GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, 52, 3, BRATISLAVA, JUNE 2001
STRUCTURAL HISTORY OF THE PORVA BASIN
IN THE NORTHERN BAKONY MTS (WESTERN HUNGARY):
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE MESOZOIC AND TERTIARY TECTONIC
EVOLUTION OF THE TRANSDANUBIAN RANGE
AND PANNONIAN BASIN
, BALÁZS GELLÉRT
and LÁSZLÓ FODOR
Department of Applied and Environmental Geology, Eötvös University, Múzeum krt. 4/a, 1088 Budapest, Hungary; email@example.com
(Manuscript received April 5, 2000; accepted in revised form October 17, 2000)
Abstract: The authors made geological mapping and microtectonic measurements in the Northern Bakony Mts., around
the Porva Basin. Using structural observations, a new structural-geological map was made for this area. Four tectonic
phases were separated by the analysis of stress field. Map-scale neptunian dikes represent the Jurassic rifting episode.
For this phase NNE-SSW tension was estimated. NW-SE compression of Albian (?) age resulted in gently dipping
reverse and conjugate strike-slip faults. In the Ottnangian—Sarmatian (18.5—11 Ma) a strike-slip type stress field with
NNW-SSE compression developed. This phase formed mainly NW-SE striking dextral and conjugate shorter sinistral
strike-slip faults. NW-SE striking half-grabens formed along strike-slip or oblique-slip faults. Motion resulted in post-
sedimentary tilting of the Eocene-Oligocene sequences toward the master faults. A late Miocene extensional phase with
WNW-ESE tensional directions was also determined. During this phase the earlier half-grabens were reactivated, al-
though with slightly different slip on boundary faults. Some of the young half-grabens are connected by transfer faults,
which had a strike-slip character. Ottnangian-Sarmatian strike-slip faults occurred during the rifting phase of the Pannonian
Basin, their main activity was coeval with important stretching in the northeastern Pannonian Basin. These relatively
local strike-slip faults could accommodate differential extension between the northern and southern Pannonian Basin.
On the other hand, the newly recognized Late Miocene tensional phase indicate, that the post-rift evolution of the
Pannonian Basin was associated with considerable crustal extension.
Key words: Cretaceous, Miocene, Pannonian Basin, Bakony Mts, structural geology, strike-slip fault, half-graben,
The Bakony Mts are situated in the Transdanubian Range,
southeast of the Danube Basin (Fig. 1). According to its Mi-
ocene structural setting, the Bakony Mts are on the hanging
wall of the detachment fault running down from the Kőszeg-
Rechnitz Penninic window (Tari 1996). While modern tecton-
ic analysis has been made in the Danube Basin (e.g. Tari
1994), the northern Bakony is a relatively unknown area in
this respect. Here the last systematic structural work was done
by Mészáros (1983) describing ESE-WNW oriented Miocene
dextral faults. The largest one, the Telegdi Roth Line has a 4.7
km dextral separation (Fig. 1) (Mészáros 1983; Kókay 1976)
and runs just south of the studied area.
Although detailed geological maps cover the Northern Ba-
kony Mts (Császár 1982; Gyalog & Császár 1990), the lack
of paleostress data prevented the kinematic interpretation of
faults. Bergerat et al. (1984) and Maros (pers. commun.)
measured only a few sites, while Fodor et al. (1999) reported
results from few additional locations. In our paper we present
new paleostress data and other observations from the Porva
Basin, Northern Bakony. The description of fault pattern, its
kinematic character and the structural evolution can be used
as analogy in other areas around the Danube Basin. In addi-
tion, some of the new data can have implications for the
structure of the whole Pannonian region.
In the research area the oldest surface formation is the Up-
per Triassic dolomite (Hauptdolomit Formation, Fig. 2), show-
ing typical intertidal sedimentary features. Dachstein Lime-
stone, the most frequent Mesozoic sedimentary rock
surrounding the basin, was also generated in a shallow marine
environment (Haas 1995). Different Lower Jurassic shallow
and deep-water limestones follow it. Middle Jurassic to Early
Cretaceous limestones mainly represent pelagic sediments.
