys after Steininger et al. (1990) and Rögl (1976), global see level oscilation after Haq et al. (1987). Lithol-
ogy: 1 pebbly mudstones, 2 conglomerates, 3 sandstones, 4 siltstones & mudstones, 5 limestones, 6 gypsum & anhydrites,
7 salts, 8 tuffites, 9 Outer Carpathians and flysch-derived olisthostroma, 10 folded Miocene deposits. Lithostratigraphic units:
1 Sucha Fm., 2 Stryszawa Fm., 3 Zamarski Mb. of Zebrzydowice Fm., 4 Dêbowiec Cgl., 5 Skawina Fm. and Baranów Bds.,
6 Wieliczka Fm., 7 Krzy¿anowice Fm., 8 Chodenice Bds., 9 Grabowiec and Krakowiec Bds., 10 Bogucice Ss., 11 Nock-
owa Bds. and Bela Fm.; Ot Ottnangian; K Karpatian; EB Early Badenian; LB Late Badenian; S Sarmatian; Pa Pannonian.
The Badenian deposits in the outer part of the Polish Carpathian Foredeep are traditionally subdivided into Lower Badenian (sub-evapor-
ite), Middle Badenian (evaporite), and Upper Badenian (supra-evaporite) beds. These subdivisions are in contradiction to recent nanno-
plankton and isotope investigations (see Fig. 4).
THE WESTERN CARPATHIAN FOREDEEP DEVELOPMENT OF FORELAND BASIN 419
foredeep they attain a thickness of up to 100 m. The con-
glomerates pass upwards into dark, clayey-sandy sediments
(Skawina Fm.). The thickness of the Lower Badenian de-
posits is variable, reaching up to 1000 m in the western inner
foredeep, whereas in the remaining parts of the foredeep it
rarely exceeds 3040 m (see Ney et al. 1974). The sedimen-
tation of the Skawina Fm. began in the inner foredeep with
the Praeorbulina glomerosa Zone (N 8), but in the outer
fordeep with the Orbulina suturalis (N 9 or N 10) Zone
(Garecka et al. 1996; see also Oszczypko 1997). According
to the nannoplankton studies, this formation belongs to the
NN 5 zone, and in its uppermost part to the NN 6 zone (An-
dreyeva-Grigorovich 1994; see also Garecka et al. 1996).
The radiometric age of a tuffite from the uppermost part of
the Skawina Fm. in the Wieliczka Salt Mine (WT-1, see
Bukowski & Szaran 1997) has been determined as 12.5±0.9
Ma BP (M. Bana & K. Bukowski, pers. com. 1997). The
evaporitic horizon, traditionally regarded as Middle Bade-
nian in age, either overlies these deposits or rests directly
upon the platform basement. This horizon consists of rock
salts, claystones, anhydrites, gypsum and marls (Figs. 4, 6).
Between Wieliczka and Tarnów the thickness of salts attains
70110 m (Garlicki 1968; Bukowski & Szaran 1997) and de-
creases towards the east to a few dozen metres, whereas the
thickness of gypsum and anhydrites commonly varies be-
tween 10 and 30 m. According to nannoplakton investiga-
tions (Gadzicka 1994; Peryt & Peryt 1994; Peryt et al.
1997, 1998), the age of the evaporitic horizon could be esti-
mated as the NN 6/7 zone. The evaporatic horizon passes up-
wards into the Upper Badenian-Sarmatian (NN 8/9 zone, see
Gadzicka 1994) sandy-silty deposits with a thick sandstone
complex at the base. Their thickness ranges from a few hun-
dred metres in the Tarnów area up to 3000 meters near Prze-
myl. In the Rzeszów area these deposits rest directly on the
platform basement. In the Ukrainian part of the foredeep the
thickness of the Upper Badenian-Sarmatian deposits reaches
up to 5000 m (see Andreyeva-Grigorovich et al. 1997). In
the Kraków-Bochnia region at the top of the evaporitic hori-
zon, silty-sandy deposits (Chodenice Beds) with a few inter-
calations of tuffites occur. The radiometric age of these
tufites is around 12 Ma BP (Figs. 4, 6, see also Van Couver-
ing et al. 1981).
The development of the folded Miocene units (Figs. 1, 3)
in the Polish Carpathian Foredeep was strongly controlled by
both the slope of the Carpathian overthrust surface and the
depth of the platform basement (Oszczypko & Toma 1985).
The Stebnik (Sambor-Rozniatov) Unit has been recognized
at the front of the Skole Nappe SE of Przemyl, as well as
beneath this nappe (Ney 1968). The Stebnik Unit is com-
posed of both Early (up to 2200 m thick, Ney 1968) and Mid-
dle Miocene, up to Sarmatian strata (Andreyeva-Grigorovich
et al. 1997; Garecka & Olszewska 1997). In the Ukrainian
Carpathians, folded Early Miocene molasses are known from
the Boryslav-Pokuty as well as the Sambor-Rozniatov units
(Andreyeva-Grigorovich et al. 1997). These deposits belong
to the Stebnik and Balich formations. The Stebnik Fm., up to
3000 m thick, is composed of variegated clays with interca-
lations of sandstones and gypsum lenses. The formation con-
tains Ottnangian, probably recycled foraminifers (see
Stryszawa Fm.) and, Karpatian nannoplankton (Andreyeva-
Grigorovich et al. 1997). The Stebnik Formation is overlain
by the Balich Fm., up to 600 m thick and is represented by
Fig. 5. Palinspastic sketch-map of the Polish Carpathians during the
Karpatian (K), Early Badenian (EB), Late Badenian (LB) and after
Late Sarmatian (S) (after Oszczypko 1997, supplemented); CSPR
Cieszyn-Slavkov Paleo-ridge, RPR Rzeszów Paleo-ridge.
