GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 51, 1, BRATISLAVA, FEBRUARY 2000
THE CYCLICITY OF THE LOWER MIOCENE DEPOSITS
OF THE SW PART OF THE CARPATHIAN FOREDEEP
AS THE DEPOSITIONAL RESPONSE TO SEDIMENT SUPPLY
AND SEA-LEVEL CHANGES
Department of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotláøská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic
(Manuscript received January 18, 1999; accepted in revised form December 8, 1999)
Abstract: The Lower Miocene deposits of the SW part of the Carpathian Foredeep show a recurrent cyclic arrange-
ment. These cycles are typical transgressive/regressive cycles. Among many factors causing cycle stacking patterns
two played a leading role: sea-level changes and the rate of sediment supply. The Eggenburgian and Ottnangian
sedimentary record of the basin can be subdivided into several sequence stratigraphic units. Two sequences have been
recognized within the studied area. Sequence I is formed by a succession of sediments forming segments A, B and C
with their parasequence sets. Deposits of segment A are interpreted as lowstand/early transgressive deposits, segment
B is formed by transgressive deposits and segment C by highstand deposits. Deposits of the falling stage were not
described in the area under study but are traced more basinward. Within sequence II only one segment that is segment
D (transgressive and highstand deposits) with its parasequence sets has been recognized. The morphology and differ-
ent subsidence rate of various parts of the basin basement strongly influenced the thickness and development of
recognized sequence stratigraphic units.
Key words: sequence stratigraphy, transgressive-regressive cycles, shoreline migration, sediment supply, basement
The SW part of the Carpathian Foredeep (CF) is formed pre-
dominantly by Eggenburgian and Ottnangian (Lower Mi-
ocene) deposits. Various opinions exist about their detailed
stratigraphy (Cícha 1995; Ètyroký 1991; Jiøíèek 1995 and
other authors). The substantial differences among them are
contingent on the lack of biostratigraphical data for the cor-
relation of various lithofacies in different parts of the basin.
This fact, together with the preservation of a relic of the
Lower Miocene coastal depositional systems, leads to the
absence of an accepted lithostratigraphic subdivision of the
infill of the CF in the area of the Czech Republic.
The aim of this article was to contribute to the solution of
the regional stratigraphic problems by attempts to recon-
struct the depositional environments and by a general model
of their development. The area under study is presented in
Fig. 1. The structural pattern and general geological situa-
tion are presented in Fig. 2.
The formation of the CF was the result of flexural down-
buckling of the passive North European Plate margin in the
foreland of the Alpine-Carpathian orogene belt due to the
load exerted by the accretionary wedge thrust stack (Kováè
et al. 1993). The passive North European Plate margin is rep-
resented by the Bohemian Massif (BM) in the area under
study. The CF, as the sedimentary basin lying between the
front of a mountain chain and the adjacent stable block, is a
type of foreland basin (Allen et al. 1986). The palinspastic
reconstruction of the broader area under study is presented in
The behaviour of the basin was above all influenced by the
reaction of the BM to the collision with overthrusted Alpine-
Carpathian blocks. This reaction was not uniform in all parts
of the newly formed basin. The rate and extent of formation
of accommodation space was locally different because of the
varied behaviour of basement blocks bordered by fault zones
in mainly NW-SE, NE-SW or N-S directions (Dudek & piè-
ka 1975). The importance of such blocks having varied sub-
sidence activity, is confirmed by the highly different preser-
vation of Neogene deposits. The Variscan consolidate block
(crystalline rocks and Paleozoic deposits) are locally deeply
buried under extensive deposits of Mesozoic or Paleogene
age. The differences in subsidence activity are connected
with various factors the actual thickness of deposits, the
location of the investigated site during the evolution of the
basin, its distance from the fold-and-thrust belt and from the
hinge line, the orientation of thrust progradation, various af-
fects on the basement by Mesozoic rifting activity (Cloetingh
et al. 1997; Cogan et al. 1993; De Celles & Giles 1986; Ein-
sele 1993; Allen et al. 1986; Kominz & Bond 1986). The
highest sediment accommodation potential is presumed to
have been formed in the area of the Vranovice and Nesvaèil-
ka troughs. The importance of these bedrock tectonic struc-
tures was recognized even in the thrusted flysch belt (Krejèí
& Stráník 1992). Marine deposits of Egerian age were recog-
nized in the Vranovice Trough (Ètyroký 1993).
