GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, JUNE 2006, 57, 3, 211—221
Structural record and tectonic history of the Mýto-Tisovec
fault (Central Western Carpathians)
FRANTIŠEK MARKO and RASTISLAV VOJTKO
Department of Geology & Paleontology, Faculty of Sciences, Comenius University, Mlynská dolina G, SK-842 15 Bratislava,
Slovak Republic; firstname.lastname@example.org
(Manuscript received December 12, 2004; accepted in revised form October 6, 2005)
Abstract: The NW-SE striking Mýto-Tisovec map-scale brittle fault distinctively affects the internal zones of the Western
Carpathians. It cuts and evidently offsets Meso-Alpine tectonic units and structures and represents a zone of important
geophysical anomalies as well. Using methods of structural analysis, the complex tectonic evolution of this long living
fault has been restored. Six successive fault-slip related regional paleostress events, controlling the activity of the Mýto-
Tisovec fault have been distinguished. The oldest recognized paleostress event, with NNE-SSW maximum principal
stress axis operated after the Late Cretaceous and before the Middle Eocene. The orientation of the Miocene maximum
principal stress axis rotated clockwise from NW-SE in the Early Miocene to a NE-SW direction in the Middle Miocene
and E-W direction in the Late Miocene—Pliocene. NNW-SSE trending compression has been estimated for the Quater-
nary stress field. Correspondingly, three periods of Miocene tensional paleostress events with NE-SW, NW-SE and N-S
orientation of minimum principal stress axis has been restored as well. The Mýto-Tisovec fault kinematically fluctuated
in the changing paleostress field. However, the most evident structural records are related to the dominant dextral strike-
slip regime. Dextral transtensional tectonic regime was responsible also for opening of a narrow and deep depositional
depression – the Brezno Basin, related to the Mýto-Tisovec fault, where the Late Eocene—Early Miocene sediments of
the Central Carpathian Paleogene Basin (CCPB) fill have been deposited and later preserved.
Key words: Tertiary, Western Carpathians, structural evolution, paleostress analysis, faults.
This study is focused on the reconstruction of the tecton-
ic evolution of the Mýto-Tisovec fault having affected
post-nappe geological structure of Internides, the Central
Western Carpathians (sensu Mahe 1986; Plašienka
1999). During the Neo-Alpine period (the post-nappe pe-
riod in the internal zones of the Western Carpathians)
thrusting prograded to external zones, where Tertiary
outer flysch units were incorporated into the huge Outer
Carpathian accretionary wedge, while fault tectonics oc-
curred in the already consolidated internal zones. The ki-
nematic history of the Mýto-Tisovec fault reflects this
processes of post-Cretaceous tectonic evolution of the
Central Western Carpathians. This fault zone offsets Pa-
leo- and Meso-Alpine tectonic units. A lot of fault relat-
ed structures including mesoscale ones were observed
and analysed within the fault zone. Utilizing geological,
geophysical and structural data from published papers
and archived reports and utilizing our recent and former
structural field observations along the fault segment be-
tween the Brezno and Tisovec (Marko 1993b,c; Marko &
Vojtko 2001; Vojtko 2003), the tectonic evolution of the
area has been reconstructed.
The internal zone of the Southern Veporic area where
the structural records of the Mýto-Tisovec fault were stud-
ied is built up by several superposed tectonic units, creat-
ing a sandwich-like character of geological architecture
(Vojtko 2000). The lowermost Southern Veporic Unit
comprises crystalline basement represented predominantly
by granitic rocks and the Foederata sedimentary cover
unit of Permian up to Late Triassic age (Hók et al. 1993;
Plašienka 1993). The multiple tectonic reduction of the
crystalline basement resulted in formation of tectonic slic-
es, individualized along NE-SW trending mylonite shear
zones (Bezák 2003). The Gemeric Unit is represented by
the Upper Paleozoic metasediments, predominantly con-
glomerates, dark grey shales, limestones and dolomites,
which are locally cut by Carboniferous diorite dykes. The
Gemeric Unit was thrusted over the Southern Veporic Unit
during the Early Cretaceous compressional tectonics
(Plašienka 1993, 1999; Plašienka & Soták 2001). The Si-
licic Unit (Muráň Nappe) is the highest tectonic unit of
the area containing mainly Scythian shales and the Mid-
dle to Upper Triassic carbonatic sequences.