Fig. 6. Paleobathymetry (Gonera pers. inf., 1997) and sea level
fluctuation (Haq et al. 1987) of the sedimentary record in K³aj I
borehole (for location see Fig. 1).
grey and green-grey limy clays with intercalations of sands
and sandstones. In the lower part of the formation, the interca-
lations of pink clays and argillites are observed. The nanno-
plakton studies determine the age of the formation as Karpa-
tian (NN 4 zone), but in some localities the Early Badenian
species Preorbulina glomerosa and Orbulina universa have
been discovered (see Andreyeva-Grigorovich et al. 1995,
1997; see also Garecka & Olszewska 1997). The Balich Fm. is
overlain by the Badenian and Sarmatian strata. The Stebnik
Fm. could be compared with the Stryszawa Fm., whereas Ba-
lich Fm. is probably an equivalent of the Bielsko and partly of
the Skawina formations (Oszczypko 1997).
Between Przemyl and Kraków, along the Carpathian frontal
thrust, a narrow zone (up to 10 km) of folded Badenian and Sar-
matian deposits (Zg³obice Unit, see Kotlarczyk 1985) occur
(Figs. 1B, 3). The Badenian and Sarmatian strata are also pre-
served as erosional outliers in the Polish Outer Carpathians. The
southernmost occurrence of the Upper Badenian/Sarmatian
marine sediments is known from the Nowy S¹cz Basin (Oszc-
zypko et al. 1992). In the Cieszyn-Wadowice area, the Lower
and Upper Badenian? deposits are incorporated into the sub-
Silesian and Silesian units (Fig. 2). The Zawoja 1 borehole
reached the parautochthonous Lower Badenian? deposits be-
neath the Magura Nappe (Moryc 1989; Baran et al. 1997).
Multistage overthrusting of the Carpathian wedge
In the Polish segment, the relationship between the Outer
Carpathian accretionary wedge and the Miocene molasse depos-
its has been very well recognised from deep boreholes as far as
3040 km from the present-day Carpathian frontal thrust (see
Wdowiarz 1976; Oszczypko & Toma 1985; ¯ytko et al. 1989).
The surface of overthrust is of regular shape and rather gently
inclined. In the Western Carpathians there is abundant evidence
that the overthrust of the Carpathians onto the foreland plate
was progressive (see Jurkova 1979; Oszczypko & Toma 1985;
Oszczypko & l¹czka 1985, 1989; Oszczypko 1996; Kováè et
Fig. 7. Backstripped subsidence cross-sections IIII (after Oszczypko 1997, supplemented): Ts total subsidence, Tc tectonic
subsidence, PnS postnappe subsidence, LM Lower Miocene, LB Lower Badenian, UB Upper Badenian, S
BORZETA IG 1
KAZIMIERZA WLK. 12
Subsidence cross-section II - II
Subsidence cross-section I - I
WOLA RANIZOWSKA 2
JAMNICA M 83
Subsidence cross-section III - III
THE WESTERN CARPATHIAN FOREDEEP DEVELOPMENT OF FORELAND BASIN 421
al. 1989, in press). In the Polish Carpathians it is documented by
the occurrence of the flysch-derived olistostromes in the autoch-
thonous and parautochthonous Miocene strata of different ages
and by the relation of the Upper Badenian autochthonous de-
posits to blind faults (Krzywiec 1997).
According to my estimation, the multistage overthrusting
of the Polish Outer Carpathians took place during the follow-
ing periods (Fig. 15): 1) before deposition of the Stryszawa
Fm. (after the Ottnangian and before the Karpatian); 2) before
the Early Badenian (the mean rate of these overthrustings
could be estimated as 20 and 26 mm/a for the western and
eastern parts of Polish Carpathian Foredeep respectively), 3)
during the Late Badenian (mean rate of overthrusting 9.5 and
7.5 mm/a); 4) after the Sarmatian (rate of overthrusting
14.5 mm/a). The mean rate of the Carpathian frontal thrusting
after the Karpatian could be estimated as 12 mm/a (see Oszc-
zypko 1996). This value is comparable to the results of Roca
et al. (1995) who have concluded that between the Middle Oli-
gocene and Sarmatian times the mean rate of the Carpathian
convergence reached 1114 mm/a.
Fig. 8. Backstripped subsidence cross-section IVVI (after Oszczypko 1997, supplemented). For explanation see Fig. 7.
