GEOLOGICA CARPATHICA, APRIL 2008, 59, 2, 159—195
Devonian—Carboniferous pre-flysch and flysch environments
in the Circum Pannonian Region
, ANNA VOZÁROVÁ
, SANDOR KOVÁCS
, HANS-GEORG KRÄUTNER
, TIBOR SZEDERKÉNYI
, DOMAGOJ JAMIČIĆ
, DRAŽEN BALEN
and MIRKA TRAJANOVA
University of Leoben, Department of Applied Geosciences and Geophysics, Peter Tunnerstr. 5, A-8700 Leoben, Austria;
Comenius University Bratislava, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Mineralogy and Petrology, Mlynská dolina, pav. G,
842 15 Bratislava, Slovak Republic; firstname.lastname@example.org
Academy of Research Group, Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Geology, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/c, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
Isarstr. 2E, D-83026 Rosenheim, Germany
Djoke Vojvodica 6, SRB-11160 Beograd 74, Serbia
Józef Attila University Szeged, Department of Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry, Egyetem tér 2, H-6722 Szeged, Hungary
Croatian Geological Survey, Sachsova 2, HR-10000 Zagreb
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Horvatovac bb, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Geological Survey of Slovenia, Dimičeva 14, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
(Manuscript received May 10, 2007; accepted in revised form October 10, 2007)
Abstract: The following Devonian—Carboniferous paleogeographic and Variscan orogenic domains were recognized
in the Circum Pannonian Region: Oceanic and arc related environments – Noric Bosnian/Carnic-Dinaric Zone
(carbonate dominated passive continental margins) – Inovo Zone (Devonian siliciclastic dominated stable continental
margins) – Quartzphyllite Complexes – Carpatho-Balkanic intracontinental rift systems – Variscan Flysch Zone –
Carboniferous anorogenic turbiditic siliciclastic sediments at stable margins (Bükk-Jadar Zone) – Carboniferous
foredeeps and remnant basins (Veitsch/Nötsch-Szabadbattyán-Ochtiná Zone) related to metamorphic zones (Mediter-
ranean Crystalline Zone) formed already during an Early Carboniferous (Late Devonian) orogenic event. The syn-
orogenic Variscan Flysch Zone formed in the suture at the leading edge of the colliding terranes (Noric Composite
Terrane and Variscan Carpatho-Balkanic terranes) along the Laurussian margin (Eastern and Southern Alps, Western
and Eastern Carpathians, Carpatho-Balkanides) N to W of the bay of the Carboniferous Paleotethys. This collision was
connected with deformation and partly low grade metamorphism and occurred during a Serpukhovian-Bashkirian
orogenic event which is also indicated by an unconformable Moscovian/Kasimovian continental molasse. The Variscan
deformation of the East Bosnian Durmitor and Central Bosnian Terranes, situated in the Carboniferous SW of the
Paleotethys, is only weak and not documented in a sufficient way. Bükk, Sana Una, Jadar Block and Drina-Ivanjica
Terranes remained during the Carboniferous subsiding passive margins in shallowing upward systems. Therefore they
lack any Variscan deformation, their turbiditic siliciclastic environments cannot be assigned as syn-orogenic flysch
deposits and they are covered within Bashkirian-Moskovian times conformably by marine shallow water sediments.
Key words: Circum-Pannonian Region, Devonian-Carboniferous, paleogeography, stratigraphy, tectonostratigraphic
terranes, Variscan orogeny.
The Circum Pannonian Region (CPR) is made up of five
Megaterranes: Alcapa, Tisia, Dacia, Vardar and Adria-Di-
naria. These Megaterranes include Alpine, Variscan and
pre-Variscan tectonostratigraphic units consting of terranes
(Fig. 1). For unravelling the complex geological evolution
a group of geoscientists working in the CPR prepared a set
of “Tectonostratigraphic Terrane and Paleoenvironment
Maps of the Circum Pannonian Area” (Kovács et al. 2004).
This set of maps includes a map of the “Variscan pre-flysch
(Devonian—Early Carboniferous) environments” (Ebner et al.
2004; http//www.geologicacarpathica.sk). The Carbonifer-
ous syn-orogenic flysch environments are not shown in this
or another map, but they are documented in the stratigraphic
columns (Figs. 2—6). This paper focusses on the Devonian—
Carboniferous pre- and syn-orogenic sedimentary evolution
and its implication for the Variscan orogeny in the CPR.
We specified in this paper those tectonostratigraphic
units as “terranes” which follow one of the two terrane
categories in the original terrane definition by Keppie &
(1) Exotic terranes: although no oceanic remnants can
be proven between them, the difference in the evolution of
the presently adjacent crustal blocks/fragments is so large,
that it cannot be explained by lateral facies transition (typi-
EBNER et al.
cal examples: the two sides of the Periadriatic/Balaton and
Mid-Hungarian Lines/Lineaments; that is these are dis-
placed terranes due to strike-slip and related rotational
(2) Proximal terranes: even if they show similar evolu-
tion, there could be very narrow traces of telescoped oce-
anic lithosphere (remnants of an oceanic basin), which
separated them for certain time of the earth history.
If a later terrane came into existence by amalgamation
and accretion of former terranes it is a “composite
”. These can be multiple “composite”, like the
major terranes of the Circum-Pannonian region, for which
we use the term “megaterrane”.
During our terrane analysis we followed the method de-
scribed in Howell’s (1989) classic monograph. For tradi-
evolution can be explained by lateral facies transition we
use the terms nappe/(facies)zone/unit, for smaller rank
In the following text Variscan tectonostratigraphic units
and terranes will be marked by Italic letters. Generally the
nomenclature for Variscan units and terranes follows that
used in the IGCP No. 276 Terrane Maps and Terrane De-
scriptions (Ed. Papanikolaou 1997; Ebner et al. 1997).
Some Carboniferous turbiditic sililiclastic sequences in
the Bükk-Jadar-Dinaric domains, previously named as fly-
sch, are devoid of any Variscan deformation. We therefore
do not interpret them as syn-orogenic flysch sensu strictu
and place the term “flysch” within quotation marks where
we referred to the original descriptions. The post-Variscan
molasse stage of the CPR is summarized in Vozárová et. al.
(2006, 2008). For a better understanding of the late
Variscan history some information related to the pre-De-
vonian and post-Variscan history of the CPR are also in-
cluded in this paper.
Devonian—Carboniferous sedimentary sequences in
the Circum Pannonian Region (CPR)
The ALCAPA Megaterrane
The Eastern Alps
The Habach Terrane (HT, Fig. 3) in the Penninic Nappe
System reflects a long lasting history starting in magmatic
arc/back arc environments of the Latest Precambrian/Ear-
ly Paleozoic (Eichhorn et al. 1999) associated with and
Fig. 1. The Alpine megaterranes and important tectonostratigraphic units of the Circum Pannonian Region. The figures indiacte
schematically the position of the described units documented in Figs. 3—7: the Eastern Alps (1—8), the Western Carpathians (9—11), the
Pelsonia Composite Terrane (12—16), the Tisia Megaterrane (17), the Eastern Carpathians (18), the Carpatho-Balkanides (19—25), the
Vardar Megaterrane (26, 27), and the Adria Dinaria Megaterrane (28—32).
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
followed by a montonous fine volcaniclastic sedimenta-
tion until the Variscan orogeny. The Carboniferous oro-
genic climax was connected to metamorphism associated
with massive intrusions of I- and S-type granitoids (mainly
between 330 and 300 Ma, Finger et. al. 1992; Neubauer et
al. 1999). Carboniferous plant fossils provide an argument
that post-orogenic sediments are also included within the
Habach-Phyllite Group (Höck 1993). During the Alpine
cycle the HT was overprinted by at least two stages of in-
tensive Late Cretaceous—Paleogene metamorphism (low
to medium grade and partly including an early high pres-
sure stage) and deformation (Frank et al. 1987).
