GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, FEBRUARY 2005, 56, 1, 2940
Basement structure below the West-CarpathianEast
Carpathian orogen junction (eastern Poland, north-eastern
Slovakia and western Ukraine)
WOJCIECH RY£KO and ADAM TOMA
Polish Geological Institute, Carpathian Branch, Skrzatów 1, 31-560 Kraków, Poland; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
(Manuscript received May 28, 2003; accepted in revised form June 16, 2004)
Abstract: The morphology and tectonics of the consolidated basement of the Carpathians has been analysed using
magnetotelluric and deep seismic sounding. The results of these two methods allow for reconstruction of the depth of the
consolidated basement in a similar manner. The magnetotelluric sounding has mainly been applied for the area of Poland
and deep seismic sounding for the area of Slovakia and Ukraine. The products of the research are: the map of the depths
of the consolidated basement, sketch of the main tectonic elements layout and numerous deep cross-sections. It has been
stated that the morphology of the consolidated basement of the Carpathians is very variable. The depth of the top of the
consolidated basement ranges from a few kilometers to ca. 24 km. The top surface of the basement dips from the north-
west towards the east. It has the shape of a trough with the TarnówPutila axis. North and south of the trough axis the
surface of the consolidated basement rises from a few to several kilometers at the Carpathian overthrust and the Pieniny
Klippen Belt, respectively. The greatest drops are observed in eastern part of the studied region, in Ukraine, where the
surface of the consolidated basement is at depths below 22 km. The axis of the largest depths of the consolidated base-
ment from Rahiv to Krosno is regular and has a SENW orientation. Near Krosno, it bends southward to the Krynica
region where it again reverts to the SENW orientation. The consolidated basement between the Dunajec and Tisa rivers
has a blocky pattern and is dissected by numerous longitudinal and transverse dislocations. Along the transverse disloca-
tion, this surface is systematically thrown in a south-eastern direction. The basement surface between the regional
basement slope and the peri-Pieninian dislocation has a form of the trough with the axis RahivKrynica. This graben is
likely filled up with Paleozoic and Mesozoic deposits. It is believed that flysch units are rooted in this graben.
Key words: Carpathian Foreland, consolidated basement, tectonics, dislocations, seismic and magnetotelluric sounding.
The purpose of this paper is to determine the depth and the
tectonics of the consolidated basement of the Carpathians in
south-eastern Poland, north-eastern Slovakia and western
Ukraine between the Dunajec and Tisa rivers. The study area
(Fig. 1) extends between south-eastern Poland, from the
Dunajec river line to the state border, and north-eastern Slova-
kia, from Vyné Rubachy to the Ukrainian border, as well as
south-western Ukraine, from its border with Poland and Slo-
vakia to the Tisa Valley. In geological terms the study area ex-
tends between the Carpathian overthrust in the north to the Pie-
niny Klippen Belt in the south. Magnetotelluric sounding was
mainly applied for the area of Poland and deep seismic sound-
ing for the areas of Slovakia and Ukraine. Interpretation of the
magnetotelluric sounding of the Polish part of the Western
Carpathians was based on the examination performed by
Przedsiêbiorstwo Badañ Geofizycznych (Geophysical Explo-
ration Company) of Warsaw in 19861990 (Molek & Oracze-
wski 1988; Molek & Klimkowski 1991) and papers by Ry³ko
& Toma (1989, 1990, 1991, 1995a,b, 1998, 1999a,b, 2001).
In Slovakia the seismic profiles obtained in the region of Koi-
ce have been used. These are profiles 80/87 and 84/85 in the
region of the Top¾a river and profiles 107/88 and 107/89 along
the StropkovMedzilaborce line and profile 53/83 in the re-
gion of Sabinov (Vozár & antavý 1999). Their interpretation
by Slovak geologists (Varga & Lada 1988; Tomek et al. 1987,
1989, 1993; Dvoøáková et al. 1992; Tomek 1993; Èerv et al.
1994) has been used as well. In the case of western Ukraine,
UkrNIGRI materials of the MGPD international project and
materials of the West-Ukrainian Geophysical Expedition have
been used. These are deep seismic soundings along the geo-
traverses: HorohivSambirUgorod, VinieviecDolyna
Berehove, GorodokKolomyjaRahiv and PutilaViseu de
Sus. Papers by Ukrainian geologists (Borisov & Kruglakova
1962; Jarish et al. 1969; Rokutianskiy 1975; Subottin et al.
1976; Burianov et al. 1977, 1978; Dolenko et al. 1978; Kru-
glov et al. 1985; Sheremeta Ed.
1999) have been used as well.
High-frequency magnetotelluric survey along 17 regional
transects was performed in the Carpathians during 1997
2003. Unfortunately, they are of limited access. Therefore, the
authors used only the data available in the published materials
in this domain (Stefaniuk et al. 1998, 1999; Czerwiñski &
Miecznik 1999; Stefaniuk & Klityñski 1999, 2000; Stefaniuk
& Pepel 2000; Stefaniuk & Wójcicki 2000; Królikowski et al.