Subsidence cross-section VI - VI
Subsidence cross-section V- V
CISOWA IG 1
DROHOBYCZKA 1 JODLÓWKA 2 PRÓCHNIK 7 PRÓCHNIK 16
WOLA RYSZKOWA 2 DZIKÓW STARY 1
BIALOBRZEGI 1 ZOLYNIA 2 LEZAJSK 7
Subsidence cross-section IV - IV
The above mentioned rates of overthrusting of the Polish Out-
er Carpathians reflect oblique-northward convergence between
the North European Plate and the Alcapa microplate, and are
probably smaller than the rates related to the NE escape of the
Alcapa block. If we considered that the unpublished Oszczypko
and l¹czka palinspastic map of the Late Oligocene (in Csontos
et al. 1992; see also Meulenkamp et al. 1996; Tari et al. 1997),
which suggested 400 km of NE, post- Oligocene and prior to the
Late Badenian motion of the Pieniny Klippen Belt, the rate of
the Outer Carpathian overthrusting would reach about 4050
mm/a. According to Meulenkamp et al. (1996) this motion of
PKB corresponds to the 1160 km eastward lateral migration of
the depocenters in the Carpathian Foredeep and to the 200 km
post-Ottnangian displacement of the Alcapa Superunit relative
to the Tisza-Dacia microplate.
Burial history of the Polish Carpathian Foredeep
In this contribution the burial history of the Polish Car-
pathian Foredeep (see also Oszczypko 1995, 1996, 1997) has
been constructed on the basis of selected 40 wells, grouped
in six sections, more or less perpendicular to the front of the
Carpathians (Figs. 1B, 78). For computation purposes the
numeric stratigraphy has been applied (Fig. 4). Taking into
account that the new nannoplankton and radiometric data
from the Badenian and Sarmatian deposits of the Polish Car-
pathian Foredeep do not correspond to the traditonal Para-
tethys scheme (see Steininger et al. 1988), the numerical
stratigraphy was constructed for the purpose of this study
(Fig. 4). It has been achieved by correlation of local stratigra-
phy with nannoplankton calibration (Gadzicka 1994; Peryt
Fig. 9. Backstripped burial diagrams of the selected boreholes from the western part of PCF. The boreholes Zawoja1, Sucha IG1 and
Jachówka1 with correction of the upper portion of the Middle Miocene deposits eroded by the the Carpathian overthrust, and without
the post-nappe subsidence.
THE WESTERN CARPATHIAN FOREDEEP DEVELOPMENT OF FORELAND BASIN 423
Fig. 10. Backstripped burial diagrams of the selected boreholes
from the eastern part of PCF.
& Peryt 1994; Peryt et al. 1997, Andreyeva-Grigorovich et
al. 1995, 1997; Garecka et al. 1996) and rare radiometric data
(Van Couvering et al. 1981; M. Bana & K. Bukowski, pers.
comm., 1997). Global (Berggren et al. 1995), regional (Cen-
tral Paratethys) correlations (Steininger et al. 1990; Rögl
1996) and sea level chronology (Haq et al. 1987) have also
been considered. According to the proposed numerical
stratigraphy, the Badenian deposits of the Polish Carpatian
Foredeep belong to the upper part of NN 4, NN 5, and NN6
zones, and represent the time span 16.411.8 Ma BP. The nu-
merical age of the Lower Badenian in the inner western
PCF has been accepted as 16.413.0 Ma BP. For the tradi-
tional subdivisions of the outer PCF, that is Lower Bade-
nian-sub-evaporite, Middle Badenian-evaporite and Up-
per Badenian-supra-evaporite the following numerical ages
have been accepted: 15.013.0, 13.012.5 and 12.511.8 Ma
BP respectively. The youngest deposits of the PCF belong to
the Sarmatian (NN 7 and N8/9? zones) and probably repre-
sent the time interval 11.810.5 Ma BP.
The procedure of Van Hinte (1978), Sclater & Christie
(1980), Angevine et al. (1990), and Allen & Allen (1992)
has been used for computation of subsidence curves (see also
Oszczypko 1995, 1997). The final diagrams have been pro-
duced using the PC program SUBSIDE (Hsui 1993). The
program plots the decompacted depth versus time for the
stratigraphic units, tectonic subsidence and rates of tec-
tonic subsidence. The decompacted depth of the lowest unit
describes the total subsidence curve. The tectonic sub-
sidence represents basement subsidence corrected for the
loading effect of sediments (see backstripped tectonic sub-
sidence using Airy isostasy, Allen & Allen 1992). Program
SUBSIDE does not take into account corrections for varia-
tions in water depths and eustatic sea level fluctuations. For
these computations the data from the published catalogues of
boreholes drilled by the Petroleum Industry and partly by the
Polish Geological Institute have been used. These data con-
tain simplified lithostratigraphic profiles of the boreholes. In
most of the wells located in the outer foredeep these profiles
were represented by: the Lower, Middle and Upper
Badenian, Sarmatian and Quaternary deposits. For decom-
paction procedure the program uses surface porosity, porosi-
ty depth coefficients, and sediments grain density (see Sclat-
er & Christie 1980 and Schmoker & Halley 1982). For a few
boreholes located in the Carpathians (Figs. 78) the post-
nappe load has been additionally regarded but without cor-
rection for tectonic erosion of subthrust strata. These cal-
culations have allowed estimation of the general trends of
subsidence and depth relation between total and tectonic
subsidence. The total subsidence was more or less 1.71.8
times higher than the tectonic subsidence. For selected
boreholes tectonic subsidence estimated by the program
SUBSIDE has been compared with results obtained with
the program BasinMode1 which included paleobathymetry
and eustatic sea level corrections (Figs. 910).