The pre-Alpine units of the Austroalpine Nappe System
may be subdivided into:
a) Medium to high grade Austroalpine Crystalline
Complexes, further subdivided into Lower and Middle
Austroalpine Crystalline units (Tollmann 1977; Neubauer
et al. 1999);
b) Low to very low grade fossiliferous Paleozoics “clas-
sically” referred to as “Upper Austroalpine” (Fig. 3;
Graywacke Zone, Graz Paleozoic, Gurktal Paleozoic, Gail-
tal Paleozoic; Schönlaub & Heinisch 1993), and addition-
ally the Austroalpine Quartzphyllite Complexes (Neubau-
er & Sassi 1993). All these units are regarded as parts of the
Noric Composite Terrane (Frisch & Neubauer 1989);
c) The Veitsch Nappe of the Graywacke Zone and the
Nötsch Carboniferous in the Drauzug record marine post-
orogenic Carboniferous environments (Flügel 1977;
Ebner et. al. 1991).
For a different view of the tectonic subdivion of the
Eastern Alps see Schmid et al. 2004.
The Austroalpine Crystalline Complexes suffered a me-
dium-high grade metamorphism of Early Carboniferous
age. At some sites this metamorphism is pre-dated by Sil-
urian/Devonian and older metamorphic events (Neubauer
& Frisch 1993; Neubauer et al. 1999). Syn- to post-orogen-
ic Variscan granitoids are frequent (Finger et al. 1992) and
in some tectonic units an independent metamorphic/mag-
matic event is constrained as Permian/Early Triassic in
age, meaning that it occurred between the Variscan and
Alpine cycle (Schuster et al. 1999). During the Cretaceous
orogeny major parts of the Austroalpine Crystalline Com-
plexes were overprinted by an Alpine low grade amphibo-
lite grade or locally even eclogite metamorphic grade
overprint (Hoinkes et al. 1999).
In the Graywacke Zone (GWZ) of Styria the Noric
Nappe consists of some hundreds of meters of ignimbritic
Blasseneck porphyroid (Late Ordovician), Silurian lime-
stones, black shales and basic volcanics. Platy, flaser/nod-
ular and sometimes organodetritic limestones were depos-
ited in the Devonian; mostly the sequences end at the
transition of the Early- to the Middle Devonian. 200—300 m
thick carbonate sequences reach the Frasnian or even the
Famennian in the surroundings of Eisenerz. They are dated
by some findings of micro- (conodonts, tectaculites) and
macrofossils (trilobites, cephalopods, crinoids and stro-
matoporoids). Major parts of the limestones are metasom-
atized to siderite/ankerite that formed the famous siderite
deposit of the “Styrian Erzberg”. After a break in sedimen-
tation lasting until the Late Tournaisian the Devonian
limestones are overlain by a thin limestone breccia with
mixed conodont faunas and the 100—150 m thick fine-
clastic Eisenerz Fm (Late Viséan—Serpukhovian) (Schön-
laub 1982; Schönlaub & Heinisch 1993).
In the western parts of the GWZ, Salzburg and Tyrol, a
carbonate facies prevailed in Devonian times and contin-
ued until the early Late Devonian (Wildseeloder Unit). It
comprises shallow water dolomites (Schwaz and Spielberg
dolomite) with small reefal bodies and is covered by pe-
lagic limestones, cherts and shales of Frasnian age. The si-
liciclastic Glemmtal Unit, however, includes the some
hundreds of meters thick Schattberg Fm with proximal tur-
bidites, and the Lohnersbach Fm with much finer distal
turbidite intercalations. Beginning with the Late Emsian
the clastics were affected by basaltic volcanism. This mag-
matism produced a large variety of lavas, sills, pyroclas-
tics and tuffites which are partly explained in terms of sea-
mounts that sometimes emerged above the sea-level.
Generally the geochemistry is of transitional to alkali in-
traplate type. An exception is the 200 m thick tholeiitic
Maishofen basalt sill complex. An Early Carboniferous
age for the top of the sometimes flysch-like volcaniclas-
tics is suggested (Heinisch et al. 1987; Schlaegel-Blaut
1990; Heinisch & Schönlaub 1993).
The Variscan fold and thrust belt of the GWZ is uncon-
formably covered by continental Permocarboniferous
coarse grained molasse sediments (Krainer 1993; Vozárová
et al. 2006).
The Graz Paleozoic (GP) builds up a stack of Alpine
nappes with their individual Cretaceous metamorphic
overprint (very low grade – lower amphibolite metamor-
phic facies; Rantitsch et al. 2005). In terms of stratigraphy
it includes a volcaniclastic – carbonatic pelagic footwall
which differentiated during the Late Silurian/Early Devo-
nian into carbonate shallow water complexes and deeper,
much more basinal environments with ± calcareous shales,
siltstones and alkaline volcanics. In the uppermost (Ran-
nach-Hochlantsch) tectonic unit the some hundreds of
meters thick shallow water Rannach Group is made up of
fossiliferous (corals, brachiopods, algae) limestones, dolo-
mites, and silt-/sandstones of shelf areas with coastal and
Around the Middle-/Late Devonian boundary the shallow
water facies is replaced by pelagic limestones, rich in con-
odonts and cephalopods (Forstkogel Grp.). Locally this up
to 100 m pelagic carbonate sediments may reach the Early
Serpukhovian. Sometimes the Late Devonian sedimenta-
tion of pelagic limestones (Steinberg Fm) terminated with-
in the Frasnian/Famennian in a stratigraphic gap, above
which sedimentation started again with pelagic lime-
stones (Upper Sanzenkogel Fm) during the late Early Car-
boniferous. After another hiatus at the top of the Forstko-
gel Grp. marine carbonate and pelitic sedimentation (Dult
Grp.) continued during the Bashkirian. As the GP is only
covered by Upper Cretaceous Gosau sediments the exist-
ence of a Variscan deformation and low grade metamor-
phism is suggested only and lacks any field evidence (Eb-
ner & Rantitsch 2000; Ebner et al. 2000).
EBNER et al.
The low grade metamorphic Gurktal Paleozoic (GUP)
in Carinthia/Austria and Slovenia N of the Periadriatic
Lineament exhibits thick Ordovician to Upper Silurian
volcaniclastic sequences. From the latest Silurian to the
Late Devonian 400 m thick clastics with m- to deca-m
thick carbonatic intercalations, dated by Early and Middle
Devonian conodonts, were deposited. They contrast with
the > 500 m thick phyllitic/metadiabasic Magdalensberg
facies which already began within the (?)Middle Ordovi-
cian. Locally pre-orogenic sedimentation continued until
the late Early Carboniferous (Mioč & Ramovš 1973;
Hinterlechner-Ravnik & Moine 1977; Neubauer & Herzog
1985; Schönlaub & Heinisch 1993; Kolar-Jurkovšek &
Jurkovšek 1996). Continental molasse began after
Variscan deformation within the Late Moscovian—Early
Gzhelian (Stephanian). Cretaceous low grade metamor-
phism is suggested for both the Austrian and the Slovenian
parts of the GUP (Rantitsch & Russegger 2000; Fodor et al.
The Austroalpine Quartzphyllite Complexes include
Ordovician to (?) Lower Carboniferous volcanosedimen-
tary formations. Upper Ordovician quartzporphyric forma-
tions, Silurian basic volcanics and black shales are the
most significant intercalations within the quartzphyllite.
Upper Silurian to Lower Devonian clastic sediments re-
sulted from a renewed rift phase, Middle to Upper Devo-
nian limestones record carbonate platforms. The Variscan
orogeny was accompanied by thrust tectonics, formation
of a foredeep with flysch deposits in front of the incoming
thrust sheets and a low grade metamorphic overprint (Neu-
bauer & Sassi 1993).
Late Carboniferous shallow marine, siliciclastic and car-
bonate fossil rich sequences began within the Late Tour-
naisian/Viséan in the Veitsch Nappe (VN) of the eastern
GWZ and the Nötsch Carboniferous (NC) in the Drauzug.
Deformation and low grade metamorphic overprint of the
VN are exclusively of Alpine (Cretaceous) age (Ratsch-
bacher 1987; Rantitsch et al. 2004). In spite of its tectoni-
cally isolated position the age of the deformation of the
NC is not clear. Anchizonal illite crystallinity and anthra-
citic coal rank indicate metamorphic peak conditions of
ca. 260 °C and 6 km burial (Rantitsch 1995).