Methods of study and terminology
A standard sedimentological study, detailed recognition of
lithofacies and correlational and architectural studies are rather
complicated in the CF because of the absence of extensive out-
crops and the lack of samples from drill holes. Sedimentologi-
cal studies of outcrops and drill cores were only possible in the
part of the basin close to the crystalline rocks of the BM. This
area represents the most landward part of the preserved basin
fill. Coastal, deltaic and fluvial environments of deposition
were recognized within this area. The results of sedimentolog-
ical field study and observation were published in Nehyba et
al. (1994, 1995) and Nehyba & Leichmann (1997).
The sedimentological studies were supported by the results
of tephrostratigraphy, paleontology and palynology (Nehyba et
al. 1994, 1995). The recognition of two tephra horizons within
the Lower Miocene sedimentary succession (Nehyba 1995,
1997; Nehyba & Roetzel 1999) gave us a new way to correlate
the CF deposits with deposits of the Molasse Zone in Lower
Austria. The following published results: Batík et al. (1977),
Cícha et al. (1957), Ètyroký (1991), Hladilová (1985), Kalabis
(1970), Krystek & Tejkal (1968), Molèíková (1968, 1976), Te-
jkal (1958) etc. were further sources of information about
former outcrops and drill holes.
An attempt was made to subdivide the Lower Miocene
(Eggenburgian, Ottnangian) rocks into genetic packages based
on bounding unconformities and discontinuities. The sedimen-
tary succession was interpreted according to the concept of se-
quence stratigraphy (Helland-Hansen & Gjelberg 1994; Hel-
land-Hansen & Martinsen 1994; Posamentier & James 1993;
Van Wagoner et al. 1988).
As a consequence of confusion over terms existing in recent
sequence stratigraphy literature, the terms which are used
should be defined. Parasequence is a relatively conformable
succession of genetically related beds or bedsets bounded by
marine flooding surfaces or their correlative conformities (Van
Wagoner et al. 1988). Posamentier & James (1993) use the
term parasequence as a descriptive term, unrelated to the scale
of the depositional unit or the frequency of sea-level change.
The parasequence is similar in scale and concept to the facies
(sequence) succession (Walker 1990). The systems tract is de-
fined by its position within the sequence and by the stacking
patterns of the parasequences or parasequence sets. Often the
term cycle-segment is similarly used. A systems tract/segment
is a unit/body of deposits defined only by its position within a
depositional cycle resulting from changes in relative sea-level
and sediment supply (Helland-Hansen & Gjelberg 1994; Hel-
land-Hansen & Martinsen 1994). Relative sea level-change is
defined as the change in water depth at a certain location in the
basin and is controlled by the rates of subsidence, sediment ac-
cumulation, and the rise or the fall of sea level. Systems tracts
form the sequence, which is bounded by unconformities and
Fig. 1. Location map of the SW part of the Carpathian Foredeep showing the location of important drill holes.
THE CYCLICITY OF MIOCENE DEPOSITS AS DEPOSITIONAL RESPONSE TO SEDIMENT SUPPLY 9
their correlative conformities. The varying space available be-
tween sea level and the subsiding basin floor is called the sedi-
ment accommodation potential (Einsele 1993).
The recognition of parasequences, systems tracts or se-
quences is connected with the definition of bounding surfaces
(key surfaces). These correlable surfaces can be important in
reconstructing the depositional history of the basin and for
mapping and correlational studies. They allow us to bracket
the sedimentary successions into packages of genetic and
stratigraphic importance. Recognition of these surfaces is both
a practical (outcrops, seismic, core samples) and a theoretical
problem and a subject of discussions. These surfaces reflect
processes connected with relative sea-level changes or the in-
teraction of sea-level changes with sediment supply (Helland-
Hansen & Martinsen 1994).
The area under study represents a marginal part of the basin,
that is the coastal depositional system. For that reason the
study of shoreline behaviour (Helland-Hansen & Gjelberg
1994) can be effectively used for the recognition of sea-level
changes. As the shoreline migrates in various directions
through time, various surfaces of erosion or non-deposition
have been produced. This premise is complicated in the stud-
ied area by the repeated migration of the shoreline on the crys-
talline basement and so the key surfaces in many places follow
almost the same depositional plane. For that reason any inter-
calation or traces of terrestrial deposits within the sediment
succession are very important.
The shoreline migration patterns consist of recurring motifs
and are therefore cyclic. This cyclicity is produced by alternat-
ing regressions and transgressions. The shoreline migration
could be a product of either allocyclic changes or autocyclic
changes. In the studied area both changes played their role, so
that a different hierarchy of cycles could be traced. Sedimenta-
ry cycles connected with sea-level changes and tectonic activi-
ty on the active margin of the studied basin (foreland basin)
form the higher level of cycles with a greater areal extent. Cy-
cles connected mainly with changes in sediment input usually
have more local importance and could be recognized within
the higher level of cycles. For that reason the local shoreline
migration must be combined to give the composite stacking
patterns with the average and long term migration of the shore-
line. This reflects the temporary and repeated changes between
the available accommodation space and sediment supply rates
but still maintains an overall long term directional trend. The
recognized progradational, aggradational and retrogradational
parasequence sets (Van Wagoner et al. 1988) are examples of
such stacked shoreline patterns.