The nappe units are covered by both post-nappe Eocene
to Lower Miocene sedimentary formations (Subtatras
group sensu Gross et al. 1984) of the Brezno Basin and the
Neogene volcano-plutonic complexes (Bacsó 1964).
The Mýto-Tisovec fault – a review
The Mýto-Tisovec fault was first described as the Mýto
fault by Zoubek (1935), after the village of Mýto pod
Ďumbierom in its vicinity. The fault was later known un-
der various names as the Tisovec fault (Bezák 1991),
MARKO and VOJTKO
Mýto fault (Mahe 1969; Kubíny 1998), Mýto-Dúbrava
fault (Kubíny 1998), which represents the northwestern
continuation of the Mýto-Tisovec fault into the Tatric
Unit. The name Mýto-Tisovec fault (Marko 1993c) used
herein unambiguously defines the southern studied seg-
ment (in between Mýto pod Ďumbierom and Tisovec) of
this important NW-SE striking discontinuity.
The NW-SE striking Mýto-Tisovec fault can be followed
as a straight, very distinctive first order map-scale disloca-
tion running from the crystalline core of the Nízke Tatry
Fig. 1. Structural-tectonic map of the northwestern Veporic area (Marko 1993b). 1 – Neogene sediments; 2 – Neogene volcanites;
3 – Paleogene sediments (Subtatras group); 4 – Mesozoic and Late Paleozoic units (Cover unit, Krížna Nappe, Choč Nappe, Silica
Nappe); 5 – Early Paleozoic complexes (Gemeric Unit); 6 – Crystalline complexes (Veporic and Tatric Units); 7 – strike-slip fault;
8 – thrust; 9 – reverse (high angle) shear zone; 10 – disjunctive contact; 11 – mesoscale fold axis. Coded names of faults and shear
zones: Be – Benkovo fault, Ce – Čertovica shear zone, CiBa – Čierny Balog fault, Di – Divín fault, Ma – Málinec fault, Mu – Muráň
fault, MyDu – Mýto-Dúbrava fault, MyTi – Mýto-Tisovec fault, Po – Pohorelá shear zone, St – Štítnik fault, Tr – Trangoška fault,
Vk – Vikartovce fault, Vy – Vydrovo fault, Zd – Zdychava shear zone.
STRUCTURAL RECORD AND TECTONIC HISTORY OF THE MÝTO-TISOVEC FAULT
Mts (Kubíny 1998) up to the Tisovec town where it cross-
cuts and slightly offsets the Muráň fault. South-easternly of
the Muráň fault we have no evidence for continuation of
the Mýto-Tisovec fault because it is always difficult to fol-
low the map trace of a fault within the monotonous litholo-
gy of a crystalline basement (Fig. 1). In contrast to the
NE-SW brittle faults (so-called “Carpathian trend” faults),
the NW-SE faults strongly affect geophysical fields and are
zones of density and magnetic anomalies (Obernauer 1980,
1983). The NW-SE “cross faults” disrupt the NE-SW faults
and Alpine shear zones of shortening (Zoubek 1935;
Bystrický 1959; Siegl 1976; Klinec 1976). Thus their latest
activity seems to be younger than the NE-SW faults/shear
zones. The Mýto-Tisovec fault evidently offsets the Po-
horelá shear zone (sensu Zoubek 1957). The dextral strike-
slip offset coming from map interpretation of the Pohorelá
shear zone (Zoubek 1957; Mahe et al. 1964; Klinec 1971,
1976; Madarás et al. 1984; Pulec 1985; Bezák 1993;
Kubíny 2002) accepted in Fig. 1 is considered to be
ca. 4 km. The latest activity of the Pohorelá shear zone rep-
resenting the tectonic boundary in between the Hron and
Krá ova ho a Crystalline Subunits is Cretaceous (Hók &
Hraško 1990; Kubíny 2002; Bezák 2003), so the offset of
the Pohorelá shear zone along the Mýto-Tisovec fault
ought to be the Late or post-Cretaceous.