For paleobathymetry corrections the following data, based
on quantitative proportion between benthic and pelagic fora-
minifers, have been accepted (Fig. 6, see also Gonera1994;
Czepiec 1996; Kováè et al. 1993):
For the eustatic sea level corrections the short term curves
have been used (Haq et al. 1987)
The final plots of the tectonic subsidence (in m) estimat-
ed by using both of the programs showed the following dif-
ferences related to paleobathymetry and eustatic sea level
As it was expected, the tectonic subsidence obtained by
BasinMode1 is higher than that ploted by SUBSIDE but
differences do not exceed 100 m. More distinctive differenc-
es are visible in the diagrams describing tectonic subsid-
ence during the Middle Badenian evaporite deposition and
just after that event (ca. 12.5 Ma BP).
For the three boreholes situated in the Carpathians (Fig. 1),
the thickness of the upper portion of the Miocene deposits
tectonically eroded by the Carpathian nappe has been re-
stored. For these wells tectonic subsidence (m) has been
computed with the help of BasinMode1 program, then the
obtained values have been compared with the post nappe
tectonic subsidence (Figs. 78) plotted by SUBSIDE.
These differences have shown the importance of the role
played by the nappe load in the basement subsidence of the
In the burial diagrams (Figs. 78, 910) four periods of in-
tense subsidence are visible: the Early Miocene (Karpatian?),
Early Badenian, Late Badenian and Sarmatian. The subsid-
ence cross-sections describe formation and migration of the
foreland basin from south-west towards north-east.
The Early Miocene (Karpatian?) and Early Badenian depo-
centers were situated (Fig. 1B) in the western inner foredeep,
extending towards the Sambor-Rozniatov basin in the east
(see also Oszczypko 1997). During these times, the axes of
subsidence were more or less subparallel to the present-day
front of the Carpathians (Fig. 1B). In the initial stage (Karpa-
tian?) of the basin development, the rate of total subsidence
(10001400 m/Ma) in the Czech and Polish segments was ful-
ly compensated by the rate of deposition (Fig. 9, see also Vass
& Èech 1983 and Meulenkamp et al. 1996). This resulted in
terrestrial and shallow marine? sedimentation. Towards the
east (Sambor-Rozniatov basin) the rate of the total subsidence
increased to at least 2000 m/Ma. The Early Badenian axis of
subsidence was shifted at least 3040 km (rate of migration
1520 mm/a) north from its Early Miocene position (Fig. 1),
whereas the northern margin of the basin moved to the north
by 30 (W part) to 100 km (E part). It was related to the Lang-
hian marine trangression. At that time, in the axial part of the
basin, the rate of sedimentation reached 250 to 500 m/Ma in
the Moravian segment (Vass & Èech 1983 and Meulenkamp et
al. 1996) to 200 m/Ma (Fig. 9) in the Polish part. Simulta-
neously, in the area of the northern stable shelf of PCF the sub-
sidence was extremely low (Figs. 7, 8) and the rate of sedi-
mentation oscillated from a few dozen to 50 m/Ma (Fig. 10).
This period of very low subsidence and accumulation is
marked in the whole Central Paratethys foreland basins (see
Meulankamp et al. 1996, Fig. 7).
From the Early Badenian (Langhian) marine transgression,
the rate of subsidence was higher than the rate of deposition.
This resulted in marine sedimentary conditions during the
Badenian and Sarmatian times. The paleobathymetry of the
Early Badenian basin varied from the upper bathyal depths in
W. R aniz. 2
Palikówka 1 Chotyniec 1
"S UBS IDE "
"Bas inMod 1"
"B as inMode 1"
"S U B S IDE "
Drohobycz ka 1
S ucha IG 1
Z awoja 1
Numerical Age (Ma)
Paleobathymetry (m )
THE WESTERN CARPATHIAN FOREDEEP DEVELOPMENT OF FORELAND BASIN 425
the axis of the basin to neritic (Fig. 6, see also Kováè et al.
1993), and littoral in the northern and southern (Carpathian)
marginal part of the basin.
From the Serravalian (ca. 15 Ma BP) a gradual shallowing
of bathymetry in the Carpathian foreland basin, coinciding
with a gradual global fall of relative sea level, was observed.