The late Early Cretaceous shallow water crinoidal limestone
(Tata Formation) and the Senonian siliciclastic sequence in-
cluding coal beds (Csehbánya Formation) have very limited
extension (Lelkes 1990; Császár & Haas 1984) but an impor-
tant tectonic role. Middle Eocene sediments are represented by
two basic types: (1) the lower, nummulitic Szőc Limestone
Formation and (2) the upper, deep water glauconitic Padrag
Marl Formation with tuffitic horizon (Fig. 8). These Eocene
sediments were formed at increasing water-depth. The thickest
Tertiary sedimentary fill of the Porva Basin is the fluvial Csat-
Present addresses: *Hungarian Oil Company, Batthyányi út 45, Budapest, 1039 Hungary; firstname.lastname@example.org
**Geol. Inst. of Hungary, Stefánia út 14, Budapest, 1143 Hungary; email@example.com
184 KISS, GELLÉRT
ka Formation (Fig. 2). The detrital succession contains silt-
stone, sandstone and conglomerate with predominantly exotic
quartz and metamorphic pebbles (Korpás 1981). The age of
these strata is Upper Oligocene—Early Miocene (Egerian—
?Eggenburgian), accumulated as sediments of alluvial and/or
torrent rivers. Loess, slope and alluvial sediments were formed
in the Quaternary (for clarity, they are not shown in Fig. 2).
Structural mapping included the control or modification of
faults shown by earlier maps (Gyalog & Császár 1990). We
modified the location, connection, and, if it was possible to de-
termine, the kinematics of faults. During this step, a digital ter-
rain model was applied for better resolution of morphotectonic
Microtectonic measurements represented an important part
of the fieldwork. Microtectonic data was evaluated by the
method of Angelier (1984). Stereograms drawn by the soft-
ware show the measured data and also the calculated principal
stress axes. Outcrop-scale observations, the determined stress
axes and the apparent map offset of formations were used to
determine the kinematics of faults (Fig. 2). We also used bore-
hole data to construct a new geological map without Quaterna-
Structural description and kinematic analysis
The oldest structural phase known from this area belongs to
the Jurassic (Fig. 3A). The interpreted NNE-SSW oriented
tensional stress field induced the development of neptunian
dikes filled by Lower Jurassic crinoidal (Hierlatz) limestone
Fig. 1. The study area, the Porva Basin is situated in the Northern Bakony Mts. Pre-Tertiary formations are shown.
STRUCTURAL HISTORY OF THE PORVA BASIN IN THE BAKONY MTS 185
Fig. 2. Geological map of the Porva Basin in the Northern Bakony Mts. Based on maps of Császár (1982), Gyalog & Császár (1990) and
perpendicular to the tension (Fig. 3B). The largest dike is 300
m wide and it is accompanied by smaller (1—10 cm) dikelets in
the surroundings (they are schematically shown on Fig. 3).
We interpret compressional (strike-slip) type stress field
in the late Early Cretaceous (Early Albian?)
phase. This stress field was identified from microtectonic data
of 6 quarries (Fig. 4). In the Szilas-árok outcrop reverse faults
and associated folds (ramp anticline) also occur. In most of the
outcrops gently dipping reverse faults occur, often with reacti-
vated bedding planes.
Early timing of these structures can be established by the
data of Márvány quarry and especially Templom Hill. The
strike-slip striae are situated parallel to the bedding-fault plane
intersection line. This geometry is probable when tectonic tilt-
ing occurred after the faulting (Fig. 5). If the strike-slip is of
post-tilt age, slickenside lineations would be horizontal de-
186 KISS, GELLÉRT
spite tilted beds. There was an important tilting event during
the late Early Cretaceous, when the synform structure of the
Transdanubian Range was formed (Tari 1995). The striae de-
veloped before (or during) this tilting event, so they can be-
long to an early deformational phase.