Nevertheless the Mýto-Tisovec fault was founded ear-
ly in the Paleo-Alpine period (Mahe 1969). The old ori-
gin of the fault in the crystalline basement was declared
on the basis of its role as a tectonic border between the
basic and more acid varieties of the Variscan granitoids
of the Veporic Unit. The fault has been considered to be
reactivated in the Neo-Alpine period as sinistral strike-
slip (Zoubek 1935; Klinec 1976; Bezák 1988, 1991). As
for the youngest movement normal-slip has been sug-
gested (Klinec et al. 1976; Bezák & Klinec 1980), thanks
to which Mesozoic and younger sediments were pre-
served in downthrown hanging wall blocks. The Brezno
Basin has been regarded as genetically related (not speci-
fied) to the Mýto-Tisovec fault dynamics as well (Mahe
1972; Pulec 1985; Bezák 1991).
Jaroš et al. (1966) described Neogene reactivization of
“cross faults” including the Mýto-Tisovec one from the
area of the “Hron synclinorium” built up by a subsided
pile of Meso-Alpine Mesozoic nappes. The Badenian-Sar-
matian activity of the Mýto-Tisovec fault is indicated by
occurrences of andesite volcanic bodies (volcanic com-
plexes near Brezno, Tisovec). In spite of the young activi-
ty, NW-SE faults do not operate as recent drainage ways
for subsurface water, because almost no water springs follow
these faults. Most water springs are related to the NE-SW
faults (Pospíšil et al. 1989).
A combination of field mesostructural observations
and map-scale structure analysis has been applied as the
research approache to solving the topic. As the basic
principle, we have accepted an axiom, that small-scale
structures can be related to large regional structures and
that both scales reflect the same dynamics and kinemat-
ics (Angelier 1994).
Structural research has been focussed on investigation of
brittle structures related to the paleostress field studied
along the map trace of the Mýto-Tisovec fault. It involved:
– field structural research including measurement and col-
lection of field structural data, kinematical analysis of slick-
ensides (Petit 1987; Marko 1993a), geological mapping.
– processing of structural data including orientation
and paleostress analysis. For paleostress analysis direct in-
version method (Angelier 1984), and its software appli-
cation Jahans & Villemin in Charlesworth et al. (1992)
has been used. Several successive tectonic stages char-
acterized by orientation of principal stress axes, stress
ratio ( = (
) / (
)), tectonic regime and age of de-
formations have been identified. Homogeneous popula-
tions of slickensides for computations of single paleostress
events were separated and combined from all localities
(Fig. 5a—e). This means that the whole studied area of the
Mýto-Tisovec fault zone has been regarded as a homoge-
Table 1: Names of localities, where structural measurements were realized. Age of rock bearing structures is expressed by symbols: N – Oli-
gocene—Miocene, M – Mesozoic (Silicic Unit, Foederata Unit), V – pre-Mesozoic (Veporic Unit).
MARKO and VOJTKO
Fig. 2. Geological map of the studied area (cf. Vojtko 1999) with location of analysed outcrops.
neous structural domain. The angle between the theorethical
and measured orientation of striae was used as the discrimina-
tion criterium for separation of slickensides to homogeneous
– interpretation of the gained data and structural synthe-
sis of field observations including: restoration of paleo-
stress fields and nature of regional (map scale) structures,
resulted in the creation of a geodynamical evolutionary
model of the area.