Because the presented model of the basin development is
based on the study of its proximal parts, it needs correlation
with more distal parts of the basin. But only restricted data
from distal parts of the CF are available. The number of cy-
cles which can be identified in vertical profiles generally dif-
fers along the cross-section of the basin and the true number
of cycles cannot be found at the very edge of the basin (U-
Fig. 2. Schematic general geological situation of the broader surroundings of the area under study.
lièný & pièáková 1996). For that reason the presented model
may reflect mainly local conditions and development which
could be, at least partly, different from the development of the
The recognized parasequences are limited by bounding dis-
continuities, and hence can be formally named in an allostrati-
graphic scheme (Walker 1990). Such an allostratigraphy could
be a substitute for the lacking lithostratigraphy of the CF in the
studied area or could at least be a subject for such a discussion.
The development of the depositional environment
of the SW part of the Carpathian Foredeep in the
Eggenburgian and Ottnangian
The Eggenburgian and Ottnangian sedimentary record of the
CF can be subdivided into several sequence stratigraphic units.
Some of them are preserved as erosional remnants and were
actually recognized only in a restricted part of the basin. The
recognized units very probably have a more complex internal
organization. Their further subdivision or change of presented
unit scheme depends on the quality and abundance of reliable
data. The proposed sequence stratigraphic schema of the
Lower Miocene deposits of the CF is presented in Fig. 4.
Cycles recognized in the studied part of the basin are typical
transgressive/regressive cycles. Among many factors causing
cycle stacking patterns two played a leading role, that is sea-
level changes and the rate of sediment supply. The recognized
cycles belong to the third-order and fourth-order cycles (Ein-
sele 1993). The transgressive and regressive cycles, tectonic
activity and climatic changes within the Neogene basins of the
Alpine-Carpathian realm are presented in Fig. 5. Eustatically
and tectonically controlled regional changes of sea level were
in addition strongly influenced by the morphology of the
flooded area and by both the quality and rate of sediment sup-
ply into the basin (Schlager 1993). Local morphology played a
significant role for both the development and preservation of
sequence stratigraphic units.
This sequence is assigned as sequence I according to the po-
sition within the sedimentary record of the CF. It consists of a
succession of sediments forming segments A, B and C with
their parasequence sets (see Fig. 4). These sediments were de-
posited during one cycle of relative sea-level rise and fall and
so form one depositional sequence (Vail et al. 1991).
The combination of the Savian orogenic phase together
with sea-level rise led to the Eggenburgian marine transgres-
sion (see Figs. 4 and 5) which inundated the studied area
through the Alpine Molasse Zone mainly from the S or SE
(Brzobohatý & Cícha 1994). Prior to the transgression, the
crystalline basement was deeply weathered and modelled
into depressions and ridges. The highly varied morphology
led to the complicated depositional condition. The complex
shape of the transgressive trajectory is still visible in geolog-
ical maps as the highly complicated contact between the BM
and the Miocene deposits. The relics of Eggenburgian depos-
its are preserved on the BM many kilometers away from the
continuous extent of the CF deposits.
Segments A and B are mutually connected because their for-
mation is predominantly or absolutely connected with marine
transgression. The recognition of these segments is considered
predominantly in terms of the main environmental settings
fluvial channels and floodplains vs. coastal plain.
Fig. 3. Palinspastic reconstruction of the Alpine-Carpathian junction and of depositional environments in adjacent molasse basins (ac-
cording to Seifert 1992).
THE CYCLICITY OF MIOCENE DEPOSITS AS DEPOSITIONAL RESPONSE TO SEDIMENT SUPPLY 11
Segment A lowstand/early transgressive deposits
The terrestrial red bed deposits form the basal segment
(segment A) of the Lower Miocene sedimentary succession
(see Fig. 4) and rest unconformable on pre-Neogene bed-
rock. They are generally assigned as erotice Beds (B)
and can be defined according to their terrestrial depositional
environment, more precisely as alluvial, fluvial or even
lake/lagoonal deposits (Ètyroký 1991; Dlabaè 1969, 1976;
Krystková & Krystek 1981; Prachaø 1970). Their occur-
rence, thickness and deposition were strongly influenced by
the morphology of the basement and by the character,
amount and the rate of sediment supply. Very variable petro-
graphical content and grain size is typical.