Along the Great Western Fault (Fig. 2) there is map-scale ar-
gument for pre-Tertiary (probably mid-Cretaceous) deforma-
tion. On the eastern block Middle Eocene (and Egerian?) sedi-
ments directly cover the Upper Triassic Dachstein Formation,
while the western block contains the complete Jurassic-Creta-
ceous sequence. Relative vertical motion and erosion occurred
before the Eocene.
Fig. 5. Relation between striae and bedding. On the left side model
tilting occurred after the faulting so the striae are parallel with the
bedding plane. That is, what we can observe on the stereogram of
the Cretaceous phase (Fig. 4). On the right side tilting happened be-
fore the faulting thus the striae and bedding plane are not parallel.
Fig. 4. Microtectonic measurements in lower Cretaceous limestones
(upper 3 diagrams) and Dachstein Limestone (the lower 3). During
middle Cretaceous deformation, gently dipping thrust and strike-
slip faults were generated due to NW-SE compression. Stereograph-
ic projections use Schmid net, lower hemisphere. Arrows on fault
projections correspond to sense of shear, strike-slip (double), away
and toward circle centre (normal, reverse faults). Stars with five,
four, three branches are
. Black arrows out of the circle are
Fig. 3. A – Jurassic brittle deformation is represented by a map-
scale neptunian dike (location in Fig. 2, cross section – B). Here
Jurassic limestone (
) occurs as a sedimentary dike in Upper Tri-
assic Dachstein Limestone (
). For this phase NNE-SSW tension
Fig. 6. Microtectonic data of the early to Middle Miocene phase.
Measurements were made on Dachstein Limestone (Cuha Valley),
Eocene Szőc Formation (Csesznek) and Oligocene Csatka Forma-
tion (Fenyőfő/1). Data of the site Cuha Valley are from Gyetvai et
al. (1997), reinterpreted.
Probably the most significant structural phase occurred dur-
ing the Ottnangian—Karpatian—Badenian—Sarmatian in the Ba-
kony Mts including the Porva Basin. The stereogram belong-
ing to this phase shows that the direction of maximal
horizontal stress is, NNW-SSE (Fig. 6). This stress field
formed mainly NW-SE striking dextral and conjugate shorter
sinistral strike-slip faults. These faults are several km long
(Bacskor Hill Fault, Porva Fault, Great Western Fault, Fig. 2),
are trending NW-SE, and are partly running out of this area.
Shorter sinistral fault is present at the Templom Hill Fault
(Fig. 2). NW-SE striking dextral faults, which are important
structural elements also in the next phase, could have been
generated as early as during this phase, on the basis of the
The Late Miocene stress field shows predominantly exten-
sional features (Fig. 7). The direction of minimal stress axis
was WNW-ESE. Normal faults were associated with oblique-
slip faults. Most of the determined map-scale faults reactivate
older strike-slip faults with oblique-slip kinematics.
Half-graben tectonics belongs to the last two phases (Fig.
8). Half-grabens were controlled by normal-dextral (like Porva
STRUCTURAL HISTORY OF THE PORVA BASIN IN THE BAKONY MTS 187
Fig. 7. Microtectonic measurements of Late Miocene phase. The
youngest affected rock is Pannonian. A WNW-ESE tension direc-
tion was determined.