Structural data and field observations
The data used for structural analysis were collected from
15 outcrops (Table 1) situated in the Mýto-Tisovec fault
zone in between Brezno and Tisovec towns (Fig. 2). Study
was focused on brittle tectonics. Strikes of slickensides
and mineral veins observed in rocks units of different age
are presented in rose diagrams (Fig. 2).
Several dozens of kinematically defined meso-scale
brittle faults were collected from rocks of various age
(from Variscan crystalline rocks up to the Badenian vol-
canites – Fig. 3a). The kinematics of observed slicken-
sides shows, that the dominant brittle deformation was
generally of a strike-slip character.
The most spectacular brittle faults are exposed at the
Tisovec quarry (Fig. 2, locality 7), located in the Meso-
zoic limestones of the Muráň Nappe Unit. This quarry is
situated just within the deformational zone of the Mýto-
Tisovec fault, where faults related to this zone are ob-
servable. The dominant strike-slip character of the
NW-SE trending subvertical faults is clear from the fault
surfaces (Fig. 3b). Even strike-slip duplexes arranged in
flower structure are visible there in cross-section view to
the fault plane (Fig. 3c), proving the intensity of strike-
slip deformation at the Mýto-Tisovec fault. Records of
strike-slip movements along the faults parallel with
Mýto-Tisovec one show multiple fluctuation of the sense
STRUCTURAL RECORD AND TECTONIC HISTORY OF THE MÝTO-TISOVEC FAULT
Fig. 3. Structural record related to the lithostratigraphy of different units. a – Simplified brittle records, diagrams represent lower hemi-
sphere (CCPB – Central Carpathian Paleogene Basin). b – Front view of the large NW-SE strike-slip slickenside at the Tisovec quarry
(locality No. 7). A person at the bottom for the scale (see arrow). c – View in the strike direction of the large NW-SE slickenside with evi-
dent strike-slip duplexes arranged in positive flower structure (locality No. 7). Scale is the same as in the Fig. 3b. d, e – NNE-SSW meso-
scale normal faults in the Brezno Basin (locality No. 1). f – An alternative model of the Mýto-Tisovec fault early stages evolution.
Lengths of horizontal arrows express different magnitude of shortenning within the northern and southern wall of the fault.
MARKO and VOJTKO
of movement. The most evident record – criteria for
dextral strike-slip (accretional mineral steps, tool pits at
the slickenside surface) are the result of the strongest
event. However, there are some indices, that the youngest
strike-slip movement along the NW-SE trending faults at
Tisovec quarry has a sinistral sense. Anyway, the domi-
nant horizontal striations are overprinted by younger
dip-slip striations according to which the northern block
Apart from the field structural research, reambulation
of the geological map has been done. According to the
reinterpretation presented here the Mýto-Tisovec fault it-
self is composed of several overstepping en-echelon seg-
ments, connected by bridge areas (accomodation zones)
and by smaller secondary faults. This left-stepping ar-
rangement (sensu Biddle & Christie-Blick 1985) is typi-
cal for dextral strike-slip faults.
Stress field evolution and interpretation
Processing brittle fault-slip data led to distinguishing of
five paleostress events. The youngest, sixth paleostress
event of NNW-SSE compression was suggested only from
evident offsets of map scale structures and geomorpholog-
ical phenomena observed in the field. The kinematics of
map scale faults has been evaluated in several successive
paleostress events listed below.
NNE-SSW compression (Late Cretaceous/Paleocene—
The oldest brittle records from the investigated area are
those structures, which were caused or reactivated by
NNE-SSW compression (Fig. 5a). The NNE-SSW compres-
sion induced a dextral transpressional regime in the Mýto-
Tisovec fault zone. The Mýto-Tisovec “fault” being a
deeply seated crustal shear zone operated during this early
stage in brittle-ductile mode. Stretching lineations typical
for the Paleo-Alpine period (Bezák 1993) parallel with the
Mýto-Tisovec fault observed in the Permian-Triassic
metaquartzites (Fig. 2, locality 10) are regarded as the
product of this early stage in brittle-ductile conditions.