The Western Carpathians
Syn-orogenic Carboniferous basins in the Western Car-
pathians reflect the beginning of the Variscan continent-
continent collision (Fig. 4). Intensive metamorphic and
magmatic processes prevented a complete unequal consoli-
dation of the continental crust, which hence was further de-
formed during post-collisional relaxation. Fragments of
newly formed Variscan continental crust were subsequently
incorporated into the major Alpine tectonic units (Tatri-
cum, Veporicum, Zemplinicum and Gemericum), together
with relics of the syn- to post-orogenic Late Paleozoic basin
fills. With respect to the tectonothermal impacts these frag-
ments reveal the metamorphic zonation of the Variscan
crust: the Central Western Carpathian Crystalline Zone
(within the Tatricum, Veporicum, Zemplinicum), the North-
ern Gemeric Zone (within the Northern Gemericum) and the
Inner Western Carpathian Crystalline Zone (within the
Southern Gemericum) (Vozárová 1998).
Fig. 2. Legend to the stratigraphic columns (Figs. 3—6) of the Devonian—Carboniferous sequences in the Circum Pannonian Region.
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
Fig. 3. Devonian/Carboniferous sequences in the Eastern Alps (part of the ALCAPA Megaterrane). Legend in Fig. 2.
EBNER et al.
Fig. 4. Devonian/Carboniferous sequences in the Western Carpathians and the Pelsonia Composite Terrane (parts of the ALCAPA
Megaterrane). Legend in Fig. 2.
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
The Alpine Tatric and Veporic Nappe System include a
set of medium to high grade metamorphic pre-Alpine ter-
ranes (paragneisses, calc-alkaline to tholeiitic basic and
acidic orthogneisses, banded amphibolites, migmatites,
granulite facies rocks) besides some low grade metamorphic
units amalgamated during the Variscan cycle. The most
significant tectonofacies indicate passive and active
margins, initial island arcs and oceanic crust. The low grade
units are composed of a bimodal volcanic suite within
immature clastic sediments. Possibly they are fills of
?Silurian—?Devonian continental intraplate rifts (Miko
1981; Bezák et al. 1998).
Some low-grade metamorphic complexes (metapelites,
-graywackes, -carbonates, mafic to intermediate metavol-
canoclastics) imbricated within the Kohut Terrane (Ve-
poric Unit), include ?Carboniferous magnesites in places
(Bezák 1982; Bezák et al. 1998). Variscan deformation/
low grade metamorphism was Intra-Carboniferous before
the overstep of the volcano-terrestrial molasse formations
palynologically dated as Early Gzhelian-Asselian (Late
Vozárová 1997, 1988). Early Carboniferous anatectic
granitoid magmatism (360—340 Ma; Kohút et al. 1997;
Krá et al. 1997) is represented by per- to subaluminous
granodiorites and granites (Broska & Uher 2001).
The crystalline rocks of the Zemplinic Unit (Byšta Ter-
rane) and their Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic cover may be
correlated, on the basis metamorphic petrology and Meso-
zoic facies, with parts of the Tatro-Veporic domain
(Vozárová 1989; Faryad 1995; Vozárová & Vozár 1996).
The Byšta Terrane is composed of paragneisses and mic-
aschists, amphibolites, migmatites and orthogneisses. The
existence of granitoids and low-grade metapelites and
acid metavolcanics is indicated within the pebble material
Deformation and metamorphism occurred before the early
Moscovian (Westphalian C) as is indicated by pebbles in
post-Variscan conglomerates (Grecula & Együd 1982;
Vozárová & Vozár 1988).
The Northern Gemeric Zone (NGZ) includes the
gneiss-amphibolite complex of the Klatov Terrane (KT),
interpreted in terms of an oceanic crust environment. The
low-grade Rakovec Grp. of the Rakovec Terrane (RT) is
undated and predominantly composed of tholeiitic me-
tabasalts and metavolcaniclastics associated with a small-
er amount of sandy-pelitic and Fe-rich metasediments and
small bodies of metagabbrodiorites/-keratophyres with
geochemical characteristics close to E-MORB/OIT and is-
land arc basalts (Ivan 1994). Relics of Tournaisian-Viséan
flysch of the basal Ochtiná Grp. and thrust wedges of the
KT and RT represent a part of a Variscan collision suture
(Vozárová & Vozár 1996, 1997). Ordovician
cooling ages of detrital white mica within the Lower Car-
boniferous Hrádok Fm document Ordovician crustal piec-
es found within this suture (Vozárová et al. 2005).
At the SW and E-SE boundary of the NGZ the syn-oro-
genic Tournaisian—Lower Viséan Hrádok and Črme Fm
(lower part of the Ochtiná Grp.) have been preserved as rel-
ics. In spite of the orogenic/metamorphic reduction their
present tickness is estimated as > 1000 m. The whole Tour-
naisian-Serpukhovian Ochtiná Grp. was deformed under
low-pressue greenschist facies conditions before being
overlapped by a new Bashkirian-Lower Moscovian sedi-
mentary delta fan/shallow-marine to paralic cycle (Rudňa-
ny, Zlatník and Hámor Fm). The metamorphic grade did
not exceed the boundary between the anchizone and lower
limit of the greenschist facies. Fine-grained muscovite from
the Hrádok Fm reflects the complex Alpine (87—142 Ma)
overprint (Vozárová et al. 2005).
The Gelnica Terrane (GT) of the South Gemeric Zone,
as a part of the Inner Western Carpathian Crystalline Zone
is made up of thick Lower Paleozoic flysch sequences
comprising acidic and intermediate volcaniclastics (Gel-
nica Grp.) (Fig. 4). It is tectonically overlain by the undated
Štós Fm, a flyschoid, rhythmical sequence of metapelite/
metasandstone. Micropaleontological and U/Pb clastic
zircon and SHRIMP datings within the GT suggest a wide,
Cambrian—Ordovician/Lower Silurian, age range for the
volcaniclastics, besides Proterozoic ages from detrital zir-
cons (Cambel et al. 1977; Ščerbak et al. 1988; Vozárová et
al. 1998; Soták et al. 1999; Vozárová et al. unpubl. data).
The low- pressure greenschist metamorphism and defor-
mation (Sassi & Vozárová 1987; Faryad 1991; Molák &
Buchart 1996) occurred before the start of the deposition
of the Early Ghzelian—Asselian (Late Stephanian—Autu-
nian) continental sedimentary cover (Planderová 1980;
Vozár & Vozárová 1997). Late Jurassic/Cretaceous low-
grade metamorphism and polystage tectonic overprint is
characteristic (Snopko & Reichwalder 1970; Lexa et al.
The Turnaicum Nappe of the innermost Western Car-
pathians contains flysch sediments in form of the Bashkir-
ian Turiec Fm found in the Slovenské Rudohorie Mts
(Brusnik anticline). Borehole BRU-1 (Ebner et. al 1990;
Vozárová & Vozár 1992) indicates the nappe character of
the Turna Unit above Meliatic Late Jurassic olistostromes.
This flysch was tectonized during a Late Carboniferous
Variscan orogenic phase, as is indicated by the strong de-
formation and angular unconformity of continental red-
beds (Ebner et. al. 1990; Vozárová & Vozár 1992).
The Pelsonia Composite Terrane
The Pelsonia Composite Terrane was formed during Al-
pine times by amalgamation of the Bükk (Bükk, Szendrő,
Uppony Mts) and Transdanubian Range Terranes in Hun-
gary and the Zagorje(-Midtransdanubian) Terrane in
Croatia. All these Alpine terranes also include pre-Meso-
zoic units (Kovács et al. 1997, 2000; Pamić et al. 1997).
Bükk Terrane (Szendrő, Bükk and Uppony Mts)
The Paleozoic evolution in the Szendrő Mts is character-
ized by the Abod and Rakaca Subunits. The pre-Middle
Devonian sequence of the Abod Subunit consists of black,
euxinic radiolarian lydites and siliceous slates, graphitic
phyllites (?Silurian to Early Devonian) and grey, partly
EBNER et al.
turbiditic sandstones (?Late Ordovician). In the Middle
Devonian a carbonate – siliciclastic ramp did form, with
coral bioherms besides deeper water deposits that bear
conodonts. In the Late Devonian a carbonate platform
developed in restricted areas only, while pelagic basinal
carbonate sedimentation, influenced by basic volcanism
(“cipollino”) was more widespread (Frasnian—Famennian;
Kovács 1994; Fülöp 1994; Ebner et al. 1998).