2000; Czerwiñski & Stefaniuk 2001; Klityñski & Wójcicki
2001; Królikowski & Petecki 2001; Stefaniuk 1999, 2000,
The map of the depths of the consolidated basement, sketch
of the layout of the main tectonic elements and numerous deep
30 RY£KO and TOMA
cross-sections has been derived. The analysis of the morphol-
ogy of the consolidated basement has been performed using
mathematical statistics. The point results of the depths of the
basement have been approximated by krigging method using
SURFER software. Based on the point depths of the consoli-
dated basement, regional seismic profiles and their former in-
terpretations (op.cit.) the major tectonic elements and cross-
sections have been sketched.
Geology of the consolidated basement of the
Main structural-geological units of Paleozoic basement of
the Carpathians and their Foredeep as distinguished in the
The study area is located in the range of two geological
units formed by tectonic processes of the Alpine orogenesis,
i.e. the Outer Carpathians and the Carpathian Foredeep. The
basement of these structural-geological units includes Meso-
zoic platform deposits and lithologically, facially and thick-
ness differentiated Paleozoic deposits. They form vari-aged
structural zones resting on tectonic units known as: the Upper
Silesia and Malopolska block, massifs and terrans (Bukowy
1964, 1984; Brochwicz-Lewiñski et al. 1968; Po¿aryski & Ko-
tañski 1979; Bogacz 1980; Kotas 1982, 1985; Po¿aryski 1990;
Po¿aryski et al. 1992; Po¿aryski & Tomczyk 1993; Bu³a 1994,
2000; Bu³a & Jachowicz 1996; Bu³a et al. 1997; ¯aba 1999).
The Upper Silesia and Malopolska block, formed of Precam-
brian rocks of various genesis and metamorphism are often
jointly called the consolidated basement of the Carpathians
(Ry³ko & Toma 1999a,b, 2001).
In recent years lithostratigraphic and tectonic studies on the
Lower Paleozoic deposits in the Lubliniec-Kraków Upper Sile-
sia and western Malopolska regions have been performed. The
outcomes of these studies became the background to identifi-
cation of the 0.5 km wide Kraków-Lubliniec tectonic zone sep-
arating the Upper Silesia block from the Malopolska one (Bu³a
1994, 2000; Bu³a et al. 1997; ¯aba 1999). The zone is reliably
documented in the section between Myszków and Kraków. A
precise location of this zone south-east of Bochnia is difficult
as the Paleozoic basement plunges under the Carpathian Flysch
Multi-phase tectonic development of the zone KrakówLu-
bliniec, which continues in the Paleozoic basement of the Car-
pathians south-east of Kraków, had an influence on differenti-
ated sedimentation of Paleozoic deposits, especially the Lower
Paleozoic ones, on the Upper Silesia and Malopolska block.
Detailed treatment of the stages of structural evolution of the
Paleozoic sequences of the border zone of the Upper Silesia
and Malopolska blocks is given in the work of ¯aba (1999).
Fig. 1. Schematic tectonic map of the Carpathian region with location of the deep geological profiles. 1 Foredeep, 2 Ou ter Car-
pathians, 3 Inner Carpathians, 4 Neogene volcanics, 5 Outline of studied area, 6 Outer Carpathians northern boundary, 7
Lines of the deep geological profiles.
BASEMENT STRUCTURE BELOW CARPATHIAN OROGEN (POLAND, SLOVAKIA, UKRAINE) 31
The Upper Silesia block together with the Brno block
(Moravia) in the west belong to a larger tectonic unit, which is
called Brunovistulicum by Dudek (1980) or Brno (Brunii)
Upper Silesia massif according to Kotas (1982, 1985). The
Upper Silesia block is the tectonic unit of Cadomian consoli-
dation and is built of Precambrian crystalline and anchimeta-
morphic rocks (Dudek 1980; Moryc & Heflik 1998). The Pre-
cambrian rocks of the Upper Silesia block have been
identified in the boreholes only in the southern part in the
basement and in the direct foreland of the Outer Carpathians.
The crystalline Bruno-Vistulicum basement is exposed in
the south-western part, in region of Brno (so-called Brunia
Zapletal 1933). Maybe, the consolidated basement is repre-
sented by the Proterozoic series as well, exposed in the north-
eastern margin of the Upper Silesia block in the Eastern Su-
detes. The existence of the older crystalline basement here was
assumed for a long time (Petrascheck 1928; Stille 1948,
1951), however, at first a considerably greater extent to the
north-eastern so-called Vistulicum (Stille 1948, 1951) was
supposed. Bukowy (1964), on the basis of the results from the
boreholes in the southern border of the Upper Silesia Coal Ba-
sin, distinguished the so-called Cieszyn block which horizon-
tal range coincides in general with the Bruno-Vistulicum area,
distinguished later by Dudek (1980). The Bruno-Vistulicum
block is delimited on all sides by large, crustal, structural dis-
continuities which, most often, were active many times. The
Moravian-Silesian zone is the western boundary of the dis-
cussed block. The south-eastern and southern margins of the
Bruno-Vistulicum dip under the Carpathian overthrust
(Karnkowski 1977; Dvoøák 1978, 1995; Tomek 1993). It is
assumed the peri-Pieninian Fault Zone is perhaps the southern
boundary of this block (Sikora 1976; Dudek 1980; Kotas
1982). It is possible, however, that the crystalline Bruno-Vis-
tulicum basement extends further southward, and plunge un-
der the Inner Carpathian structures. In the north-east the
Bruno-Vistulicum borders with the Malopolska block, where
the KrakówLubliniec Fault Zone separates the two (Bu³a
2000). Near Kraków this fault dips under the Carpathian over-
thrust front (Bu³a 1994) and continues further towards east as
far as Ukraine (Ry³ko & Toma 2003a,b). In the west, the Kra-
kówLubliniec Fault Zone is jointed probably with the Odra
Fault Zone and becomes an element of the transcontinental
dislocation zone HamburgKraków Fault Zone (¯aba 1995).