Segment A may be absent in some parts of the studied
area, especially in the places where topographical highs orig-
inally existed. The existence of valleys (incised valleys ?)
with fluvial deposition and some interfluve paleohighs
without preserved deposits can be supposed. The valley fill
systems generally developed in response to a relative fall in
baselevel (Dalrymple et al. 1994; Zaitlin et al. 1994). The
valley was cut by fluvial processes and so the segment A
basal surface is erosional and irregular and can be classified
as a subaerial unconformity surface. The base of segment A
marked a sequence boundary. Initial fluvial aggradation
within the valleys started during a lowstand period, but the
bulk accumulated during base level rise is connected with
the early transgressive stage (Koss et al. 1994). The forma-
tion of segment A deposits is connected with the generation
of the accommodation space genetically related to the trans-
gression. Start of transgression can be reflected by the
change in fluvial style (Shanley & McCabe 1994). Recogni-
tion of such a surface is very difficult in this case, because
only restricted subsurface data are available. The upper
bounding surface of segment A (the base of segment B) is
connected with marine transgression and can be classified
as a ravinement surface. This surface is produced as the
shoreline migrates over a subaerial surface during relative
sea-level rise. According to the subdivision of incised valley
fills (Dalrymple et al. 1994; Zaitlin et al. 1994), the studied
segment A belongs predominantly to the seaward reach,
Fig. 4. Schematic sequence stratigraphic schema of the Lower Miocene deposits of the Carpathian Foredeep.
Fig. 5. Transgressive-regressive cycles, tectonic activity and cli-
matic changes of West-Carpathian basins (according to Hudáè-
ková et al. 1996).
characterized by backstepping lowstand to transgressive flu-
vial deposits overlain by transgressive sands.
The ravinement surface is diachronous because it was
formed progressively as the shoreline gradually moved
landward (Nummedal et al. 1993) and is not a chronostrati-
graphic surface. A varied stratigraphical position of seg-
ment A sedimentary fill is known. In the wider surroundings
of Miroslav it has Late Eggenburgian age (Nehyba 1997), be-
cause the volcaniclastic horizon 1 was recognized within
them. The same tephra horizon was recognized within the
biostratigraphically defined Upper Eggenburgian marine
and shoreline deposits (segment B see further) in the sur-
roundings of Znojmo. For this reason, the sediments of seg-
ment A are of Egerian/Eggenburgian age in this area. In the
studied area, the isochronous tephra layer time line is cut by
the diachronous upper bounding surface of segment A. The
terrestrial deposits are also interfingered with biostrati-
graphically defined Eggenburgian deposits in some drill
holes (HV-603 Jezeøany, HV-301 Èejkovice, HV-303
Boice, HV-305 Slup, etc.). A diochronous position of this
surface is even obvious, when we look at the area of the
Molasse Zone in Lower Austria. Here in the southern part of
the crystalline margin of the BM the marine transgression
started in the Lower Eggenburian (Steininger & Roetzel
1991). All these data show that the transgression continued
generally from the S towards the N, NW and NE where
stratigraphically younger deposits reflect this process.
Segment B transgressive deposits
The deposits of segment B show transgressive onlap onto
the lower segment boundary. They rest on the upper surface
of segment A or sit directly on the pre-Neogene basement.
The base of the sedimentary fill of segment B represents
deposition on the coastal plain. This marine flooding con-
nected with change of depositional environment enables us
to recognize the base of this segment within the cores. An
important landward shift of the facies belt was recognized
within segment B (see Fig. 4). The backstepping geometry
reflects an excess of accommodation over sediment supply.
The basal bounding surface of segment B can be classi-
fied as a ravinement surface, transgressive surface or ero-
sional marine flooding surface according to the position
within the basin. The slope of this surface (controlled by the
rate of relative sea-level rise, sediment supply and local
morphology of slope) played an important role for preserva-
tion and development of back-barrier deposits (Thorne &
Swift 1991) and also for the type of transgression (Helland-
Hansen & Martinsen 1994). The margins of the BM formed
by highly various bedrocks provide the possibility for the
study of variable development and preservation of aggrada-
tional coastal plain and valley fill deposits behind a trans-
gressing shoreline, because of varied rates of sediment sup-
ply and subsidence. A wide range of deep or shallow valleys
had been formed during the pre-transgression period of time.