The cross-cutting Muráň fault had to operate as a sinistral
transtensional oblique-slip with dominant dip-slip separa-
tion, when the western block subsided (Muráň karst pla-
teau and Tisovec karst block). Thanks to this event,
formations of the Muráň Nappe have been preserved west
of the Muráň fault. The age brackets – the Latest Creta-
ceous—Early Eocene of this period are well constrained
from the locality Hrabušice, situated out of the studied
area (Marko 1993b). There are exposed N-S map scale
dextral strike-slip faults related to this paleostress period
which tectonically juxtapose Late Cretaceous conglomer-
ates with Triassic dolomites. These faults are sealed by
overlying Middle Eocene basal sediments of the Central
Carpathian Paleogene Basin.
Fig. 4. Cross-section of the Brezno Basin verified by boreholes (slightly modified, after Pulec 1985). 1 – Badenian-Sarmathian andesite
pyroclastics; 2 – claystone lithofacies (Eocene—Priabonian); 3 – sandstone-claystone lithofacies (Eocene—Priabonian); 4 – boulder con-
glomerates (Eocene—Priabonian); 5 – conglomerate-sandstone lithofacies (Eocene—Priabonian); 6 – Veporic crystalline basement (Paleo-
zoic); 7 – fault; 8 – borehole.
STRUCTURAL RECORD AND TECTONIC HISTORY OF THE MÝTO-TISOVEC FAULT
NW-SE compression (Middle Eocene—Early Miocene)
During this paleostress event (Fig. 5b), a brittle transten-
sional regime was induced in the Mýto-Tisovec fault zone
and WNW—ESE trending en-echelon segments of the
Mýto-Tisovec fault developed with important dextral
strike-slip separation. Complementa-
ry N-S, NNE-SSW sinistral faults op-
erated in the surroundings. This
kinematics is visible from the recent
configuration and offsets of geologi-
(Fig. 2). The greater part of the dis-
tinctive dextral offset of the cross-
cutting Paleo-Meso-Alpine Pohorelá
contractional shear zone was created
during this period.
In the early stages of this period
the embrionic Brezno Basin could
has been founded as a strike-slip ba-
sin. A narrow slab rimmed by seg-
ments of the Mýto-Tisovec fault,
which subsided due to the local tran-
stension along the fault zone, was
filled with the Middle-Late Eocene
basal formations. The cross-section
of the basin (Fig. 4) suggests, that
the normal-dextral NW-SE faults op-
erated in the Middle to Late Eocene
as synsedimentary ones.
NE-SW tension (Middle Miocene)
This is complementary paleostress
field to the former one. The most
distinctive record of this paleostress
event (Fig. 5c) is the structure of the
Brezno Basin, which is spatially relat-
ed to the Mýto-Tisovec fault zone. A
narrow, relatively deep pull-apart ba-
sin was opened. A 550 m thick fill of
Eocene-Oligocene sediments (Pulec
1985) is preserved there, the young-
est sediments are of Miocene age.
During the end of this or beginning
of the next period, a facial change
in lithology shows a radical change
of conditions during the sedimenta-
tion. Poorly sorted and indurated
breccias of debris type, the Late
Badenian-Early Sarmatian Brezno
beds were observed at the localities
1 and 3 (Fig. 2). They consist of
very angular blocks of metamorphic
rocks. This breccia overlies Oli-
gocene sandstones and is covered
by alternating beds of sands and
variegated clays (Fig. 3). According
occurrences of fossil flora in coal
intercalations in the underlying basal sandstones (Sitár
1965) the age of these debris sediments is interpreted as
post-Oligocene. The upper age limit of these sediments is
constrained by occurrences of rare clasts of Badenian
volcanites. The coarse poorly rounded and sorted sedi-
ments, transported only a short distance, could be ex-
Fig. 5. Paleostress evolution and kinematic history of the Mýto-Tisovec fault. This model is
schematic, drawn with respect to the recent coordinates and orientation of map-scale structures.