This caused the partial isolation of the basin, and initiated the
Badenian (ca. 13.012.5 Ma BP) salinity crisis in shallow
basin (inner-middle neritic? depths, Figs. 6, 10). For that pe-
riod the diagrams of tectonic subsidence reveal a tendency to
progressive uplifting of the sea floor, whereas the sedimenta-
tion rate varies from a few dozen metres/Ma in the area of
sulphide facies up to ca. 50 m/Ma (Figs. 910) in the area of
chloride facies. It is a very rough approximation because the
episode of chemical accumulation could have been very
short-lasting (2535 Ka, see Garlicki 1968; Petrichenko et al.
1997) and the rates of subsidence/- sedimentation could have
been one order higher, up to 500 m/Ma. After evaporite dep-
osition (ca. 12.5 Ma BP), when the basin was the shallowest
(Fig. 6, see also Gonera 1994; Kasprzyk 1993; Czepiec
1997) tectonic uplift of the foreland reached its maximum
(Figs. 910). This resulted locally in a post-evaporite erosion
of at least 50100 m of evaporitic and sub-evaporitic depos-
its (see Rzeszów Paleoridge, Fig. 1, see also Komorowska-
B³aszczyñska 1965). The subareal and/or areal erosion of the
anhydrites before deposition of the Ratyn Limestone or be-
fore deposition of the Kosiv Fm. has also been reported from
the Ukrainian part of the foredeep (see Peryt & Peryt 1994;
Panow & P³otnikow 1996 and Andreyeva-Grigorovich et al.
1997). The middle Serravalian relative fall of the sea level
could have caused a basinward shift of clastic sedimentation
(Krzywiec 1997). A new period of intense subsidence was
initiated during the Late Badenian. The depth of the Late
Badenian sea oscillated between the outer neritic and inner
neritic depths (Gonera 1994; Czepiec 1996). The subsidence
took place both in the inner and outer foredeep (Fig. 1). In
the eastern segment of the PCF, the axis of subsidence shift-
ed 15 km (rate of migration 3.75 mm/a) north from the Early
Badenian position, and was more or less in line with the
present-day position of the Carpathians (Fig. 1). The highest
rate of subsidence up to 2000 m/Ma was estimated in the SE
part of PCF in the boreholes Przemyl 136 and Drohobyczka
1, situated 1015 km south of the Carpathian front. Towards
the NW in the Rzeszów area (boreholes Husów 39, 25, 42,
Albigowa 11 and Palikówka 1) rate of total subsidence
reached about 12001300 m/Ma, whereas the rate of sedi-
mentation oscillated around 1000 m/Ma (Figs. 8, 10). The
slightly lower rates of subsidence and sedimentation are ob-
served in the Tarnów and Bochnia areas. In the area effected
by post-evaporitic erosion, for example Rzeszów Island,
the Late Badenian deposits transgressively overlapped the
Precambrian and Paleozoic basement. Towards the NE mar-
gin of the PCF, the rate of the Late Badenian subsidence and
sedimentation decreased to 100200 m/Ma. The Late Bade-
nian subsidence continuously passed into Sarmatian subsid-
ence, although the locations of depocentres were distinctly
changed (Fig. 10). In comparison to their former position the
Sarmatian depocenters were shifted 4050 km (rate of migra-
tion 2025 mm/a) towards the NE, and the axis of subsidence
rotated clock-wise by up to 20 degrees (Fig. 1B, see also Os-
zczypko & ¯ytko 1987). The zone of the Sarmatian maxi-
mum subsidence was connected with the so-called Wielkie
Oczy Graben. The total subsidence in this zone varied from
1500 m in its NE part up to 25003000 m in SE part (Figs. 8,
10), whereas the maximum values of tectonic subsidence
reached 1300500 m. Towards the northern margin of the
PCF the total subsidence decreased to a few hundred metres.
The high rate of the Sarmatian subsidence was compensated
by the high rate of sedimentation, which reached 15001600
m/Ma (Fig. 10). During the Sarmatian the depth of the basin
oscillated between outer neritic and littoral depths (Czepiec
1996). Towards SE, on the Ukrainian territory, where the
Sarmatian deposits reached a thickness of up to 4000 m (see
Andreyeva-Grigorovich et al. 1997), subsidence and the rate
of deposition were higher. In Figs. 78 there are zones of
abrupt increase of subsidence between boreholes Próchnik 7
and 16, Bia³obrzegi 1 and Zo³ynia 2 and Palikowka 1 i
Nienadówka 3 connected with NWSE trending faults (see
also Oszczypko et al. 1989). In each case the hangingwall is
located on SW side of the fault. According to Krzywiec
(1997) the faults of the same direction investigated close to
the Polish-Ukrainian boundary developed as synsedimentary
normal faults. The calculated subsidence and sedimentation
rates correspond very well with those published by Meulen-
kamp et al. (1996) for transects 9 (PCF) and 10 (Ukrainian
segment). According to these authors the rates of maximum
sedimentation of the Early Sarmatian deposits vary from
2440 m/Ma in PCF to 4440 m/Ma in the Ukrainian segment.