Various types of transgressive systems tract development
(transgressive deposits) have been recognized in the area un-
The situation in the wider surroundings of Znojmo (pre-
dominantly marginal development of Eggenburgian de-
posits according to Ètyroký 1991), where the transgressive
deposits often rest directly on the pre-Neogene basement,
could be explained by non-accretionary transgression (see
Fig. 6). This type of transgression implies that the trajectory
of the retreating shoreline was close to the subaerial surface,
which existed landward of the shoreline at the onset of trans-
gression. The overall angle of facies migration is determined
by the slope of the transgressed surface. Accommodation is
not generated at the landward side of the shoreline, but may
be present during the initial stage of transgression (segment
A). A low-gradient, high rates of relative sea-level rise and
low sediment input rates are usually typical for these types of
transgression (Helland-Hansen & Martinsen 1994). In the
area under study these deposits are characterized by the im-
portant role of the redeposition of older pre-transgressive de-
posits often with Cretaceous microfauna.
But in some other areas (NE, E of Znojmo, surroundings of
Miroslav, etc.) the transgression can be documented as accre-
tionary (see Fig. 6). Accretionary transgression implies that
the transgressing shoreline position climbs stratigraphically
upwards and landwards. Accommodation is continuously
generated and filled behind the retreating shoreline (Helland-
Hansen & Martinsen 1994). Further evidence for the accre-
tionary transgression is the frequently documented repetition
of cycles of the alternation of marine and brachyhaline facies
(Ètyroký 1991, 1993). The abundant oscillations and instabil-
ity of depositional environment conditions (depth, water dy-
namics, salinity, etc.) were recognized. Palynological studies
(Zdraílková 1992; Doláková-Zdraílková 1996; Nehyba et
al. 1995) documented both a saline and a coal swamp envi-
ronment in the backshore.
A highly varied thickness of the aggradational coastal plain
(thick and thin back-barrier wedge see Thorne & Swift 1991)
has been recognized within the studied area. More condensed
facies successions were documented generally in the SW part
of the studied area and closer to the edges of the BM. At a
greater distance from the crystalline basement the develop-
ment of a thick back-barrier wedge was recognized. These
deposits are represented especially by the sedimentary suc-
cessions studied in parts of the cores HV-301 Èejkovice, HV-
302 Pravice, HV-303 Boice and HV-304 Hruovany nad Jevi-
ovkou as so called pelitic complex (Ètyroký 1991). The
succession from open marine to shallow marine conditions,
then repeated isolation of the basin with higher evaporation
and finally again shallow marine conditions were documented
(Ètyroký 1991; Hladilová 1985, 1988; Zdraílková 1992). The
thicker back-barrier wedge was recognized also in the sur-
roundings of Miroslav within PMK cores. These deposits
could be interpreted as lagoonal deposits, that is coming from
an environment periodically protected from the action of
waves and storms. Periodical changes of depositional envi-
ronment confirm the important role of mainly sea-level
changes, but several thin intercalations of red beds also docu-
ment the important role of sediment supply.
The principal role in the development and thickness of
segment B deposits was played by varied rates of sediment
supply and subsidence. The areal distribution of recognized
THE CYCLICITY OF MIOCENE DEPOSITS AS DEPOSITIONAL RESPONSE TO SEDIMENT SUPPLY 13
types of transgressive systems tract development reflects the
higher sediment supply and subsidence generally in the NE
and E part of studied area. It shows on locally restricted
source to the N and also important role of bedrock tectonic
structures. The physical relation of marine systems tract to
coeval coastal plain deposits (McCarthy et al. 1999; Plint et
al. 1999) is areally restricted in this case. It reflects the fact
that only part of sedimentary fill of segment A can be con-
nected with the early transgressional stage.
The upper bounding surface of segment B forms the maxi-
mum transgressive surface. This surface marks the change
from landward migration and upbuilding of the sedimentary
unit into a basinward-prograding wedge.
The upper part of segment B has varied sedimentary content
according to the depositional environment (open marine vs.
coastal plain). The first scenario can be traced in the surround-
ings of Znojmo. Here the bed of rhyolite volcaniclastics of ho-
rizon 1 (Nehyba 1997) described above the paleontologically
proved Upper Eggenburgian marine deposits (segment B) was
thought to be the highest member of Eggenburgian (Ètyroký
1991). Above this tephra horizon mainly sandy deposits with-
out marine fauna have been found, occasionally with boring
traces. S and SW of Znojmo sterile pelitic lithofacies or quartz
sands have been described as Eggenburgian-Ottnangian de-
posits. These deposits can be interpreted as condensed section
facies reflecting the time of maximum regional transgression
of the shoreline. Such facies are deposited within the marine
environment (Loutit et al. 1988).
The impact of maximum flooding on the coastal plain can
be traced in the broader surroundings of Miroslav. Here a
molluscan fauna has been found in the PMK drill holes
above the volcaniclastic horizon 1. Study of the fauna (Èty-
roký & Ètyroká 1989; Nehyba et al. 1994, 1995) proved the
slow transition from marine to brachyhaline conditions or
their alternation within the core profile.