Fig. 8. A – Ideal block diagram of post-Oligocene half-grabens. B
– Cross section of the Porva half-graben with fifteen-fold vertical
exaggeration (location on Fig. 2).
and Ménesjárás half-grabens), as well as by ”pure” normal
faults (like Almás half-graben). The generated basinal do-
mains are asymmetrical, dipping toward the master faults. No
major sediment thickening occurs toward the faults either in
the Eocene or in the Upper Oligocene—lowermost Miocene
Fig. 9. A – The Hódos graben was formed during the last (Pannon-
ian) tectonic phase on the northern part of the research area. B –
shows the idealized block diagram of a similar transfer zone, which
connects the Rhine and the Saône grabens (Bergerat 1977).
formations, suggesting post-sedimentary formation of half-
In the Late Miocene phase the complex Hódos graben was
formed (Fig. 9). It can be divided into 4 parts. Graben domains
I., II. and IV. were bounded by normal faults or oblique faults
with sinistral component. These domains are connected to
each other and limited on the north by E-W striking transfer
zones of the segment III. and I. (Fig. 9). These transfer faults
were formed because of geometric reasons.
Discussion and conclusion
Early Jurassic deformation is represented by a NNE-SSW
tension. The stress axis is similar to the supposed stress field
that can be deduced from the paleogeographical elements de-
scribed by Vörös & Galácz (1998) for the whole Bakony Mts
or documented in the Gerecse (Fodor & Lantos 1998). We can
connect this Early Jurassic tectonic event with the disruption
(rifting) of the Upper Triassic carbonate platform of the Trans-
The gently dipping thrust and strike-slip faults formed by
NW-SE compression are syn- or pre-tilting structures. These
small-scale structures can correspond to the main phase of
Cretaceous structural evolution of the Transdanubian Range,
when the Permo-Mesozoic succession was folded, and de-
tached from its pre-Alpine basement (Tari 1995). The resulting
synclines and reverse faults occur all around the Porva Basin
(Fig. 1A), north and east of it (Gyalog & Császár 1990), west
of the basin (Bakonybél thrust, Tari 1994), south of the Herend
fault (Mészáros 1968). The estimated compressional direction
(NNW-SSE) of Tari (1995) and also the measured data
188 KISS, GELLÉRT
Fig. 10. Main Miocene structures, stress trajectories (main figures), structures and stress axes (insets) for the Pannonian-Carpathian region
and for the northern Bakony, respectively; after Fodor et al. (1999) and this work (see also Figs. 1, 2).
Middle Miocene phase; note paral-
lel dextral faults in the Bakony Mts. ESB – East Slovak Basin; BH – Bacskor Hill; GW – Great Western, P – Porva dextral faults.
Late Miocene phase; note normal or oblique normal faults with ESW-NW tension in the Bakony Mts., probably due to continuing eastward
pull in the Eastern Carpathians. H – Hódos; P – Porva; A – Almás half grabens.
(WNW-ESE) of Fodor & Koroknai (2000) in the southern Ba-
kony correspond to our computed data. Similar a late Early
Cretaceous stress field was recorded in the Balaton Highland
by Dudko (1991) where compression created large thrust
faults (Fig. 1A).
We observed one Baremian and two Aptian sites deformed
during this phase. This shows that at least part of the (tilting)
folding is clearly post-Aptian. Combining with the upper time
constraint (Mészáros 1968), the deformation could be placed
in the early Albian (Fodor & Koroknai 2000). However, an
early Aptian event is not excluded (e.g. Haas 1996), because
the Aptian crinoidal limestone contains clasts from different
Jurassic and Upper Triassic formations (Lelkes 1990).
One of the most important phases of structural evolution of
the Porva Basin happened in the late Early to Middle Miocene.
In this phase a strike-slip stress field developed with NNW-
SSE compression and perpendicular tension.
This stress field operated other map-scale strike-slip faults,
such as the Telegdi Roth Line (Fig. 1), which has 4.7 km dex-
tral separation. It corresponds to a stress field estimated from
the fault pattern of Mészáros (1983) and the few published
stress field data (Bergerat et al. 1984; Fodor et al. 1999).