As a rule, with the above described exception for the Sar-
matian time, the area of maximum subsidence was located at
the front of the Carpathians. The subsidence took place not
only on the foreland plate but also on the marginal part of the
Carpathian accretionary wedge (see also Oszczypko &
l¹czka 1989). During the KarpatianSarmatian time (7 Ma)
the axis of maximum subsidence within the PCF moved
about 85 km towards the north and northeast. The mean rate
of migration of the axis of subsidence could be estimated at
12 mm/a (12 km/Ma). This rate is similar to the mean rate of
the Carpathian overthrusting, and is lower than that of the
pinch-out migration (13.8 mm/a). During the Late Badenian
Sarmatian time this resulted in the widening of the eastern
part of PCF. A similar event was described by Homewood et
al. (1986) from the Swiss Molasse Basin. The main episodes
of intense subsidence in the PCF correspond to the periods of
progressive emplacement of the Western Carpathians onto
the foreland plate (Figs. 6, 15, see also Oszczypko 1997),
whereas the Middle Badenian event of low subsidence or
uplift is related to the period of dormant Carpathian frontal
thrust (see also Meulenkamp et al. 1996). The distinct rela-
tionship between the periods of the Carpathian overthrusting
and subsidence of the PCF suggests that the significant driv-
ing force of subsidence was the emplacement of the tectonic
nappe load related to subduction roll-back. Each emplace-
ment of the Carpathian front initiated a new period of subsid-
ence (Fig. 15). During the EarlyMiddle Miocene time the
loading effect of the thickening Carpathian wedge on the
foreland plate increased and caused a progressive increase of
the total subsidence. However, Royden & Karner (1984),
Royden (1993), Krzywiec & Jochym (1997), and Krzywiec
(1997) suggested that the supracrustal load was inadequate to
explain the observed deflexion of the foreland plate in the Car-
pathians and postulated the existence of an additional subsur-
face load on the subducted plate. According to other authors
this extra load should be taken into account only during the
early collisional history (see discussion in Miall 1995). How-
ever, it must be stressed that the temporal coincidence between
thrust-related subsidence and the slab-pull mechanism of sub-
sidence existed, and both of the processes were caused by the
southwards subduction of the foreland plate.
the Polish Carpathians, between the inner part of the Silesian
Unit and the foreland, the minimun amount of Neogene
shortening reached 130 km (restored width measuring 190
km). In another cross-section (Brzesko-Nowy Targ), the min-
imum amount of the Middle Oligocene to Late Sarmatian
shortening between the Pieniny Klippen Belt and the fore-
land reached 180 km (restored width of basin measuring 235
km, see Roca et al. 1995). For the same time the restored
width of basin presented by Morley (1996) reached 290 to
350 km for the western and eastern part of the the Polish
Outer Carpathians respectively.
Fig. 11. Palinspastic sketch-map of the Carpathian Foreland Basin
during the Early Burdigalian (Eggenburgian) (after Oszczypko
1997, supplemented). 1 North European land; 2 nerithic and
bathyal deposition; 3 shalow marine deposition; 4 Carpathian
land; 5 recent Carpathian front; 6 active thrust; 7 possible
sea-ways; 8 zero line of Wises vectors; 9 cross-section.
Fig. 12. Palinspastic cross-section through Polish Western Carpathians (Chy¿ne-Andrychów, after Oszczypko 1997, supplemented, for location
see Fig. 1). 1 fine-grained sediments, 2 coarse-grained sediments, 3 conglomerates, 4 continental crust, 5 thinned continental
crust, 6 thrust, 7 present position of the Outer Carpathian front; IC Inner Carpathians, FP Podhale Flysch, PKB Pieniny Klippen
Belt, M Magura Nappe, FM Fore-Magura Unit, S Silesian Unit, SS sub-Silesian Unit, OF Outer Flysch (Skole Unit ?).
Transition from residual flysch basin to peripheral
At the very beginning of the Early Miocene Outer Car-
pathian orogeny, the Magura and probably the Fore-Magura
basins were folded and thrust towards the north. This period
of folding, thrusting and erosion was postdated by the Egg-
enburgian transgression on the Magura Nappe in the Vienna
Basin (Jiøíèek & Seifert 1990; Kováè et al. in press). In the
more northern part of the Carpathian basin, the terminal fly-
sch sedimentation persisted up to the Middle Burdigalian
(Ottnangian NN 3, see Krhovský et al. 1995; Andreyeva-
Grigorovich et al. 1997; Koszarski et al. 1995; lêzak et al.
1995; Oszczypko 1997), when the upper part of the Krosno
Fm. (Polyanytsa) was deposited (Fig. 11). The width of that
basin before folding is still being discussed. Recently pub-
lished balanced cross-sections try to aproximate these val-
ues. According to Roure et al. (1993), in the eastern part of
THE WESTERN CARPATHIAN FOREDEEP DEVELOPMENT OF FORELAND BASIN 427
During the Early Burdigalian, the Outer Carpathian residu-
al flysch basin was probably narrower than the above men-
tioned values. According to my restoration (Figs. 12, 13) the
width of this basin probably measured 100150 km (Figs. 11,
12). In this restoration I have taken into account that the
Magura Basin was already folded at that time and that the in-
trabasinal source areas were tectonically reduced. As a re-
sult, the bulk of the material must have been derived from
both the eroded front of the Magura Nappe and uplifted parts
of the basin (Fig. 12). At that time a sizeable amount of the
eroded and reworked flysch material was transported by
debris flows from uplifted sub-marine highs and deposited in
the basin (see l¹czka & Oszczypko 1987). During the Early
Burdigalian the axial part of the basin reached bathyal
depths. Contemporaneously with the residual flysch deposi-
tion a marine piggy back basin (?connected with the Vienna
Basin) developed (Cieszkowski 1992, see also Kováè et al.,
in press) on the Magura Nappe along the Pieniny Klippen
Belt strike-slip boundary (Figs. 11, 12).