Segment B reflects a generally gradual transgression with
local progradational and retrogradational phases (relative
sea-level changes). Within segment B a lower retrograding
parasequence set and an upper aggrading-retrograding para-
sequence set can be recognized. The repeated occurrence of
lagoonal deposits above foreshore sediments, horizontal and
vertical interfingering of alluvial-fluvial, shallow marine and
deltaic deposits confirm this situation which generally leads
to the aggrading stacking patterns. Individual cycles within
the segment were affected mainly by the rate and character of
material transported into the basin. The role of sediment sup-
ply became more and more important throughout the sedi-
ment profile. The distance of the studied area from the mar-
gins of the basin, the local basement morphology (slope
gradient) and character of the basement played also impor-
Segment C highstand deposits
Highstand deposits represent the late part of eustatic sea-
level rise, its stillstand and the early part of its fall. Usually a
lower aggradational unit is succeeded by a seaward progra-
dational unit with downlap onto the top of the transgressive
deposits (Einsele 1993). The deposits of this segment have
been recognized up to now predominantly in the surround-
ings of Miroslav and are products of delta deposition. They
are arranged in an aggradational to predominantly prograda-
Facial succession shows the continuous development of the
depositional environment from marine/prodeltaic conditions
towards the delta front and finally to the delta plain (Nehyba
1995). The delta plain deposits make up the main part of the
studied sediment succession with the final delta abandonment
facies development (Reading 1995). This facies succession
shows the progradation of the delta into the basin. Prograding
clinoform downlaps onto the maximum flooding surface,
which is the basal bounding surface of segment C. Delta depo-
sition produced an almost flat surface gradient (Nehyba et al.
1994). The preservation of the delta deposits and the position
of the delta body is very probably connected with the subsid-
ence activity of the Vranovice Trough because these deposits
were only recognized on the western margins of this structure.
Fig. 6. Different shoreline trajectory classes according to Helland-
Hansen & Gjelberg (1994). Arrangement of segment B can be ex-
plained by processes connected with both non-accretionary and
accretionary transgression. The actual type of transgression was
different in various part of the basin and depended mainly on the
slope of the transgressive surface and sediment supply. Arrange-
ment of segment C can be connected with normal regression. S.L.
indicates sea level and its change.
The areal position of the delta deposits and the Vranovice
Trough is presented on Fig. 7.
The point of reversion in the development of the basin
from transgressive (higher role of accommodation) to re-
gressive condition (higher role of sediment supply) is
placed close to the base of segment C. It corresponds to the
time of turnover of the shoreline in a maximum landward po-
sition. Whereas the position of this surface is clearly defined
beneath the delta deposits, in the southern part of the basin
the situation is more complicated. But even in these parts of
CF the increasingly important role of sediment supply can be
recognized up to the top of segments B and C.
Èejkovice Sands (ÈS) could also be preliminarily connected
with segment C. But whereas the deltaic deposits show clear
evidence for progradation, ÈS are more probably connected
with aggradation. They have been recognized further to the SE
of Miroslav (more basinward), where they lie directly above
the marine to brachyhaline pelitic complex (Krystek 1983).
They are of Late Eggenburgian (Brzobohatý & Cícha 1993) or
Eggenburgian age (Ètyroký 1993) and have formerly been in-
terpreted as beach sands (Krystek 1983). ÈS are formed by
almost monotone deposits of fine-grained quartz sands, with
rare coarse layers. The thickness of ÈS (in the core HV-301
Èejkovice more than 90 m), and the thin intercalations of red
beds within them, indicate a more complicated depositional
history. They can be preliminary classified as an aggradational
parasequence set. The Èejkovice Sands reflect both the shore-
line position and the high rate of sediment supply. They could
be connected with deposition processes within the wave-domi-
The upper horizon of volcaniclastics (horizon 2) has often
been recognized within the basal part of deltaic deposits.
These volcaniclastics were correlated with the bentonite and
smectite clay beds in the surroundings of Ivanèice, Viòové,
Plaveè and Horní Dunajovice, with some terrestrial red beds
on the most NW margins of the foredeep (Nehyba 1997)
and with volcaniclastics recognized in the Zellerndorf and
Langau formations within the Lower Austrian Molasse
Zone (Nehyba & Roetzel 1999). The deposits of the Zellern-
dorf Formation are open marine pelites and are interpreted
as the deep water deposits. The Langau Formation is formed
by brackisch facies with lignite deposits (Steininger & Ro-
etzel 1991). Both these formations reflect the greatest extent
of the transgression to the west in the area of the Molasse
Zone (Roetzel et al. 1999). The correlation with Zellerndorf
Formation implies that segment C could be at least partly of
Ottnangian age. The study also shows that the migration of
the shoreline during the deposition of segment C was proba-
bly different in various parts of the basin. Because of the re-
stricted areas with a higher input of sediment (deltas) the
shoreline migration was, at least locally, basinward, where-
as in the rest of the basin landward and upward migration
continued. Continuous sea-level rise was a uniform factor
for the whole basin.