The Malopolska block is a tectonic unit for which a con-
solidation age as well as the northern and north-eastern bound-
aries have not been determined yet. The anchimetamorphic
clastic rocks are the oldest rocks forming the Malopolska
block (Samsonowicz 1955; G³owacki et al. 1963; G³owacki &
Karnkowski 1963; Jawor 1970; Jurkiewicz 1975; Karnkowski
1977; Kowalczewski 1981; Kowalski 1983; Bu³a 2000;
Moryc & Jachowicz 2000; Moryc & £ydka 2000). These
rocks have been identified in various regions of the block
apart from the Kielce part of the Holy Cross Mountains and
are represented by claystones, mudstone and sandstone locally
accompanied by conglomerates and sporadically by inserts of
tufaceous rocks. The discussed rocks differ in colours and are:
green, dark grey with greenish or pale greenish shade, ma-
roon, slate grey or greyish-violet. These rocks are strongly
lithified, massive, with dips in a range of 40
dips rarely), vertically cleaved in places, with variable an-
chimetamorphism in the greenstone facies, phyllitified in cer-
tain segments (that mainly refers to the profile sections formed
by clayey-mudstone rocks).
East of the tectonic zone KrakówLubliniec (apart from
Kielce part of the Holy Cross Mountains), the rocks with
aforementioned features are topped with inconsequently ar-
ranged, vari-aged rocks of the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Tertia-
ry, beginning with the Ordovician and ending with the Mi-
ocene. The stratigraphic position of anchimetamorphic
crystalline rocks is a subject of years lasting discussions. Pri-
marily, the anchimetamorphic crystalline rocks were assumed
to be Vendian and were compared with the Vendian phyllites
of Dobrogea (G³owacki & Karnkowski 1963). On the basis of
the acritarch studies carried out by G. Vidal (in: Po¿aryski et
al. 1981) they were believed to be Lower Cambrian. On the
basis of more recent palynological studies of anchimetamor-
phic rock samples from Zalasowa 1 and Stawiska 1 boreholes
located near Tarnów, Jachowicz (in: Moryc & Jachowicz
2000) has identified Vendian acritarchs.
At the current state of research it can be accepted that the
anchimetamorphic rocks representing the Malopolska block
are of the Vendian age. In the southern part of the massif (be-
tween BochniaTarnówRzeszów) and further in Ukraine
they have been identified under the Ordovician or younger
rock complexes. They are commonly assumed to be flysch de-
posits and due to that they differ from the Cambrian of the Up-
per Silesia block and the Cambrian of the Holy Cross Moun-
tains (Bu³a 2000).
On the Upper Silesia block, the position of the Cambrian de-
posits with respect to the Precambrian ones is clearly defined
(Bu³a 2000). On the other hand, in the case of the Malopolska
block this problem has not been solved yet and is a subject of
numerous ongoing discussions. According to Po¿aryski &
Tomczyk (1968) and Jurkiewicz (1975) the Malopolska and
Sandomerian orogeny played an important role in sedimenta-
tion-diastrophic development of the VendianLower Cambrian
sediments in the Holy Cross Mountains. Po¿aryski & Tomczyk
(1968), Jurkiewicz (1975) and Znosko (1996) assume these
orogeny movements to be in the Vendian yet in an undefined
time interval. The movements resulted in folding and disjunc-
tive deformation of rock complexes. Jurkiewicz (1975) at-
tributes a weak regional greenstone facies metamorphism of the
Vendian rocks to the Malopolska orogeny. That author consid-
ers the Upper Vendian-Cambrian rocks, which he assigns to the
Sandomerian stage, to rest disconformably on the rocks of the
Malopolska stage. According to Po¿aryski (in: Po¿aryski 1990;
Po¿aryski et al. 1992) the VendianLower Cambrian rocks
form the base of the Malopolska block, on which the Ordovi-
cian deposits rest almost horizontally.
For understanding the geological structure of the Malopol-
ska block it is important to realize that the paleontologically
documented Cambrian rocks, known from the Kielce part of
the Holy Cross Mountains and from the region of Tarnogród
Lubaczów, have a limited extent and do not spread out over
the entire area of the Malopolska block. They are present only
in the northern and north-eastern part of the block.
The oldest Lower Paleozoic rocks, which have been found
over the entire area of the Malopolska block, represent the Or-
32 RY£KO and TOMA
dovician and Silurian. They rest disconformably on the Pre-
cambrian and (Lower and Middle) Cambrian. This inconsis-
tence is emphasized by sedimentation disconformity and an-
gular discordance of various magnitudes. The size of the
stratigraphic gap between the Ordovician deposits and the old-
er basement in the Malopolska block increases in the southern
and western directions.