The Western Outer Carpathians were folded and thrust dur-
ing the Early/Middle Miocene, when the oceanic or thinned
continental crust of the Outer Carpathian residual flysch basin
was subducted below the overriding Carpathian orogene (Al-
capa and Tisza-Dacia microplates). This was accompanied by
the outward overthrusting and formation of the flexural fore-
land basin at the moving orogenic front, and partly on top of
the orogenic wedge. Like other orogenic belts, the Outer Car-
pathians were progressively folded towards the continental
margin. During the Ottnangian, the Late Krosno (Polyanytsa)
basin shifted towards the north (danice Unit Czech Rep.,
Boryslav-Pokuty Unit Ukraine, and Marginal Folds
Unit Romania), and finally underwent dessication [Krepice
Fm. in Moravia (Krhovský et al. 1995), evaporite of the Upper
Vorotysche Fm. in Ukraine (Andreyeva-Grigorovich et al.
1997) and the Salt Fm. in Romania (see Micu 1982)]. This
salinary crisis was followed by the Intra Burdigalian phase
(Ottnagian compressive tectonic event), when the marginal
part of the Outer Carpathians (Silesian, sub-Silesian and Skole
units) was folded, overthrust and uplifted. The active thrust
front of the Outer Carpathians moved to the Silesian/sub-Sile-
sian and Skole units front (see Kováè et al. in press). The Car-
pathians overrode the platform and caused flexural depression
of the foreland and uplift of a peripheral bulge (Cieszyn-
Slavkov Paleoridge, Figs. 1, 12, 13) at that time. The flysch
olistoplaque, recognized in the Sucha IG 1 and Zawoja 1 bore-
holes, probably records that period of overthrusting (Figs. 7,
15). From that moment, the Polish Carpathian Foredeep began
to develop as a peripheral foreland basin related to the moving
Carpathian front (Oszczypko 1997). The northern edge of the
Late Burdigalian (Karpatian) molasse basin was located about
Fig. 13. Palinspastic cross-section through the Outer Carpathians EF (Albigowa-Smilno, for location see Fig. 1). 1 Badenian and Sarma-
tian, 2 Ottnangian and Karpatian, 3 Mesozoic and Paleogene, 4 Paleozoic, 5 Precambrian and Lower Cambrian, 6 Zg³obice
Unit, 7 Stebnik Unit, 8 Boryslav-Pokuty Unit, 9 Outer Carpathian Units (M Magura, D Dukla, S Silesian, SS sub-Sile-
sian and Sk Skole units), 10 Pieniny Klippen Belt.
20 to 50 km south from the present-day position of the Car-
pathian thrust (Figs. 1, 12, 13). The basin, partly developed on
top of the advancing Carpathian front and on the platform, was
dominated by terrestrial deposition and filled up mostly with
sediments derived from the emerged platform and from the
front of the Carpathians [(Stryszawa Fm. (Poland), Dobrotiv
and Stebnik formations (Ukraine), and red beds in Romania
(Magiresti and Hirja beds, see Micu 1982)]. These deposits
formed a clastic wedge along the Carpathians, comparable
with the Lower fresh-water Molasse of the Alpine Foreland
Basin. At the end of the Early Miocene, the front of the Car-
pathians shifted 15 km towards the north, and the Silesian/sub-
Silesian units partly overthrust Lower Miocene molasses
(Figs. 5, 1213). This caused an extra subsidence, which en-
abled transgression of the Early Badenian sea both onto the
foreland plate and the Carpathians. The Early Badenian sea
was relatively deep. According to paleoecological estimations
(Kováè et al. 1993; Gonera 1994), the axial part of the basin
reached upper bathial depths at that time. The Early to Middle
Badenian deposits reveal highly differentiated thicknesses,
from a few dozen metres in the outer foredeep up to more than
1000 m in the inner one. At that time, the axis of subsidence
was located 20 to 40 km south of the present position of the
Carpathian frontal thrust (Figs. 1B, 1213). At the turn of the
Badenian, the drop of the sea level caused regression in the
Carpathians (Fig. 14). The lowstand level and climatic cooling
(Demarq 1987) initiated a salinity crisis in the Carpathian
foreland basin. The shallow (stable shelf) part of the evaporite
basin (Fig. 14, see also Po³towicz 1993) was dominated by
sulphate facies, whereas the deeper part, located along the
Carpathian front, was occupied by chloride-sulphate facies.