The deposits of segment C are connected with normal re-
gression (see Fig. 6) according to the presented data. This
type of regression is connected with conditions of a steady
or rising sea level and with a greater rate of sediment supply
than is the accommodation space generated at the shoreline.
Consequently in this case, the shoreline will be built up sea-
wards (Helland-Hansen & Martinsen 1994). Regression
during rising sea level also generates accommodation space
behind the shoreline, giving space for the net aggradation of
non-marine deposits. If the sea level is rising, water depths
will increase in front of the advancing shoreline, the steep
profile of shoreline migration develops and the effect of
deepening is more evidently seaward (see Zellerndorf vs.
The base of segment C is formed by the surface of the
maximum transgression. The upper surface is connected
with subaerial nonconformity because of the presence of del-
ta abandonment facies (subaerial part of delta) and a coeval
terrestrial depositional environment. This surface also forms
upper sequence boundary in the studied area.
Highstand deposits are generally very widespread in the
marginal areas of the shallow basins and have high preser-
vation potential (Einsele 1993). The relic preservation of
such deposits in the studied part of the CF confirm the high
degree of erosion and redeposition during the following sea-
level falls and rises.
This sequence is assigned as sequence II according to the po-
sition within the sedimentary record of the CF. This succession
of sediments and parasequence sets was deposited during one
cycle of relative sea-level rise and fall and so it can be classified
as one depositional sequence (Vail et al. 1991).
Segment D transgressive and highstand deposits
Shallow-marine deposits forming segment D have been
found in the superposition of highstand deposits (segment
C) of sequence I. The occurrence of transgressive deposits
above subaerial unconformity is explained as the beginning
of a new sedimentary transgressive-regressive cycle i.e. a
new depositional sequence (see Fig. 4).
Fig. 7. The areal position of deltaic deposits (segment C) and the
location of the Vranovice Trough.
THE CYCLICITY OF MIOCENE DEPOSITS AS DEPOSITIONAL RESPONSE TO SEDIMENT SUPPLY 15
The subaerial unconformity is explained by a seaward shift
of facies which resulted from the deposition processes of the
highstand systems tract. Sediments deposited during the suc-
ceeding relative sea-level fall (forced regressive systems
tract see Helland-Hansen & Gjelberg 1994 or falling stage
systems tract see Plint 1988) have not been recognized in
the area under study. These deposits have a high preservation
potential basinwards (offshore deposits). Deposits of this
falling stage systems tract could include the highly mica-
ceous sandstones of the Køepice Formation (Pouzdøany
Unit). An erosive nonconformity separates the Køepice For-
mation from the underlying Boudky Formation (Krhovský et
al. 1995; Stráník et al. 1981). In the Vienna Basin the sea-
level fall could have led to the deposition of the Hodonín and
Lednice Sands between the Eggenburgian and Ottnangian
part of the Luice Formation. The sea-level fall also influ-
enced the communication with the open sea as is evidenced
by the dramatic changes in fauna content. This has been de-
scribed from the beginning of the Ottnangian by many au-
thors (Ètyroký 1991).
The Rzehakia Beds (RB) were recognized within segment
D (Nehyba 1995). The occurrence of the RB (Ottnangian) is
connected with the invasion of cooler waters (Ètyroký
1991). This marine ingression is explained and correlated
with the early Miocene global sea-level rise (Haq et al. 1988
in Kováè et al. 1993; Krhovský et al. 1995). The fluctuation
in salinity and the highly variable sedimentary content of the
RB and their correlative deposits in the Pouzdøany and
dánice units have been explained by climatic oscillations
(Krhovský et al. 1995).
The start of the deposition of segment D is connected with
transgression (non-accretionary transgression see Fig. 6). The
delta abandonment facies at the top of segment C were inun-
dated by shallow marine deposits at the base of segment D.
The basal bounding surface of segment D was affected by
erosion and redeposition during both sea-level fall and rise.