Within the Rakaca Subunit two marble formations
(Rakacaszend Marble Fm ?Middle Devonian—Early Fras-
nian; Rakaca Marble Fm Late Viséan—Early Bashkirian)
are separated by a stratigraphic gap. The time interval of
this gap is indicated by conodonts of pelagic fissure fill-
ings within the Rakaca Marble. The Rakaca Marble is in-
terfingering with and overlain by the Szendrő Phyllite Fm
and in some parts the phyllite occur also between the two
marble formations. The “flysch” sedimentation (Szendrő
Phyllite Fm) did not start before the Late Viséan or later
(Ebner et al. 1991, 1998).
In the Uppony Mts, that is within the Tapolcsány Subunit,
the biostratigraphic constraints are very poor, except for the
limestone olistoliths of two olistostrome horizons. Quartzites
and graywackes probably represent the beginning of sedi-
mentation within the Late Ordovician (Ebner et al. 1998).
Black radiolarian lydites and siliceous slates were deposited
below the CCD. Basic volcanics, probably in a seamount set-
ting, are associated with the deep-water sediments. Lime-
stone olistoliths of pelagic and slope facies in a volcanic
matrix extend in age from Wenlockian to Lochkovian
(Kovács 1989; Gnoli & Kovács 1992). Light grey to grey sil-
iceous shales/slates may have been deposited until the Late
Devonian—Early Carboniferous. A second olistostrome hori-
zon in a fine grained siliciclastic, and marly matrix and pelag-
ic limestone olistoliths (dated by Emsian to Early Famennian
conodonts), are tentatively assigned to the middle part of the
Carboniferous, that is to the “flysch” stage (Kovács 1992).
In the Lázbérc Subunit the sequence began by the build-
up of a ?Middle Devonian to Early Frasnian carbonate
platform followed by pelagic carbonate sedimentation as-
sociated with basic volcanism until the end of the Famenni-
an. Above the partly volcanogenic carbonate sediments,
referred to as “cipollino” in their metamorphosed stage,
condensed pelagic “flaser limestones” reach the Viséan,
with a characteristic lydite horizon deposited in the Early
Viséan (Ebner et al. 1998). From the Late Viséan to the Early
took place in a ramp environment, without any turbiditic
activity. A > 100 m thick slaty/marly sequence, with some
sandstone intercalations, can be assigned to the higher part
of the Bashkirian. A < 100 m thick sequence of calcareous
sandstones—sandy limestones with small lydite and quartz
pebbles (Derenek Fm) can be assigned to the “post-
Variscan” marine molasse stage. However, no biostrati-
graphic data are available (Kovács 1992; Fülöp 1994;
Ebner et al. 1998; Pelikán 2005).
The stratigraphic base of the sequence outcropping in
the Bükk Mts is the pre-Upper Moscovian (pre-Podolski-
an) “flyschoid” Szilvásvárad Fm, characterized by a distal
turbiditic shale—sandstone sequence. It is regarded as a
partial equivalent of or the continuation of the Szendrő
Phyllite Fm (Árkai 1983). It is followed by Late Moscov-
ian—Ghzelian fossiliferous limestones and siliciclastics of
the shallow marine Mályinka Fm, its upper parts having
been eroded down to different levels. No orogenic move-
ments could be detected between the two formations (Eb-
ner et al. 1991; Fülöp 1994; Pelikán 2005).
In the Transdanubian Range Terrane Emsian to Fras-
nian pelagic limestones, with stylolinids and conodonts
and coeval stromatolitic carbonate platforms, overlie the
Balaton Phyllite Group (Late Ordovician—Early Devo-
nian). The youngest marine formation is the Szabadbat-
tyán Fm (black shales, bituminous fossiliferous limestone
and rare sandstone) of Late Viséan age and a smaller de-
gree of metamorphism. It was deposited after the first
Variscan tectonothermal event. Another tectonic event
occurred before the sedimentation of the Late Bashkirian—
Early Ghzelian (Westphalian—Stephanian) plant bearing
terrestrial Füle conglomerate (Lelkes-Felvári 1978; Fülöp
1994). The Variscan thermal overprint was very low to low
grade (Árkai & Lelkes-Felvári 1987).
In the Zagorje – Midtransdanubian Terrane, and
above the pre-Variscan Medimurje medium grade meta-
morphic complex, the protoliths of the Mt Medvednica
metamorphic sequence are found. These consist of medi-
um to fine grained clastics, calcarenites and fossiliferous
(conodonts) limestones of Late Devonian to Late Triassic
age. They originated within marine shelf and pelagic envi-
ronments. Diabase dykes and sills are probably of Middle
Triassic age. The whole complex underwent a well docu-
mented Early Cretaceous very low to low-grade metamor-
phism (122—110 Ma; Belak et al. 1995; Pamić &
Tomljenović 1998). At least parts of the Devonian-Car-
boniferous formations, dated by conodonts (Đur anović
1973), are included within the metamorphosed “Medved-
nica Series” (Pamić & Tomljenović 1998). They can be
regarded as equivalents of coeval formations in the Szen-
drő Paleozoic of the Bükk Terrane.
The TISIA Megaterrane
The Tisia Megaterrane behaved as one large terrane during Al-
pine evolution. However, earlier it consisted of several terranes
amalgamated during the Variscan orogeny. The individual ter-
ranes are petrologically different and reveal different metamor-
phic PT conditions. The Carboniferous orogeny was accompanied
by syn- to post-collisional granitoids (Buda et al. 2004). Several
smaller units of lower metamorphic grade (Fig. 4) and relics of
oceanic crust are imbricated within the larger medium to high
grade metamorphic Variscan terranes (Szederkényi 1996 and in
Kovács et al. 1997, 2000; Pamić et al. 1997).
Some small very low to low grade metamorphic units
(Szalatnak, Horváthertelend, Ófalu, Tázlár) which are part
of the Kunságia Terrane in the Hungarian Mecsek-Great
Plain unit are remnants of nappes wedged into medium to
high grade metamorphics (Szederkényi 1974; Árkai et al.
1996). They represent slices of a Silurian—?Lower Carbon-
iferous pelitic-psammitic pre-flysch sequence with some
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
calcareous and volcanic (basalts, porphyroids) intercala-
tions. With the exception of some conodonts, fossils are
missing (Kozur 1984; Szederkényi et al. 1991). Some oc-
currences of pre-Upper Carboniferous basic/ultramafic
rocks are also imbricated within the metamorphic terranes.
In Hungary these are regarded as parts or equivalents of the
Gyód Serpentinite Fm of the W-Mecsek Mts (Kovács et al.
2000; Szederkényi et al. 1991).
In the territory of Hungary the Moslavina (Drava)
Slavonia Terrane is only known from drillings. In northern
Croatia it crops out in the Moslovačka Gora Mt (in our map
it is still included in the Tisia Terrane, but Schmid et al.
(2008) put it in the Sava Zone (Prošara, Motajica moun-
tains, etc., because of its Late Cretaceous metamorphism)
and the Papuk-Krndija Mts. Devonian—Permian sediments
are only known from the Radlovac complex of the Papuk-
Krndija Mts, which unconformably overlies the pre-
Variscan Psunj-Krdija metamorphics. This metaclastic Rad-
lovac complex is intruded by metadiabases/-gabbros
(Jamičić 1983; Pamić & Jamičić 1986). The lower part of the
complex is composed of graphitic metagraywackes and
slates, quartz- sericite schists and arenitic metasandstones.
The upper part contains fossil plants of Late Bashkirian—
Early Moscovian (Westphalian B and C) and is made up of
coarse grained mylonitic metagraywackes and slates which
grade into pink clastics (Brkić et al. 1974). The Radlovac
complex was metamorphosed under very-low to low grade
metamorphic conditions, presumably during the Variscan
cycle (Jamičić 1983). However, the radiometric ages, wide-
ly ranging form 416.0 ± 9 Ma to 203.9 ± 6.9 Ma (Pamić
1998), are inconsistent.