Remarks on the consolidated basement exotics and their oc-
currence in the flysch Carpathians and in the Carpathian
In the flysch Carpathian basement, the MesozoicPaleozoic
are underlain by Precambrian crystalline and metamorphic de-
posits known from the literature as the crystalline basement or
consolidated basement (Nowak 1975; Karnkowski 1977; Osz-
czypko et al. 1989; Bu³a et al. 1997; Bu³a 2000; Ry³ko &
Toma 2001). Until now, the crystalline basement of the Pol-
ish Carpathians has been recognized by a few boreholes. It is
best documented in the western and northern part of the Polish
sector of the flysch Carpathians where it rests relatively shal-
low (Ry³ko & Toma 2001). In the western part two regions
are distinguished. The first region is located between Bielsko
and Andrychów while the second one is located between Rze-
szotaryDobczyceWiniowa. In the region BielskoAndry-
chów the consolidated basement is under the flysch, Miocene
and Paleozoic (mainly Devonian) deposits. In the area Rzeszo-
taryDobczyceWiniowa the consolidated basement is under
the Carpathian Flysch and the Mesozoic rocks. The metamor-
phic Precambrian deposits, mainly schists, gneisses and grani-
toides as well as, locally, pyroxene-olivine gabbros (borehole
Andrychów 2) have been stated there.
In the northern part of the flysch Carpathians, located east
of the Tarnów meridian, the consolidated basement has bean
drilled in several boreholes in the region of Brzozowa, Rze-
szów, Dubiecko, Przemyl and Cisowa.
Borehole Cisowa IG-1 has provided interesting evidence
with respect to the nature of the deposits forming the consoli-
dated basement as well as its tectonics (Wdowiarz et al. 1974).
In the borehole profile, from the depth of 4310 m to 4365.5 m
the so called autochthonous basement has being drilled. Ac-
cording to Wiesers description (in: Wdowiarz et al. 1974) the
basement is built of muddy or muddy-calcareous metaargil-
lites known in the literature as phyllitized clayey shales
(G³owacki & Karnkowski 1963), phyllites (Parachoniak 1963)
or mudstones (£ydka & Siedlecki 1963).
The roks representing the consolidated basement, identified
in the boreholes located in the northern and eastern parts of the
flysch Carpathians show a complete consistence with the ana-
logue rocks that have been recognized earliest and best in the
area of the Carpathian Foreland (Karnkowski 1977). That area
has been examined due to geological-prospecting of hydrocar-
bon deposits. The boreholes usually pierced the Miocene se-
ries that fill the Carpathian Foredeep and reached to the under-
lying Mesozoic and Paleozoic rocks at the basement
(Karnkowski & G³owacki 1961). Beneath, in some cases di-
rectly under the Miocene deposits, phyllitized clayey shales
and mudstone, with inserts of fine-crystalline quartzites, have
been found. The dips of the laminas are very high, 7090°.
These deposits are of the Riphean age according to Sam-
In the central and south-eastern part of the eastern sector of
the flysch Carpathians, comprising the Ukrainian Carpathians
as well, where the flysch is over 8000 m thick, the consolidat-
ed basement is exclusively known from the exotics encoun-
tered in the flysch and from tectonic detached blocks. The ex-
ception is the Marmarosh massif in the Ukrainian part of the
Carpathians, where the crystalline rocks and calcareous Meso-
zoic deposits covered with the flysch occur on the surface. Ac-
cepting to Nowaks opinion (1927) it can be assumed that the
crystalline rocks of the Marmarosh massif form the basement
in the eastern part of the Flysch Carpathian Geosyncline.
The majority of rounded clasts stated in the conglomerates
that occur in the Paleogene profile of the flysch of the northern
slope of the Ukrainian Carpathians and in the Miocene molas-
ses of the Carpathian Foredeep are metamorphic rocks known
from the literature as phyllites, phyllite shales or exotic crys-
talline rocks. Paul & Tietze (1877) distinguished these rocks,
in the conglomerates of the Ropienice Beds of the Skole Unit
and elsewhere. According to them the exotic material was sup-
posed to originate from the old cordillera bounding the Car-
pathian basin from the north-east. In the region of Bukovina
green shales and Jurassic limestones accumulated in the flysch
rocks were believed to be root elements protruding to the sur-
face. These root elements comprise the conglomerates often
built of chunks of phyllites and Jurassic limestones with a
small amount of matrix also built of similar material.
In the conglomerates, stated in the profile of the Upper Cre-
taceous of the northern slope of the Eastern Carpathians, the
metamorphic rocks occur in Sambir and PokutskBukovina
Carpathians but they are absent or occur in small quantities in
inter-basins of the Opir and Prut rivers. These rocks are com-
monly stated in the conglomerates of the Paleogene deposits
profile. In the conglomerates, which occur in the deposits of
the lower molasses of the Carpathian Foredeep, the discussed
rocks have been stated in the Polanice and Worotyszcze Beds
in the area of the entire fore-Carpathians excluding the north-
western region (Sambir, Chiriv, Dobromil).
In the conglomerates metamorphic rocks have been found.