The presence of beds of pebbly sandstones, conglomerates
and pebbly mudstones on the base of segment D was often
recognized (Ètyroký 1991; Nehyba 1995). This surface re-
flects redeposition and erosion during transgression (ravine-
ment surface) because of the occurrence of shoreface deposits
above. Facies succession allows us to subdivide segment D
into two units (parasequence sets ?). The lower unit pre-
liminarily denominated as the retrograding parasequence set
often shows repeated FU cycles several meters thick. The
upper unit preliminarily denominated as the aggrading/
prograding parasequence set is formed by an almost uni-
form sandstone deposition. These sets are separated by a bed
with a higher accumulation of coarse clasts and debris of mac-
rofauna. The necessity of subdividing of segment D into sever-
al units is also indicated by its thickness (60 m in some drill
holes). The setting patterns through the sedimentary succes-
sion can mainly be explained by sediment supply. The upper
part of segment D could be a product of highstand (Ainsworth
& Pattison 1994). Further data from drill holes are necessary
to solve this problem.
The transgressive deposits (base of segment D) rest on the
upper surface of segment C and begin with the transgressive
surface (ravinement surface). The upper bounding surface
forms the subaerial nonconformity described by Ètyroký
(1991). This nonconformity is followed by the transgressive
surface of younger Karpatian deposits. The locally restrict-
ed preservation of segments C and D in the area with the
highest rate of formation of accommodation space in the
studied area supports the idea that they are preserved only
as erosional relics. The erosion could mainly be connected
with the sea-level falls. The importance and variety of inten-
sity of the erosion is supported by the fact that Karpatian de-
posits rest locally on various segments and sequences. Kar-
patian deposits form the next sequence sequence III.
The extent of transgressions
Comparison of the areal extent of shoreline deposits during
two succeeding transgressions (segment B versus basal part
of segment D) shows, that the former progression of the
shoreline onto the BM during the Ottnangian (segment D)
can be documented at least locally. The coastal onlap of the
transgressive phase varies with the changing amplitude of
sea-level oscillations. If the time period of the transgressive-
regressive cycles is long enough, a considerable part of the
coastal onlap sediments is removed on the landward side by
mechanical and chemical denudation during the subsequent
regressive phase, unless it is protected by overlying conti-
nental sediments. Some part of the segment is eroded by the
storm wave base during the next transgressive phase. Vertical
sections from this region often show sharply based shoreface
deposits within coastal plain deposits (lagoonal, deltaic, flu-
The Eggenburgian and Ottnangian sedimentary record of
the SW part of the Carpathian Foredeep can be subdivided
into several sequence stratigraphic units. Some of them are
preserved as erosional remnants and were actually recog-
nized only in a restricted part of the basin.
Two sequences have been recognized within the studied
area. Sequence I was deposited during one cycle of relative
sea-level rise and fall and is formed by a succession of sedi-
ments forming segments A, B and C with their parase-
quence sets. Segment A represents lowstand/early trans-
gressive deposits, segment B represents transgressive
deposits and segment C represents highstand deposits. De-
posits of the falling stage were not described in the area un-
der study but are traced more basinward. Within the trans-
gressive deposits a lower retrograding parasequence and an
upper aggrading-retrograding parasequence sets can be rec-
ognized. Various types of transgressive systems tract devel-
opment (transgressive deposits) have been recognized in dif-
ferent parts of the area under study. The accommodation
space was not generated at the landward side of the shore-
line during non-accretionary transgression, but may have
been present at the initial stage of transgression. Whereas
during accretionary transgression the accommodation space
was continuously generated and filled behind the retreating
shoreline (thick and thin back-barrier wedge). Within the
highstand deposits a progradational parasequence set and an
aggradational parasequence set can be described. The high-
stand deposits are connected with normal regression. This
type of regression is connected with conditions of a steady
or rising sea level and with a greater rate of sediment supply
than is the accommodation space generated at the shoreline.
Regression during rising sea level also generates accommo-
dation space behind the shoreline, giving space for the net
aggradation of non-marine deposits.
Within sequence II only one segment (segment D) with its
parasequence sets has been recognized. This segment can
be subdivided into two parasequence sets. The lower one is
denominated as the retrograding parasequence set and rep-
resents transgressive deposits and the upper unit is denomi-
nated as the aggrading/prograding parasequence set and
preliminary represents highstand deposits.
The deposition of Lower Miocene deposits was strongly
influenced by the rate and character of sediment input, sub-
sidence characteristics, sea-level changes and by the bed-
rock morphology especially by its slope angle. Local varia-
tions in sediment supply and the location of the sections
investigated within the basin play a significant role in the
recognition and dating of the sedimentary cycles. The in-
creasing role of sediment input within the sequence sedi-
mentary infill has been recognized.
In the studied area the most complete succession of Lower
Miocene can be found within the Vranovice Trough. This is
where the next research activity for solving the stratigraphic
problems of the region should be placed.
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