The pre-Mesozoic units of the Alpine Codru Nappe Sys-
tem outcropping in the Apuseni Mts represents the eastern
continuation of the Hungarian Szeged-Békés (Codru) Ter-
rane. Paleozoic sequences are only preserved in a few ar-
eas. The Arieseni Unit of the Codru Nappe System is
formed by an ?Early Carboniferous metapelitic/-psammit-
ic-conglomeratic sequence (Arieseni Fm). Variscan low
grade metamorphism and deformation are evident. The
onset of the post-Variscan overstep sequences ranges be-
tween Late Moscovian (Westphalian D) and the Permian
(ref. in Kräutner 1997). In the Biharia Nappe System Devo-
nian or ?Latest Precambrian metabasalts occur in the Rad-
na (Biharia) unit, whereas the Highis-Poiana unit is formed
mostly by a sequence of metaconglomerates, metasand-
stones and metapelites assigned to the Late Carboniferous.
Its low-grade metamorphism is thought to be Alpine. The
Variscan pile of the Biharia Nappe System is intruded by
The DACIA Megaterrane
The Eastern Carpathians
Variscan nappe structures occur in the Bucovino-Getic
System of the Eastern Carpathians (Fig. 5). These units
extend southwards into the Southern Carpathians of Ro-
mania and the Carpatho-Balkanides of E-Serbia (Kräutner
1997; Kräutner & Krstić 2002, 2003). The Variscan nappes
mainly include fragments of the pre-Variscan metamor-
phic Carpian Terrane, made up of Latest Proterozoic poly-
metamorphic rocks of sedimentary and volcanosedimen-
tary origin (Kräutner 1980). Paleozoic sediments are
developed in the Tulghes Terrane (part of the Bucovinian
and Subbucovinian Nappes) and in the Rodna Terrane
(part of the Infrabucovinian Nappe).
In the Tulghes Terrane (TT) sedimentation of the
Tulghes Grp. started during the Early Ordovician with
sliciclastic sediments and continued with basinal and
slope psammites and pelites, associated with basalts of
tholeiitic signature and MORB affinity, until the Silurian.
It is not clear whether sedimentation persisted into the
Devonian and Early Carboniferous.
In the Rodna Terrane (RT) pre-Variscan retrograde
gneisses (Bretila Grp.) are covered by low grade metamor-
phic Silurian—Lower Carboniferous sediments (Fig. 5) in
which some individual stratigraphic levels can be out-
lined on the basis of palynological data (Iliescu & Kräut-
ner 1976, 1978; Kräutner & Vaida 1993). Above the
Silurian volcaniclastic Repeda Grp. the transgression of a
new sedimentary cycle (Cimpoiasa Grp.) started with the
Lower and/or Middle Devonian Gura Fantanii Fm with
conglomerates, quartzites and carbonate metasandstones.
It is followed until the ?early Late Devonian by the Negoi-
escu Fm, up to 500 m thick greenschists, metabasalts and
metakeratophyre tuffs with small amounts of carbonate
layers/lenses at the top. The Late Devonian and parts of
the Early Carboniferous are represented by the Prislopas
Fm, divided into a quartzite-conglomerate subformation
(300 m) and another subformation (300 m) at the top dom-
inated by meta-dolomite, marble and metapelites. Finally
the pre-orogenic sequence is closed by the Fata Muntelui
Fm, a 550 m thick clastic sequence of alternating meta-
graywacke and feldspar metasandstones (Kräutner 1989,
The Variscan orogeny, assigned to the “Sudetic” event
(Kräutner 1997) was polyphase and with greenschist meta-
morphic facies conditions producing retrograde metamor-
phism in the pre-Ordovician medium-grade metamorphic
complexes (Kräutner 1997). In the RT Variscan metamor-
phism developed under low pressure conditions, while in
the TT a medium-pressure to low-pressure gradient was re-
corded (Kräutner et al. 1975). Post-Variscan (?)Late Car-
boniferous—Permian overstep sequences of continental
intramontane type are only locally preserved.
The Carpatho-Balkanides of E-Serbia and Bulgaria
In the Southern Carpathians of Romania and the Car-
patho-Balkanides of E-Serbia and Bulgaria pre-Alpine
units or terranes occur within the Bucovino-Getic and the
Danubian Alpine nappe systems (Kräutner 1997; Kräutner
& Krstić 2002, 2003). Some of these pre-Alpine terranes
have a more restricted extent and therefore they are only
specific for small segments of the belt. In the past detailed
correlations of tectonostratigraphic units or terranes
failed, mainly due to the following reasons:
EBNER et al.
Fig. 5. Devonian/Carboniferous sequences in parts of the Tisia and Dacia Megaterranes (the Eastern Carpathians and the Carpatho-Bal-
kanides). Legend in Fig. 2.
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
(1) Nappe contacts (both pre-Alpine and Alpine), clearly
exposed N of the Danube, are partly obliterated by young-
er (mostly Neogene) orogen-scale shear zones in Serbia
and Bulgaria; (“nappe structure” versus “block struc-
(2) In the earlier Romanian, Serbian and Bulgarian
literature no distinction was made between Alpine,
Variscan and older structural elements.
(3) South of the Danube important Alpine structural
units without northern continuation (e.g. Kraishte and
Tumba-Penkjovci) are successively interposed between
belt scale structural elements (e.g. Supragetic and Getic).
(4) In Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria some main Alpine
units include different pre-Mesozoic lithologies and
Variscan tectonic units (e.g. Getic and Kučaj).
These difficulties were overcome by representing a
structural model, published in a map covering the area be-
tween Oravita/Romania, Niš/Serbia and Sofia/Bulgaria
(Kräutner & Krstić 2002, 2003). According to this model
the following correlation of Alpine tectonic units and
national terminologies is used (Table 1). These Alpine
zones include the described Variscan terranes which
amalgamated during the Carboniferous between the
Serbo-Macedonian Zone and the Proto-Moesian Plate
(Haydoutov et al. 1997; Karamata et al. 1997).
In the Danubian Nappe System (Fig. 5) the metamorphic
units include several pre-Mesozoic crustal pieces joined
together by Variscan thrusting and Early Paleozoic
obduction. During the Devonian a second Paleozoic
sedimentary cycle started. Three main sedimentation areas,
corresponding to individual Variscan terranes, can be
(1) The Valea de Braz Terrane occurs in the N part of the
Lower Danubian Nappes. It includes conglomerates,
sandstones, shales, concordant rhyolitic layers and
macroflora (Valea de Brazi Fm, Stanoiu 1982; Berza &
(2) The Inovo Terrane is widespread within the Stara
Planina (Upper Danubian Nappes). It is marked by several
hundreds of m thick, predominantly Devonian, marine
coarse to fine grained metaclastics with turbidites and
olistostromes (Inovo Fm in Serbia, Dalgi-Djal Fm in Bulgar-
ia; Krstić et al 1999, 2004). These are discordantly deposit-
ed onto Late Proterozoic to Early Cambrian low-grade
metamorphic volcano-sedimentary island-arc formations
(e.g. Berkovica) and unconformably overlain by Upper
(3) In the western Upper Danubian Nappes, however, the
Upper Devonian—Lower Carboniferous
developed. It is composed of a volcano-sedimentary
sequence including Late Devonian metabasic rocks,
covered by the fossil (incl. conodont) rich sparry Ideg Lmst.
of Tournaisian age (300 m; Cordarcea et al. 1960). During
the Viséan pelites and fine grained psammites follow
(Sevastru Fm; Nastaseanu in Kräutner et al. 1981). Variscan
low grade metamorphism and deformation occurred before
the onset of early Moscovian (Westphalian C) continental
molasse environments (Kräutner et al. 1981).
The Bucovino-Getic Nappe System, also extending
into the E-Carpathians, includes several metamorphic
units made up of pre-Variscan terranes formed in different
metamorphism is proven by Tremadocian siliciclastic
overstep sequences (Kučaj).
In the Supragetic Nappe System thick low grade
Paleozoic volcano-sedimentary units were assigned to the
Poiana Rusca Terrane (Romania) and the Locva-
Ranovac-Vlasina Terrane (Banat, Serbia and Elesnica
Unit in Bulgaria).