Structural diagrams represent lower hemisphere. Localities from where faults of homogeneous
populations were separated are listed in the bottom of each diagram. The age of slickenside bear-
ing rocks is expressed by codes (see Table 1). 1 – thrust and reverse fault; 2a – normal fault,
2b – oblique-normal fault; 3 – strike-slip fault (relative magnitude of separation is expressed
by length of shear sense arrows); 4 – direction of compression; 5 – direction of tension;
6 – upthrown block; 7 – downthrown block (magnitude of subsidence is expressed in meters);
8a – sedimentary fill deposited and/or preserved in depressions; 8b – debris sediments of
Brezno beds; 9 – Mesozoic rocks of Kučelach block (relic of Silica Nappe); 10 – Badenian
volcanites; 11 – huge rockfalls of Mesozoic rocks. MyTi – Mýto-Tisovec fault, Mu – Muráň
fault, Po – Pohorelá shear zone, CiBa – Čierny Balog fault. Continued on the next pages.
MARKO and VOJTKO
plained by an emerging proximal crystalline rocks
source with high surface relief.
Preservation of the Muráň Nappe and underlying units
in the Tisovec karst block, which subsided 1500 m com-
pared to the Muráň karst plateau is also a result of rapid
subsidence within the NW-SE corridor rimmed by the
Mýto-Tisovec fault from the north and parallel Čierny
Balog fault (Bezák 1991, 1993) running southerly. Em-
placement of the NW-SE oriented subvolcanic diorite
bodies near Tisovec occurred in this period.
NW-SE tension (Late Miocene)
There are meso-scale as well as map-scale structural
records of NW-SE tension (Fig. 5d). Meso-scale NNE-SSW
striking normal faults (Fig. 3d,e) were observed in the Up-
per Eocene—Lower Miocene sediments of the Brezno Ba-
sin (Fig. 2, locality 1, 3). NW-SE striking normal faults are
present as a minor population too. The age relations of
these two populations of extensional faults are
not clear, but according to the paleostress cal-
culations they could be coeval, being produced
by one single paleostress event – NW-SE ten-
sion (Fig. 5d).
NW-SE tension has great importance for pres-
ervation of the Muráň Nappe in the western
block of the Muráň fault, which continuous-
ly subsided also during this period. A lot of
NE-SW trending, map-scale normal faults de-
veloped during this tensional event. They cut
the Tisovec karst block, Brezno Basin and they
are responsible for preservation of the Kučelach
outlier of the Muráň Nappe, which subsided
along NE-SW normal faults. The complicated
internal structure in the Tiso-vec karst is the re-
sult of alteration of differentially subsided
blocks (Vojtko 2000). The emplacement of the
youngest NE-SW striking volcanic dykes was
controlled by NW-SE tension as well. As a com-
plementary paleostress event for this period, a
NE-SW (NNE-SSW) horizontal compression is
suggested, because a few strike-slip slickensides
related to this stress field were measured too. The
NE-SW (NNE-SSW) compression was coeval, or
slightly predated the NW-SE tension. This pa-
leostress field left a distinctive structural record
in the Eocene sediments of the southern margin
of the Central Carpathian Paleogene Basin,
where it produced a numerous population of
conjugate strike-slip slickensides with modest
separation (Marko 1995).