The metamorphic rocks can be divided into three groups. The
first group comprises the finest fractions of metamorphic
rocks, represented by mudstones cherry-red, green and grey
and shales. The maximum concentration of red mudstones and
shales has been reported in the Paleogene of the Sambir Car-
pathians and in the Miocene conglomerates of the fore-Car-
pathians in the region of Truskavets and Nagujeviè. In the in-
ter-basin of the Opir and Prut rivers they occur rarely, they do
not occur in the deposits south-east of the Rybnica river. The
maximum concentration of the green and grey shales of this
group has been reported in the Sambir Carpathians. They dis-
appear rapidly from the deposits towards the south-east of the
Opir river. In Poland the discussed deposits have been stated
in borehole Jaros³aw-1 (1642.31648.7 m), Kañczuga-1
(1587.51590.0 m), Wola Ry¿kowa (792.2798.0 m) and
Lipnica (924.0927.0 m).
The second group of exotic rocks comprises the grey
schists. The described rocks have been found in Paleogene
conglomerates and in the Miocene molasses filling the Car-
BASEMENT STRUCTURE BELOW CARPATHIAN OROGEN (POLAND, SLOVAKIA, UKRAINE) 33
pathian Foredeep in the area located south-east of the
Bystrytsja Nadvornjanska river to the Romanian boundary.
Their maximum concentration has been reported in the
Pokutsk Carpathians. North-west of the Opir river the exotic
rocks of the discussed group have not been reported.
The third group of exotic rocks comprises: crystalline dark
green schists. The rocks have been stated only in the conglom-
erates occurring in the Polanytsa Formation of the Pokutsk
Bukovina Carpathians. They are encountered sporadically in
other beds of the northern slope of the Ukrainian Carpathians
and the Carpathian Foredeep.
The metamorphic schists, exotic to the flysch Carpathians,
are compared to the green schists of the Dobrogea massif. In-
directly their origin was related to the Lower Paleozoic and
Cambrian (Murgoci 1914), Ordovician (Grigoras 1956), Sil-
urian deposits (Simionescu 1927). Their origin was also relat-
ed to the Algonkian age (Paleckelmann 1935). In the case of
metamorphic schists occurring in the rounded conglomerates
compared with the green shales of Dobrogea, Vialov (1955)
assumed the Silurian age yet he did not exclude the Cambrian.
Glushko (1957) assigned the green metamorphic schists and
phyllites to the Lower Paleozoic age and the red phyllites to
the Upper Paleozoic.
In the light of the presented descriptions it can be assumed
that a thick series of the Riphean deposits rests in the area of
the basement of the Carpathian Foredeep. In this series the
lowermost part, being the strongest metamorphosed and repre-
sented by the rocks of the third group can be distinguished
(crystalline dark green schists). The middle, less metamor-
phosed part is represented by the rocks of the second group
(crystalline grey schists). The upper, least metamorphosed part
is represented by the rocks of the first group (mudstones and
The Riphean deposits, forming the basement of the Ukraini-
an part of the Carpathian Foredeep and continuing in the area
of the basement of the Paleozoic Lviv Foredeep comprise var-
ious series. The oldest deposits, represented by metamor-
phosed crystallines schists, have been reported in the central
and south-eastern parts of the Carpathian Foredeep and Paleo-
zoic Lviv Foredeep. Thus, they form a wide fragment of the
south-western slope of the Ukrainian massif. Crystalline
schists represent the Riphean and Older Paleozoic. The eastern
border of the occurrence of the crystalline schists can overlap
with the eastern border of the Paleozoic Lviv Foredeep, and
thereby can end at the line of the PelèaKremenetsTrebovl-
The oldest Riphean part is the area of the occurrence of the
metamorphosed crystalline schists. Subsequently mudstones
and schists were deposited on accreted areas located west of
the Ukrainian crystalline massif. By the end of the Riphean,
after sedimentation of mudstones and pelites, all the deposits
of the Riphean of the Lviv Foredeep and the Carpathian Fore-
deep were subjected to the Baikalian orogeny. Formation of
volcanic rocks of the Volyn Complex is associated with the fi-
nal stage of the orogeny.
The thick series of the Cambrian deposits, identified in the
boreholes of Poland (region of Lubaczów, Rudki, Kochanow-
ka, Medyka) as well as of Ukraine, were deposited after the
Baikalian orogeny in the Lower Paleozoic. The described
earlier metamorphosed Riphean mudstones and schists were
identified as exotics in the Cambrian deposits. The area of
those metamorphosed Riphean mudstones and schists spreads
from the Holy Cross Mountains to the western part of the fore-
Carpathians (Krukenychy Zone). This area was affected by the
Caledonian orogeny by the end of the Cambrian.
The diversity of the metamorphic rocks confirms the opin-
ion about a diversified structure of the foredeep basement.
This also supports the older opinion (Paul & Titze 1877) about
the old buried ridge extending from the Holy Cross Mountains
via Ukraine to Dobrogea in Romania.
Morphology of consolidated basement
The morphology of the consolidated basement of the Car-
pathians between the Dunajec river in Poland and the Tisa riv-
er in the Ukraine is very diversified (Fig. 2). The depth to the
top of the consolidated basement changes from a few to
The surface of the basement dips from north-west to south-
east, from the Dunajec to the Tisa rivers. It has the shape of a
graben with the TarnówPutila axis along which several drops
in depth occur. North and south of the trough axis the surface
of the consolidated basement rises to the depth of a few to sev-
eral kilometers at the Carpathian overthrust and at the Pieniny
Klippen Belt in the south.