In the Poiana Rusca Terrane a rift developed above the
polymetamorphic Precambrian Carpian Terrane with two
distinct sedimentary cycles (Kräutner et al. 1973, 1981;
Kräutner 1997). A Silurian metavolcano-sedimentary se-
quence (Batrâna Grp.) is unconformably followed by a sec-
ond cycle, beginning with the Lower Devonian Govajdia
Grp. This consists of a lower formation of meta-
quartzsandstones and an upper basinal formation of graph-
ite schists with intercalations of limestones. The following
Middle and Upper Devonian Ghelar Grp. is a volcano-sed-
imentary rift type sequence, including submarine basaltic
volcanic structures, which are surrounded by volcaniclas-
tics. At some places the volcanics are covered by massive
reefal marbles interfingering with peri-reefal carbonates.
Locally intercalations of quartz-keratophyre tuffs indicate
bimodal volcanic character. Lahn Dill- and Teliuc-Ghelar
type iron ore deposits are related to submarine volcanic
rises (Kräutner 1977). Towards the end of the Late Devo-
Table 1: Correlation of the Alpine units in the Carpatho-Balkanides (Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria; Kräutner & Krstić 2002, 2003).
EBNER et al.
nian up to 200 m thick carbonate members and up to 20 m
thick greenschists developed. The Lower Carboniferous
Pades Grp. begins with 1000—2000 m thick dolomite and
limestone (Hunedoara-Luncani Fm), covered by the Glad-
na Schist Fm consisting of a rhythmic alternation of phyl-
lite and quartzose metasandstone which could be primari-
ly a flysch sequence. In the upper part, some basaltic and
acidic tuffs are intercalated (Fata Rosie Fm) and a set of
rhyolite dykes crosscuts the whole sequence. Deformation
and metamorphism are assigned to the Variscan orogeny,
pre-dating the Early Moscovian (Westphalian C; Kräutner
In the Locva-Ranovac-Vlasina Terrane (LRVT) a first sed-
imentary cycle includes an Ordovician—Silurian green-
schist formation of volcano-sedimentary origin (Locva
Grp.). The Devonian is transgressive and begins with a
quartzite member covered by a thick basic metavolcanic
pile of within plate character (Krstić et al. 2004, 2005a), in-
terlayered with pelitic-psammitic metasediments and some
metakeratophyric tuffs (Lescovita Fm, Valea Satului Fm, in
Romania; Maier 1974; Visarion & Iancu 1984). The Latest
Devonian and Early Carboniferous consists of alternating
phyllite, sericitic quartzite, chlorite/sericite schists with lo-
cal intercalations of basic/acidic metatuffs and metagab-
bros. Ordovician to Carboniferous ages are indicated by
palynomorphs in Romania (Maier & Visarion 1976; Visari-
on & Iancu 1984) and Serbia (Krstić et al. 2004). The LRVT
is interpreted as an intracontinental rift zone, but a back arc
environment was also discussed (Krstić et al. 2005a). Dur-
ing the Variscan orogeny the terrane underwent polyphase
deformation and low grade metamorphism (350 °C, ~ 3 kb;
Ivanović 2000). The onset of sedimentation of the post-
Variscan continental cover falls into the Latest Moscovian—
Early Gzhelian (Stephanian).
The Tumba-Penkjovci unit is sandwiched between the
LRVT attributed to the Supragetic Nappe System and the
Tithonian-age Ruj flysch attributed to the Lužnica/
Kraishte unit. In Serbia the Devonian of the Tumba-
Penkjovci Unit is made up of 250 m thick pelagic
limestones interlayered by shales and cherts. Lower
Devonian ages were proved by tentaculites and conodonts
(Krstić et al. 2004). The unit extends into Bulgaria
(Penkjovci-Strmolka-Vonska-Polentinci) where the entire
Devonian is dominated by carbonate sediments and
followed by terrigenous flysch sediments, similar to the
flysch of the Kučaj Terrane.
The Getic Nappe in Romania continues to the Kučaj
Unit of Serbia and to the Sredna Gora in Bulgaria (Table1).
The pre-Alpine units include several pre-Variscan and
Variscan crustal fragments, docked during the Carbonifer-
ous and covered by an identical Permian overstep se-
quence. Medium grade blastomylonitic belts, with lenses
of pre-Variscan eclogites and serpentinites, specifically
occur in parts of the Variscan terrane collage. Paleozoic
sediments prevail only south of the Danube. In Serbia they
are assigned to the Kučaj Terrane, which also extends into
Bulgaria (Ljubas, Iskar) and Romania (Buceava Fm).
In the Kučaj Terrane (KUT) sedimentation began in the
Tremadocian with near-shore/shallow sea siliciclastics
(Krstić & Maslarević 1990), followed by basinal Silurian
graptolite schists (Krstić et al. 2005b), and ~ 100 m shales and
siltstones with intercalations of cherts, limestones, channel-
sandstone and some turbidites. Sedimentation prevailed
until the Late Frasnian, as indicated by conodonts from do-
lomitic limestones at the top. Until the Viséan these series
are overlain by up to a 600 m thick siliciclastic flysch. To-
wards the north, the KUT is tectonically superposed by
Variscan nappes (Homolje, Jelova, Minis, Ravensca
Nappes) and extends only in a narrow zone referred to as the
“Homolje Paleozoic” which continues to the Romanian
Buceava Fm (Streckeisen 1934; Iancu & Maruntiu 1989). It
consists of a basal metaconglomerate and variegated
metasandstones cut by small bodies of metadiorite and met-
agabbro (Iancu & Maruntiu 1989). The Early Carboniferous
olistostrome of the KUT also occurs in some small tectonic
windows (Radovica, Drencova) below the above mentioned
Variscan nappes. As indicated by the onset of continental
molasse sedimentation Variscan deformation predates Lat-
est Bashkirian—Earliest Moscovian (Westphalian B). The
KUT also includes batholiths of Variscan I-type granitoids
(Sichevita-Neresnica, 310—292 Ma; Gornjani, 304 Ma).
The Serbo-Macedonian Zone (SMZ) is located between
the Vardar Zone (VZ) on the west, and the Carpatho-Bal-
kanides and the Rhodope Massif in the east. Some authors
(Dimitrijević 1997; Sandulescu 1984) regard it as part of
the Supragetic Nappe System. In fact the lithologies have
strong affinities with those of the Supragetic Carpian se-
quence. Although both units derived from the same Alpine
microplate, the SMZ overthrusts the ophiolitic Vardar
Zone (exposed in tectonic windows at Paraćin, Kupino-
vac, Jastrebac) towards the west, while the Supragetic
Units obviously belong to the east-vergent Carpathian
system (Kräutner & Krstić 2002). The two units are sepa-
rated by a prominent, some hundred meters wide, dextral
(Vršac and Dušanovo) mylonite zone.
The SMZ consists of high to medium grade
metamorphics of Precambrian and Early Paleozoic meta-
sedimentary and magmatic assemblages, originating from
different geotectonic settings and representing individual
units. They were metamorphosed before Variscan docking
in amphibolite or epidote-amphibolite grade, some in
eclogite or granulite facies. During the Variscan orogeny
the metamorphism encompassed the entire SMZ. It
developed up to medium grade (Karamata & Krstić 1994)
and generated large areas of greenschists facies overprint.
From the Paleozoic (Vlajna, Bujanovac) to the Tertiary
(Surdulica) the SMZ was repeatedly intruded by
granitoids. The oldest post-Variscan cover belongs to the
Permian or Middle Triassic.
The VARDAR Megaterrane
The Vardar Megaterrane (also Vardar Composite Ter-
rane, Karamata et al. 1997) is regarded as an independent
Alpine oceanic domain with a complex internal structure
that includes the continental Jadar Block Terrane, besides
some other smaller continental fragments (e.g. Kopaonik
Block; Karamata 2006). The Veleš Series Terrane (VST;
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
Fig. 6) represents an inherited relic of a Paleozoic ocean.
For another interpretation see Schmid et al. (in print).