ENE-WSW compression, NNW-SSE tension
This paleostress event is recorded in a meso-
scale slickenside population – frequent NW-SE
striking sinistral strike-slip slickensides in Meso-
zoic rocks and kinematically variegated slick-
ensides in Neogene volcanic rocks (Fig. 5e). We suggest,
that ENE-WSW compression slightly predated NNW-SSE
tension. During this period sinistral transtensional regime
operated along the Mýto-Tisovec fault. This event could
generate dextral strike-slip movement with modest magni-
tudes of separation along the NE-SW striking Muráň fault.
The preservation of a narrow belt of the Paleogene sedi-
ments at the easternmost tip of the Brezno Basin could be
explained as pull-apart subsidence in overstepping tran-
stensional bridge in between two en-echelon segments of
the Mýto-Tisovec fault.
Large map-scale E-W trending normal faults active dur-
ing this period allowed preservation of Paleogene and
Neogene sediments in morphotectonic depressions such as
the Upper Hron Valley Depression (Fig. 5e). These faults
also evident in the recent pattern of the geological map
(Fig. 1) affect the morphotectonic character of the area, as
well as the surface water drainage network (for example
the Hron river).
Fig. 5c—d. Continued.
STRUCTURAL RECORD AND TECTONIC HISTORY OF THE MÝTO-TISOVEC FAULT
NNW-SSE (N-S) compression (Pliocene—Quaternary?)
The youngest stress event characterized by a ca. N-S ori-
ented maximum principal stress axis was described ac-
cording to the map-scale structures arrangement (Fig. 5f).
We do not have reliable mesofault-slip records of this pa-
leostress event in the youngest (Miocene) rocks. However,
several slickensides creating homogeneous population re-
lated to NNW-SSE compression were observed only in
The most spectacular map-scale evidence of this latest
tectonic event are dextral offsets (ca. 200 m magnitude of
separation) of the Kučelach block, bodies of the Badenian
volcanites and the Muráň fault along the Mýto-Tisovec
fault. Huge rock falls observed on the
eastern segment of the fault are regard-
ed as evidence of subrecent dextral
strike-slip activity of the Mýto-Ti-
sovec fault. There are large blocks of
Mesozoic rocks fallen down from the
edge of the Muráň Nappe block (Vojt-
ko 1999). We suppose that these
blocks fell down due to strong sudden
energy triggered by probably seis-
mogenic dextral strike-slip along the
Mýto-Tisovec fault generated by ca.
N-S trending compression during the
Discussion and conclusions
Six successive events of tectonic
evolution characterized by stress ten-
sors and related tectonic regimes have
been restored in the study area. Thanks
to the age variability of rocks bearing
brittle deformations, it was possible to
restore the succession of paleostress
events. Nevertheless, it was rather diffi-
cult to establish the precise age brack-
ets for the paleostress events. It was not
always possible to use the age of rocks
bearing structural records for dating
paleostress events. Sometimes records
of young paleostress events were not
observed in young formations as, for
example, records of ENE-WSW as well
as NNW-SSE compression. Explana-
tion of this controversy could lie in
the heterogeneous distribution of the
structural record or in incorrect dating
of these paleostress events.
The importance of the youngest N-S
compression, E-W tension can be in-
ferred from the conspicuous popula-
tion of map-scale N-S striking faults.
These very frequent faults in the West-
ern Carpathians offset older stuctures.
They could be generated during N-S compression as well
as during complementary E-W tension, which ought to be
related to a rollback effect of subducted crust under the
eastward propagating Carpathians (Doglioni et al. 1991).
In this case the Early Pannonian E-W tension would has
predated the period of N-S compression.
Restored evolution of the Neogene—Quaternary paleo-
stress field submitted herein fits well with the paleostress
evolution of the ALCAPA (Alpine-Carpathian-Pannonian)
junction area (Nemčok et al. 1989; Csontos et al. 1991;
Fodor 1995; Marko et al. 1995; Marko 2002). In spite of
this similarity, no blok rotations (well known from the AL-
CAPA junction area) have been taken into account in the
geodynamic model of the Mýto-Tisovec fault area evolu-
Fig. 5e—f. Continued.