In the eastern part of the studied area, at the edge of the
overthrust, from Jaremèa to the Skole meridian the surface of
the consolidated basement is at the depths of ca. 10 km and
the depth isolines are almost parallel to the Carpathian over-
thrust line. Further westward, the surface rises from Staryj
Sambir in Ukraine to Tarnów in Poland and reaches the depth
of 6 kilometers. The isolines are oblique to the edge of the
overthrust, which is especially clearly visible in the region of
The largest depths are observed in the eastern part of the
study area, in Ukraine, in the region of Maidan, UstÈorna
and the Jablunytsja Pass. The surface of the consolidated base-
ment is here at the depth below 22 km, and reaches 24 km
south of the Jablunytsja Pass. The zone of the maximum depth
runs from the region of UstÈorna, Dubove via Maidan and
Uok in Ukraine, and then through the territory of Poland it
continues south of Sanok and Krosno and keeps a westward
direction to Krynica.
Starting from the south-east, the maximum depths are as fol-
lows: east of Dubove (24 km), in the region of Maidan (22 km)
and Uok (20 km), south of Sanok in the region of Baligród
(16 km), south of Krosno (16 km) and in the region of
Krynica (12 km). The descent of the consolidated basement
in the region of Krynica seems to be a continuation of the de-
pression located south of Krosno. The axis of the maximum
depths of the consolidated basement from Rahiv to Krosno is
regular and SENW oriented. Near Krosno, the axis curves
southward to the region of Krynica where it gets the SENW
direction again (Ry³ko & Toma 1995a). The zone of maxi-
mum depths is bipartite. At the Ukraine-Poland border, the
zone is separated by a transverse elevation. The orientation of
that elevation is from Staryj Sambir to Cisna. The dislocation
34 RY£KO and TOMA
Fig. 2. Map of depths consolidated basement of the Carpathians. 1 Outer Carpathians northern boundary, 2 Pieniny Klippen
Belt, 3 Neogene volcanics, 4 Marmarosh massif, 5 isolines of depths of consolidated basement in kilometers.
Staryj SambirUstrzyki GórneMichalovce (Fig. 3) is the
eastern boundary of that elevation. In the region of the dis-
cussed elevation the surface of the consolidated basement ris-
es to the depth of 8 km. This rise separates the consolidated
basement into two different areas.
The eastern area is regular and the depth of the consolidated
basement is significant while the western part is more irregular
and the basement is shallower. Using the disjunctive tectonics
approach, the dislocation StaryjSambirUstrzyki Górne
Michalovce (Fig. 3) can be assumed to be a boundary between
these two areas.
In the eastern region, between Rahiv and Ustrzyki Górne,
the surface of the consolidated basement takes the form of a
niche of the axis RahivUstrzyki Górne. East of the line
VorohtaRahiv the surface of the consolidated basement ris-
es again to the depth of several tens of kilometers. This rise
has been evidenced by seismic profile Viseu de SusPutila
(RP-55393) made by West-Ukrainian Seismic Expedition in
19931994. the regular pattern of the niche is disturbed in
the SE part of the Ukrainian area, namely in the region of
DovheDuboveRahiv, where the surface of the consolidated
basement reaches the Pieniny Klippen Belt at a large depth,
deeper than 20 km. It is the region between the eastern bound-
ary of the Vihorlat eruption area and the Marmarosh massif.
The western area, west of Staryj SambirUstrzyki Górne
line is the most irregular one. To the Krosno meridian, the axis
of the maximum depths still preserves its SENW direction,
and then curves southward to Krynica. Here, a wide plateau
appears between the edge of the Carpathian overthrust and the
zone of the depths.
Main tectonic features of the consolidated basement
The consolidated basement of the Carpathians between the
Dunajec and Tisa rivers has a blocky pattern and is dissected
by numerous longitudinal and transverse dislocations.
In the western part of the study area, west of Krosno, the
dislocation is NESW oriented (Fig. 3, dislocation (1)). That
is a transverse dislocation zone BB (Ry³ko & Toma 2001).
It extends along the line WysowaSêdziszów Ma³opolski and
its southern part, at the surface, runs into the fault system of
CiglaKyjov (Leko in: Mahe¾ 1974), and then in the south
into the Muráò tectonic system (Leko in: Mahe¾ 1974), and
finally in the south-west into ahy. In its northern part, in
the section between Gorlice and Jas³o, this zone runs into the
deep dislocation PreovGorlice, as distinguished by Sikora
(1976). Further northward this zone can join the dislocation
Jas³oPo³aniec, distinguished by ¯ytko (1985). Reaching to
the Moho surface, this zone could have a counterpart in the
deep dislocation DD, distinguished by Bojdys & Lemberger
(1986). Thereby, the discussed dislocation zone is a part of a
great tectonic system extending from Po³aniec, through Jas³o,
Bardejov to ahy. Along this tectonic system, the blocks of
the consolidated basement are shifted about 40 km with re-
spect to each other.