At present the VST is included within the Main Vardar
Ophiolitic Suture Zone (Karamata 2006). The oldest parts
of the VST are dated by pollen as Devonian to Early
Carboniferous in age (Grubić & Ercegovac 1975). The
~ 500 m thick lower part of the VST above serpentinite
begins with amphibolite and chlorite/sericite schists, with
thin lenses of quartzite. In the ~ 500 m thick middle part
phyllite and quartz/sericite/chlorite schists include thick
beds and lenses of microcrystalline limestone, marble and
quartzite. The ~ 400 m thick upper part is dominated by
marble. Most likely this volcano-sedimentary association
formed in an island arc setting (Karamata 2006). The age
of metamorphism (up to greenschist and amphibolite
metamorphic grade) is not clear. According to Karamata
(2006) the VST was transported above oceanic crust and
docked to units more to the E during the Late Jurassic.
The Jadar Block Terrane (JBT) is an exotic terrane dis-
placed into the Vardar Zone in the Late Cretaceous (Fili-
pović et al. 2003). The JBT inculdes autochthonous and al-
lochthonous (Likodra Nappe) elements, with individual
Late Paleozoic evolutions (Fig. 6). In the autochthonous
unit a > 1000 m thick sequence of alternating arenites and
siltstones with rare microconglomerates (Vlašić Fm) was
deposited from ?Middle Devonian to Carboniferous times
in a deep water basin. Late Devonian and Tournaisian ages
were obtained due palynomorphs (Ercegovac & Pešić
1993). Thin intercalations with cherty limestone are dated
by conodonts of Latest Tournaisian and Early Viséan age.
The Late Viséan and Serpukhovian part with sedimentolog-
ical “flysch” characteristics includes trace and plant fossils.
In the NE of the JBT (Ub-area) the Middle Devonian to
Viséan sediments are formed by conodont bearing pelagic
limestones ( ~ 100 m thick Družetić Fm) of an intrabasinal
swell. The Carboniferous part of this formation has a thick-
ness of 15 m only (Filipović 1974; Filipović et al. 1975). A
regressive phase starts at the beginning of the Serpukhovian
at the top of the “flysch” with the Stupnica Sandstone Fm
and continued until the early Bashkirian (conglomeratic
Županjac Fm) formations (Filipović et al. 1975, 2003; Fili-
pović 1995; Protić et al. 2000, Krstić at al. 2005).
After a stratigraphic hiatus a new sedimentary cycle with
the characteristics of continental and marine molasse
sediments and gravity slided materials starts with the
Ivovik Fm (20—50 m) within the Moscovian. Its silty ma-
trix includes Devonian and Lower Carboniferous lime-
stone clasts, plant bearing horizons and levels of Late
Moscovian marine brachiopod and fusulinid faunas. The
Kriva Reka Fm in the southern part of the JBT is
predominatly composed of massive limestones with
fusulinids and conodonts indicating a Late Moscovian to
Earliest Asselian age (Protić et al. 2000; Filipović et al.
2003; Krstić at al. 2005).
The allochthonous unit (Likodra nappe) is dominated
by a shallowing upwards siliciclastic sequence. The ?Low-
er Carboniferous “flysch” (laminated sandstones and silt-
stones with trace fossils only) is followed by the Đjulim
Fm (30 m), an alternation of bedded limestones with silt-
stones and shales. Conodonts indicate Early Serpukhovian
to Early Bashkirian ages. The Rudine Fm (60—80 m), com-
posed of bioherm-type massive bedded limestone with
corals and other reef-builders, calcareous algae, brachio-
pods and other fossils, is also part of the Early Bashkirian.
The following Stojkovići Fm (20—60 m) consists of thick
siltstones/sandstones with megaflora and Bashkirian bra-
chiopods. At the top is the Stolice Limestone Fm ( > 100m)
consisting of a biohermal limestone with Bashkirian
fusulinids, corals, calcareous algae, bryozoans, etc. (Fili-
pović 1995; Protić et al. 2000; Filipović et al. 2003; Krstić
at al. 2005). The Carboniferous of the JBT is covered by a
shallow marine Middle Permian overstep sequence.
The metamorphic degree in the JBT is generally the an-
chimetamorphic zone, except the SW marginal zone
which is metamorphosed within the lower greenschist
metamorphic facies (Dobrić et al. 1981). The thrusting of
the Likodra nappe occurred during the “Saalic” phase
before the Middle Permian transgression (Filipović 1995).
The ADRIA-DINARIA Megaterrane
The Adria-Dinaria Megaterrane (Figs. 1, 6) consists of
the Drina-Ivanjica Terrane, the Dinaric Ophiolite Belt, the
East Bosnian-Durmitor Terrane, the Central Bosnian Ter-
rane, the Sana-Una Terrane, the Adriatic-Dinaric Platform
( = Dalmatian-Herzegovinian Composite Terrane, Karama-
ta et al. 1997) and the Southern Alps. The latter are separat-
ed from the Dinarides by a Miocene strike slip zone only
(Karamata & Krstić 1996; Neubauer et al. 1997; Karamata
et al. 1997; Pamić et al. 1997; Haas et al. 2000; Pamić &
Jurković 2002; Karamata 2006). All the above mentioned
terranes are of Alpine age. However, they include pre-Me-
sozoic sequences and the information regarding the Devo-
nian—Carboniferous sedimentary sequences and grade of
Variscan metamorphism is poor and not sufficiently well
investigated in some areas. Nevertheless the grade of
Variscan metamorphism and deformation seem to be weak
or even absent in some areas of the Dinarides.
In the Drina-Ivanjica Terrane (DIT) the footwall of the
Paleozoic is an intensely folded pre-Variscan low grade
metamorphic volcanosedimentary ?Late Precambrian—
?Early Ordovician complex (Drina Fm). Silurian and De-
vonian sediments are not yet recorded in the autochtho-
nous cover. The 500—600 m thick Carboniferous sequence
(“Golija Fm”) begins with lydites, pelites and limestone
intercalations containing Tournaisian and Early Viséan
conodonts. The Middle Viséan to Early Serpukhovian is
composed of an alternation of pelagic conodont bearing
limestones and clastic sediments interfingering with olis-
tostromatic clastics with limestone blocks of Devonian
and Viséan ages. Basic lava flows and tuffs are another
important features. The top of the Variscan sequence is
formed by a siliciclastic “flysch” (Birač Fm; 350—700 m)
with typical sedimentary structures, floras and am-
monoidea of Early Bashkirian age (Filipović & Sikošek
EBNER et al.
1999; Krstić et al. 2005a). Moscovian olistostromes are
observed in some localities in NE Bosnia. They include com-
ponents with Tournaisian, Bashkirian and Lower Moscovian
Fig. 6. Devonian/Carboniferous sequences in parts of the Vadar and Adria-Dinaria Megaterranes. Legend in Fig. 2.
The non-metamorphic to anchimetamorphic Carbonifer-
ous is transgessively overlain by Lower Triassic red beds
(Kladnica Fm) without any distinct discordance (Dimitri-
Since the tectonic features are almost the
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
same within the whole Carboniferous—Triassic sequence it
is concluded that Variscan tectogenesis did not play an
important role within the DIT (Ćirić & Gaertner 1962; Fili-
pović & Sikošek 1999).
In the DIT metamorphism and deformation was polys-
tage. The oldest deformations (NW verging and folds and
thrusts) should be placed somewhere between the Middle
Carboniferous and the (?)Middle Permian. The metamor-
phism is up to the greenschist facies, but there is no proof
of any Variscan thermal overprint (Djocović 1985; Kara-
mata et al. 1997; Pamić & Jurković 2002).
The Paleozoic of the East Bosnian-Durmitor Terrane
(EBDT) outcrops in the Lim and Tara areas (SW Serbia, N
and NE Montenegro) and in the Prača region (SE Bosnia).
In the Lim and Tara area the low grade metamorphic Mid-
dle Devonian to Late Carboniferous sequence consists of
sandstone, shale, limestone, conglomerate lenses and spo-
radically quartz keratophyre. Late Devonian to Early Car-
boniferous pelagic limestones and silty sediments may
represent the end of the pre-flysch stage pre-dating the
Carboniferous “flysch” (up to 700 m thick turbiditic
graywackes, siltstones and shales). Some Devonian lime-
stones are regarded as representing olistoliths. The “fly-
sch” is superposed by fine clastics with olistoliths with
limestone blocks dated by conodonts and foraminifera
between the Late Viséan and the Bashkirian. At the top
shallow water limestones with corals, brachiopods,
fusulinids and algae indicate a new sedimentary cycle,
similar to the evolution in the Jadar Block Terrane (Krstić
et al. 2005a).