Transpressional dextral faults were described on the northern
edge of the Bakony (Csesznek Zone, Fig. 1B, Kiss & Gellért
2000) and on the south (Herend fault, Mészáros 1968). Dextral
faulting could be associated with domino-type rotation of
blocks (Tari 1991). Numerous measurements have been made
in the Oligocene—Early Miocene Csatka Formation at
Fenyőfő, thus the tectonic phase can be specified as post-Ege-
rian. This wrenching probably started in the Ottnangian in the
Várpalota Basin (Fig. 1B, Kókay 1996). Displaced Badenian
strata indicate, that the main period could be Sarmatian
These structures are difficult to interpret and put in the Car-
pathian geodynamic framework, because they are very scarce
in other parts (see Fodor et al. 1999). Dextral strike-slip fault-
ing in the Porva Basin, particularly, the main Badenian-Sarma-
tian activity was coeval with important extension in the north-
eastern Pannonian Basin (e.g. East Slovak Basin, Kováč et al.
1995). One alternative explanation is that dextral faults ac-
commodate differential extension between the northeastern
and southern Carpathian-Pannonian area (Fig. 10A). The other
STRUCTURAL HISTORY OF THE PORVA BASIN IN THE BAKONY MTS 189
possible scenario is that NNW-SSE compression is the far-
field sign of compression and dextral transpression in the
southern Alps (Castellarin & Cantelli 2000) and in the south-
ern Eastern Alps (Nemes et al. 1997; Polinski & Eisbacher
1992), in Slovenia (Fodor et al. 1998) or in Croatia (Tomljen-
ović & Csontos 2001).
During the Late Miocene period long normal and dextral-
normal faults were working. They controlled the development
of half-grabens, and the tilting of the Eocene-Oligocene se-
quence. This phase activated the fault pattern of the Hódos
graben which is very similar (in geometry) to the Le Creusot-
Belfort transform zone, which connects the Saône and Rhine
grabens (Bergerat 1977).
This significant extension phase can be extended to the en-
tire Northern Bakony Mts (Fig. 1B). West and northwest from
the Porva Basin, maps (Gyalog & Császár 1990) indicate Pan-
nonian sediments bounded by E-W to NNE-SSW trending
faults (Fig. 1B). On the southwest, the Ajka graben is limited
by en echelon, NNE oriented normal faults. Between the Ba-
kony and Vértes Hills, the dextral-normal boundary fault of the
Mór graben displaces Pannonian rocks (Kóta 2001). At the
southern wing of Northern Bakony Mts Kókay (1996) reported
a late normal fault displacing the Telegdi Roth Line in the Vár-
palota Basin (Fig. 1B). All these NNE-SSW trending faults
could have been generated by ESE-WNW tension. Kókay
(1996) has dated the Várpalota fault as middle Pannonian. This
is in good agreement with our relative chronology while the
youngest affected rock is Pannonian (Bakonyszentlászló,
This post-Middle Miocene extension phase has already been
determined in the vicinity of the Bakony. A stress field with
pure NW-SE minimal axes was measured in the Gerecse
(Bada et al. 1996) and in the Buda Hills (Fodor et al. 1994).
Altogether, ESE-WNW to SE-NW oriented tension seems
to be present in a considerable part of the Pannonian Basin
(Fig. 10B). The Late Miocene period is traditionally regarded
as a post-rift phase marked only by thermal subsidence (Roy-
den & Horváth 1988). Our data indicate noticeable crustal ex-
tension, which could be connected to final thrusting in the Car-
pathians (Fodor et al. 1999). The direction of trajectories of
are oriented to the Eastern Carpathian thrust front which was
still active at the beginning of the Late Miocene (Ma enco
Acknowledgment: The work was initiated at the Depart-
ment of Applied and Environmental Geology of the Eötvös
University, Budapest as a student work, later as the master
thesis of A. Kiss. The field work was partly supported by the
Hungarian Science Fundation (OTKA), Grant T 22119. E.
Boda and S. Diószegi from the bauxite mine at Ba-
konyszentlászó helped in field measurements. The comments
of the reviewers improved the figures and text considerably.
All help is acknowledged here.
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