BASEMENT STRUCTURE BELOW CARPATHIAN OROGEN (POLAND, SLOVAKIA, UKRAINE) 35
The next dislocation in the eastern direction is that running
along the line Staryj SambirUstrzyki Górne, and NESW
oriented (Fig. 3, dislocation (2)). In a wider planar view, this
dislocation runs form Lutsk on the East European platform,
through Staryj Sambir and Ustrzyki Górne to Michalovce in
Slovakia. In its central part, the discussed dislocation bounds
from the west the zone of the maximum depressions of the
Ukrainian Carpathians basement and from the east cuts off the
earlier distinguished elevation of the basement in the region of
Staryj Sambir and Cisna (Fig. 2). This dislocation throws the
basement towards the SE by 810 km. In its southern part, in
Slovakia, in the region of Michalovce the discussed disloca-
tion causes disruptions in the zone of the Vihorlat eruptions.
That might suggest a young age of this dislocation.
The following transverse deep dislocation in the area of the
Ukrainian Carpathians is that running along the line Stryj
Skole (Fig. 3, dislocation (3)) and NESW oriented. That is
the dislocation of NemyrivJavorivStryjSkoleMukaèeve.
It is the western boundary of the zone of the maximum depths
(Fig. 2) in the area of the Ukrainian Carpathians. The dis-
cussed dislocation plays a significant role in the history of the
rocks of the Precambrian and Lower Paleozoic basement. On
this dislocation, a change in petrographic-mineralogical fea-
tures of the rocks of the basement of both the Carpathian and
Paleozoic Lviv Foredeeps takes place. West of the dislocation,
the basement deposits associated with the post-Baikalian
orogeny history in the Early Paleozoic occur. These are main-
ly Cambrian deposits resting on the Riphean (Liniecka &
Fig. 3. Main elements of consolidated basement of the Carpathians. 1 Outer Carpathians northern boundary, 2 Main dislocation
zones, 3 Secondary dislocation zones, 4 Pieniny Klippen Belt, 5 Neogene volcanics, 6 Marmarosh massif, 7 Boundary of
the Malopolska and Upper Silesia massifs, 8 Malopolska massif, 9 Upper Silesia massif.
Utrobin 1961). Exotic rocks of the so called first group, ac-
cording to Liniecka & Utrobin (1961), representing the weak-
est metamorphism are present in the basement deposits afore-
mentioned. The above authors suggest that the exotic rocks of
the second and third groups of strong metamorphism occur
east of the considered dislocation. Thereby, east of the disloca-
tion the oldest part of the Riphean geosyncline would be
present. The dislocation has to be of a very old foundation. If
the age of the very young LutskStaryj SambirUstrzyki Górne
Michalovce dislocation is compared to the history of the Ne-
myrivJavorivStryjSkoleMukaèeve dislocation, which has
a very old foundation, then a very differentiated history of this
part of the Carpathian basement can be concluded.
The easternmost transverse dislocation is also NESW ori-
ented and runs along the line VorohtaRahiv. This is the Ko-
lomyjaVorohtaRahiv dislocation (Fig. 3). East of this dislo-
cation, the surface of the consolidated basement rises
significantly. The discussed dislocation is the eastern bound-
ary of the zone of the maximum depths in this part of the Car-
pathians. In the zone of the discussed dislocation the Pieniny
Klippen Belt disappears, covered by the Neogene volcanogen-
ic rocks of the Vihorlat mountain group (Mahel 1974). More-
over, the dislocation is also the western boundary of the Mar-
marosh Mountains. Further to the south, the dislocation takes
the direction close to meridional and becomes the eastern
boundary of the Pannonian Basin (Mahel 1973).
In the study area, in the consolidated basement of the Car-
pathians between the Dunajec and Tisa rivers, three main lon-
36 RY£KO and TOMA
gitudinal dislocations have been distinguished (Fig. 3). In the
northern part it is the peri-Carpathian dislocation (Fig. 2, dis-
location (D)), in the southern part the peri-Pieninian dislo-
cation (Fig. 3, dislocation (A)). In the central part of the study
area, the regional basement slope has been distinguished
(Fig. 3, dislocation (B) and dislocation (C)).
The northernmost dislocation D runs along the line
JaremèaStaryj SambirPrzemylRzeszów. In Poland, it is
the eastern fragment of the peri-Carpathian dislocation (Sikora
1976), while in western Ukraine it is called the fore-Car-
pathian dislocation (Krug³ow et al. 1985). In the planar view
of the Baikalian complex, in its western part this dislocation in
the area of Poland overlaps with the great dislocation zone of
Knia¿yce (Karnkowski, Po¿aryski & Tomczyk in: Po¿aryski
1974). Following these authors approach, the discussed dislo-
cation delineates the southern frame of the Laramian unit
the Neogene Carpathian Foredeep (Po¿aryski 1964). Ukraini-
an geologists are of similar opinions and treat this dislocation
as the boundary of the Carpathian Foredeep (Kruglov et al.
1985). South of the discussed dislocation, the Precambrian el-
evation, dissected by secondary dislocations, dips gradually
under the flysch Carpathians.