MARKO and VOJTKO
tion. It has been decided due to the lack of paleomagnetic
data from the northwestern Veporic and a few zero paleo-
meridian rotations measured in Jurassic rocks (Kruczyk et
al. 1992) in the similar terrane – the area of the Vysoké
Combining the gained paleostress data with other rele-
vant geological information we have reconstructed the tec-
tonic story of the study area. After the Meso-Alpine nappe
thrusting, shortening of the Western Carpathian orogene
continued. In this post-nappe period (after the middle/Late
Cretaceous) further northward propagation of Carpathians
was accommodated in the internal zones by brittle faulting,
which divided the Central Western Carpathians into indi-
vidually moving blocks. The NW-SE and NE-SW faults op-
erated as conjugate during the Neogene period. The
Mýto-Tisovec NW-SE trending fault, deeply seated in the
crust operated during most of its tectonic life as dextral
strike-slip, but it kinematically fluctuated in changing pa-
leostress conditions. Map-scale structural evidence (Bezák
2003) points to different intensity of shortening in blocks
divided by the Mýto-Tisovec fault. Shortening was realized
by NE-SW shear zones, but the southern block was affected
by more numerous shear zones than the northern one. The
Mýto-Tisovec fault, operating during this early stage in a
brittle-ductile regime, could play the role of a “transform”
fault accommodating different shortening in northern and
southern blocks (Fig. 3f).
The formation of the Brezno Basin and the distribution
of Miocene volcanic bodies in the area were controlled by
the Mýto-Tisovec fault activity. It is clear from the paleo-
stress history, thickness, facial character of the Brezno Ba-
sin sedimentary fill and its shape, that it is small pull-apart
basin open as a narrow strike-slip basin related to the early
transtensional dextral strike-slip and later extensional re-
gime within the Mýto-Tisovec fault zone. Because Paleo-
gene sediments often overlay crystalline basement within
the area of the Myto-Tisovec fault, huge erosion of Meso-
zoic rocks cover before sedimentation of Paleogene clastics
ought to be expected. This erosion, probably supported by
tectonic exhumation (Hók et al. 1993; Plašienka 1993;
Fodor 1995) was realized after nappe thrusting in the mid-
dle/Late Cretaceous and before the transgression of the
Middle Eocene sediments. Erosion removed Mesozoic
cover and exhumed crystalline rocks in the area of the fu-
ture Brezno Basin. This process suggests updoming, ele-
vation of this area, which could be the result of squeezing
blocks separated by NE-SW contractional shear zones dur-
ing continuous Neo-Alpine shortening. Today’s occur-
rences of Paleogene sedimentary cover show, that the
whole area were covered by the Paleogene sediments,
which were later eroded. A thicker remnant of the basin fill
was preserved only in a deeper depression – the Brezno
Basin, subsided along the Mýto-Tisovec fault. This sce-
nario supposes very strong erosion after the Paleogene,
too. The distribution of the Miocene volcanic rocks could
be similarly understood. It seems, that today’s occurrences
of volcanites in the focused area are only remnants of a
formerly huge stratovolcano (dozens kilometers wide in
diameter), which was eroded. The center of this stratovol-
cano ought to be situated northwest of the Tisovec, within
the zone of the Mýto-Tisovec fault, which operated as a
path way for ascending volcanic and subvolcanic bodies
during NE-SW tension. There are superficial occurrences
of subvolcanic varieties of extrusive rocks, which points
to the great depth of erosional level after the Miocene vol-
Acknowledgments: The research was financially sup-
ported by the Slovak Scientific Grant Agency VEGA
(No. 2/4095/4-A) and the Grants of Comenius University
(No. 122/2002/UK, 128/2003/UK). The initial version of
this paper has been substantially improved by the per-
ceptive comments of László Fodor and Peter Kováč,
whose help is gratefully acknowledged.
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