According to Kovalevich (1997), the paleobathymetry of the
chloride sub-basin reached at least a few dozen metres. After
the evaporite deposition the basement of the outer foredeep
was uplifted (Figs. 9, 10) and a part of the foredeep was effect-
ed by erosion (e.g. Rzeszów Paleoridge, Fig. 1B). This event
was followed by telescopic shortening of the Carpathian
nappes (Intra Badenian compressive event, see also Kováè et
al. in press). It is documented by at least 12 km of movement
by the Magura and Fore Magura units in the relation to the
Silesian Unit, and tectonic reduplication of the sub-Silesian
Unit (Figs. 2, 12). During that period of compression the front
of thrust belt shifted 2030 km towards the NE. It was accom-
panied by the underthrusting of the Moldavides beneath the
Magura and the PKB accretionary wedge (Fig. 2, see also
Tomek & Hall 1993). In the southern part of the outer foredeep
that compression event is documented by blind faults devel-
opment (Krzywiec 1997). This resulted in the Upper Bade-
nian very intense subsidence (Figs. 710, 15), collapse of the
Rzeszów Paleoridge and a new marine transgression onto the
Carpathians. The Sarmatian subsidence was also temporally
related to this compressive event (Fig. 15), but the depocenter
was located in the NE part of the basin, obliquely to the Car-
pathians. It is suggested that the loading effect of the nappe
was not the only mechanism responsible for the Sarmatian
Fig. 15. Correlation between the EarlyLate Miocene Outer Car-
pathian overthrusting and subsidence in the Polish Carpathian
Fig. 14. Palinspastic sketch-map of the Carpathian Foreland Basin
during Badenian salinary crisis (after Oszczypko 1997, supplement-
ed). 1 Ma³opolska Land, 2 littoral facies, 3 sulphate facies,
4 chloride facies, 5 Carpathian Land, 6 area without
evaporites, 7 area without Miocene deposits, 8 flysch-derived
olistostromes, 9 recent Carpathian front, 10 the Early Bade-
nian Carpathian thrust, 11 southern extent of the Early Badenian
transgression, 12 cross-section, 13 subsidence cross-section,
14 zero line of Wises vectors.
EA R LY
M ID D LE
M I O C E N E
Ko b y ln ic a W o lo ska
E pisodes of th e O uter C arpathian overth rusting
Su c h a IG 1
THE WESTERN CARPATHIAN FOREDEEP DEVELOPMENT OF FORELAND BASIN 429
subsidence (see Krzywiec 1997). In the course of the global
Tortonian fall of the sea level (ca. 10.5 Ma BP) the sea re-
treated from the Carpathian foreland basin. This was fol-
lowed by the last, about 30 km overthrust of the marginal
Outer Carpathians towards the NE to their present-day posi-
tion. This was accompanied by the post-nappe collapse of the
Carpathian basement (Fig. 15). During the Pliocene erosion
of the Outer Carpathians the isostatic uplifting of the Car-
pathians was initiated.
1) The Early to Middle Miocene subduction of the Outer
Carpathian crust beneath the Alcapa and Tisza-Dacia
microplates was accompanied by the outward overthrusting
of the Flysch and Molasse Zone deposits and formation of
the flexural foreland basin ralated to the moving Carpathian
front. In the Polish Outer Carpathians the mean rate of the
northwards overthrusting reached 12 mm/a, whereas in
northeast direction this value was probably a few times
higher (4050 mm/a?).
2) The initial (Ottnangian-Karpatian) foreland basin, partly
developed on the top of the advancing Carpathian front and
on the platform, was dominated by terrestrial deposition.
These deposits formed a clastic wedge along the Car-
pathians, comparable to the Lower fresh-water Molasse of
the Alpine Foreland Basin. This was followed by the main
period of the Middle Miocene marine deposition.
3) In the Polish Carpathian Foredeep, the periods of the
Miocene subsidence were temporally and spatially related to
the emplacement of the front of the Carpathians.
4) The important driving force of tectonic subsidence was
the emplacement of the nappe load related to the subduction
5) During the EarlyMiddle Miocene time, the loading ef-
fect of the thickening Carpathian accretionary wedge on the
foreland plate increased and caused a progressive increase of
the total subsidence, with exception of the Middle Bade-
nian salinary crisis when the low subsidence or uplifting
was related to the period of dormant Carpathian frontal
6) The Miocene convergence of the Carpathian wedge
resulted in the migration of depocenters and onlap of the
successively younger deposits onto the foreland plate.
Acknowledgements: The work has been carried out under
financial support from: the Polish Geological Institute
(Project 2.14.0100.00.0 Prof. Tadeusz Peryt) and Peri-Tethys
Program 95/96-48 gained by Prof. A. l¹czka (Jagiellonian
University). The author is deeply indebted to Dr. M. Kováè
(Comenius University, Bratislava), Dr. A. C. Lankreijer
(Vrije Universitet, Amsterdam) and an anonymous reviewer
for critical reading of the manuscript. Special thanks are to
Pawe³ Poprawa (Polish Geological Institute, Warszawa) for
discussion, to Marta Oszczypko-Clowes for the computer
preparations of the figures and Ewa Malata for improving the
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map of depth of Mohorovicic discontinuity. Neogeodynamica
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