The dislocation running in the centre of the study area has a
more southerly position. In the west, in the territory of Poland
between the Dunajec river and Wysowa, this dislocation is al-
most WE oriented. East of the transverse dislocation
WysowaJas³o (Fig. 3) the dislocation is shifted ca. 45 km
northward (Ry³ko & Toma 1999a) and runs along the line
Jas³oSanokUstrzyki Dolne to the transverse dislocation
LutskStaryj SambirUstrzyki GórneMichalovce. Further
eastward, in the territory of the Ukrainian Carpathians already,
between the transverse dislocations LutskStaryj SambirUs-
trzyki GórneMichalovce and NemyrivJavorivStryj
SkoleMukaèeve it extends along the line Ustrzyki Górne
Volovets. Here, it is shifted several tens of kilometers with
respect to the western branch. East of the transverse disloca-
tion NemyrivJavorivStryjSkoleMukaèeve to the trans-
verse dislocation KolomyjaVorohtaRahiv, the discussed
dislocation is again shifted ca. 35 km and runs along the line
Skolethe Jablunytsja Pass. Further to the east, past the dislo-
Fig. 4a. Deep geological profiles. 1 Neogene deposits, 2 Central Carpathian Paleogene, 3 Flysch Carpathian deposits, 4 Pieniny
Klippen Belt (PKB), 5 Penninicum, 6 Paleogene cover of the Marmarosh massif, 7 Marmarosh massif, 8 Mesozoic deposits, 9
MesozoicPaleozoic deposits, 10 Upper Paleozoic deposits, 11 Lower Paleozoic deposits, 12 Paleozoic deposits, 13 Consolidat-
ed basement, 14 Neogene volcanics, 15 Inner Carpathian block, 16 Outer Carpathian block, 17 Carpathian Foredeep block,
18 Malopolska massif, 19 Upper Silesia massif, 20 Secondary dislocation zones, 21 Main dislocation zones, 22 Boundary of
the Malopolska and Upper Silesia massifs, 23 Moho discontinuity, 24 Geological boundaries.
BASEMENT STRUCTURE BELOW CARPATHIAN OROGEN (POLAND, SLOVAKIA, UKRAINE) 37
Fig. 4b. Deep geological profiles. Explanation see Fig. 4a.
cation KolomyjaVorohtaRahiv it continues to the Chyv-
tshyn Mountain. The discussed dislocation along its entire
course throws the consolidated basement southward. In the
area between the Dunajec river and Wysowa the discussed
dislocation throws the basement ca. 57 km southward (Ry³ko
& Toma 2001). Further to the east, between Jas³o and Ustrzy-
ki Górne the basement shift (Fig. 4a) to the south is ca. 12 km
(Ry³ko & Toma 2001). East of Ustrzyki Górne to Volovets,
the regional basement slope also throws the basement to the
south ca. 10 km (Fig. 4a). In the section between Skole and
the Jablunytsja Pass, the basement is thrown to the south also
ca. 10 km (Fig. 4b). Further east of the dislocation Kolomyja
VorohtaRahiv the throw is initially ca. 12 km (Fig. 4b) and
then ca. 3 km (Fig. 4b).
According to the authors of this paper, west of the Dunajec
river, the tectonic zone LubliniecKraków, identified from
boreholes, passed the dislocation WysowaJas³o, continues
to the east along the regional basement slope disloca-
tion B+C (Fig. 3). Thereby, the regional basement slope
turns out to be a high priority feature and east of the disloca-
tion WysowaJas³o becomes a boundary between the Malo-
polska and Upper Silesia massifs, blocks and terrans. As re-
sults from the cross-sections (Fig. 4a,b), in the Ukrainian
part, the remnants of the Lower and Upper Paleozoic are pre-
served on this slope.
The peri-Pieninian dislocation is the southernmost distin-
guished one (Fig. 3). The dislocation in question runs from the
Marmarosh massif in the east towards the NW direction across
the entire study area. It is in the boundary zone between the
Outer and Inner Carpathians. South of the discussed disloca-
tion, the consolidated basement rises significantly in the
whole study area (Fig. 4a,b). The magnitude of this rise is
comparable with the shifts along the regional basement
slope. Thus, a deep graben is present between the regional
basement slope and the peri-Pieninian dislocation. Every-
where, the graben is filled with Mesozoic-Paleozoic deposits,
thus it had to form in the Early Paleozoic, while during the
Neogene transformation of this part of the Carpathian base-
ment it was only slightly changed (Ry³ko & Toma 2001).
1. The morphology of the consolidated basement of the Car-
pathians is very diversified. The depth of the top surface of the
basement varies from a few kilometers in the western part of
38 RY£KO and TOMA
the study area to ca. 24 km in the south-eastern part. General-
ly, the surface of the consolidated basement dips in a NW to
2. North of the Pieniny Klippen Belt the zone of maximum
depressions occurs. The axis of this zone is irregular in the ma-
jor part of the study area and is NWSE oriented. In the direct
vicinity of the Pieniny Klippen Belt the surface of the consoli-
dated basement shows a rising tendency towards the south.
3. The consolidated basement has a blocky pattern. It is dis-
sected by numerous transverse and longitudinal dislocations.
Along the transverse dislocation a systematic shift of the base-
ment towards the SE takes place.
4. It can be suggested that the dislocation Lubliniec
Kraków, being the boundary between the Malopolska and Up-
per Silesia massifs, continues to the south-east along the re-
gional basement slope.
5. The surface of the consolidated basement between the re-
gional basement slope and the peri-Pieninian dislocation has
the form of a graben with the axis RahivKrynica. The graben is
likely filled with the Paleozoic and Mesozoic deposits.
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