In the Prača area all the records of Silurian/Devonian
limestones are found as olistoliths situated within the
Lower Carboniferous “flinch”. The olistoliths include pe-
lagic limestones with conodonts, tentaculites or reef lim-
stones (the former Kleck Lmst. Fm) with corals and hydro-
zoans. The Early Carboniferous is proved by some fossil
findings (goniatites, flora, ichnofossils). The famous fauna
of the Prača Beds with autochthonous and allochthonous
elements (goniatite, brachiopod, coral, pelecypod) derives
from shales and limestone lenses; plants of Early Viséan
age are from sandstones (Ramovš et al. 1990). Above the
Prača Beds the Carboniferous sequence resembles that
found in the autochthonous units of the Jadar Bock Ter-
rane. It includes a Lower Carboniferous “flysch” sequence,
400 m thick Middle Carboniferous massive limestones
and olistostromes (Filipović & Jovanović 1994; Karamata
et al. 1996; Krstić et al. 2005a; Karamata 2006).
The Carboniferous of the EBDT is overlain by Middle
Permian clastics and the Late Permian Bellerophon Fm
(Pešić et al. 1988). The lack of strong Variscan deforma-
tions is generally accepted. The metamorphic overprint up
to greenschist facies is restricted to areas close to post
Middle Permian granitoids (Dimitrijević 1997; Karamata
et al. 1997).
The pre-Variscan sequence in the Central Bosnian Ter-
rane (CBT) is metamorphosed up to lower amphibolite fa-
cies conditions. Low grade metamorphic clastics are fol-
lowed in the Late Silurian by fossiliferous (corals,
conodonts, bryozoans) limestones and dolomites of a car-
bonate platform. Pelagic limestones with conodonts occur
in the Famennian and the Tournaisian. In all levels bodies,
lenses and (?) sills of rhyolites are frequent (Karamata &
Krstić 1997; Krstić et al. 2005a; Hrvatović et al. 2006).
The post-Carboniferous sequence began within Late Per-
mian coarse clastics, evaporites and the Bellerophon Fm
(Hrvatović et al. 2006).
The existence of a Variscan deformation/metamorphism
is not yet certain (Hrvatović 1998).
Pamić & Jurković (2002) report four geochronological
groups within the Paleozoic rocks. Subordinate Variscan
(343 ± 13 Ma), post-Variscan (278.8—247 Ma), early Creta-
ceous and Eocene-Oligocene groups of ages can hardly be
interpreted in respect to Variscan events. According to Hr-
vatović (1998) major folding and metamorphism probably
commenced within the Triassic.
In the Sana-Una Terrane (SUT) the Carboniferous
“flysch” predominates. In the Sana region this “flinch” is
overlain by bedded limestones with conodonts of late
Viséan age. They are correlated with the Đjulim Fm of the
allochthonous Jadar Block Terrane. A new (“post-
Variscan”) sedimentary cycle starts with shallow water
limestones (Stara Rijeka Fm) of Bashkirian age which
rarely yield marine shallow water fossils and fusulinids.
The following Eljdiste Fm (sandy and marly limestones)
includes a rich brachiopod fauna. In the Una region the
Blagaj Fm above the Carboniferous “flysch”, an
olistostromatic unit with Devonian, Lower and Middle
Carboniferous limestone clasts with foraminifers, corals
and conodonts, is correlated with the “molasse” type
Ivovik Fm from the autochthonous Jadar Block Terrane.
Disconformities between the Blagaj Fm and the
Carboniferous “flysch” are not yet proven. These
sequences are covered by Middle Permian clastics (red
breccias and conglomerates, sandstones, shales and
evaporites) followed by Lower Triassic formations
(Karamata et al. 1997; Grubić et al. 2000; Protić et al.
2000; Grubić & Protić 2003; Krstić et al. 2005a).
Within the Adriatic Dinaric Platform Middle Carbon-
iferous to Permian Paleozoic formations occur in the Gors-
ki Kotar, Velbit and Lika Mts. They are of “post-Variscan”
age and similar to the Auernig Fm and Rattendorf Fm in
the eastern Southern Alps (Ramovš et al. 1989). Therefore
they are regarded as overstep sediments above an unkown
basement (Karamata et al. 1997; Pamić et al. 1997). They
include Moscovian fossiliferous limestones, Kasimiovian
sandstones and Gzhelian conglomerates. In some lime-
stone pebbles Devonian and Early Carboniferous fossils
were found (Ramovš et al. 1989; Sremac & Aljinović
1997; Pamić & Jurcović 2000).
The Eastern Southern Alps
In the eastern Southern Alps (Fig. 6) the classical, fossil-
iferous Paleozoic domains are concentrated in the Carnic
Alps, along the Austrian-Italian and the S-Karawanken
Mts near the Austrian—Slovenian border. They are part of
the Noric Composite Terrane (Frisch & Neubauer 1989) or
of the Carnic-Dinaric Microplate (Vai 1994, 1998).
EBNER et al.
In the Carnic Alps the oldest strata dated by megafossils
are Late Ordovician in age. The Ordovician/Silurian
boundary level is dominated by stratigraphic gaps, the Si-
lurian by a strong facies differentiation. The Devonian fa-
cies zones are presently distributed into individual nappes
or tectonic slices. Carbonate platform organdetric lime-
stones only developed until the Frasnian/Famennian
boundary. Then they were replaced uniformly by cephalo-
pod limestones, lasting with very reduced thicknesses un-
til the Tournaisian/Early Viséan. Variegated shales, cherts
and siltstones (Zollner Fm) were accumulated within the
most basinal facies realm (Herzog 1988; Kreutzer 1990,
1992; Schönlaub & Heinisch 1993; Schönlaub & Histon
The pre-flysch sediments are followed by 1000 m thick
sliciclastic flysch (Hochwipfel Fm; Spalletta et al. 1980;
Ebner 1991a,b; Heinisch & Schönlaub 1993; Vai 1998;
Perri & Spalletta 1998; Schönlaub & Histon 2000). In the
Italian part conodonts point to pelagic sedimentation un-
til the Late Viséan (Spalletta & Perri 1998). Volcaniclastic
and basic volcanics (Dimon Fm), representing intraplate
alkalibasalts, occur at the base of the Hochwipfel Fm
(Läufer et al. 1993). The age of the Hochwipfel Fm, Middle
Viséan—Serpukhovian, is indicated by a plant bearing ho-
rizon and other sites with plants, as well as the up to 10 m
thick intercalation of the Kirchberg Limestone with con-
odonts from the Viséan/Serpukhovian boundary (v.
Ameron et al. 1984; Flügel & Schönlaub 1990, v. Ameron
& Schönlaub 1992).
The Variscan climax (Carnic phase, Vai 1975) occurred
between the Bashkirian and Early Moscovian. It formed a
south-verging fold and thrust belt (Venturini 1990).
Variscan deformation is documented by a spectacular an-
gular unconformity. The oldest post-Variscan sediments
(Waidegg Fm, Malinfier horizon) of the Myatchkovo Sub-
stage of the Moscovian Stage are transgessively followed
by the marine/terrestrial molasse type cover of the Auernig
Grp., mainly belonging to the Kazimovian and Gzhelian
Stages (Fenninger et al. 1976; Venturini 1990, 1991). The
stratigraphy and facies in the Slovenian part of the S-
Karawanken Mts are similar to the Carnic Alps (Ramovš
1971, 1990; Schönlaub 1971; Buser 1980). The thermal
overprint only reaches anchizonal conditions and is re-
garded as equal or higher than the Alpine thermal over-
print (Läufer 1996; Rantitsch 1997).
Reconstruction of and relationships between the
Devonian—Carboniferous facies realms within the CPR
Hudge areas of the Alcapa, Tisia, and Dacia Megater-
ranes are made up of Variscan-age medium to high grade
metamorphics which are pervasively intruded by syn- to
post-orogenic I- and S-type granitoids (Finger et al. 1992;
Neubauer & Frisch 1993; Balogh et al. 1994, Szederkényi
in Kovács et al. 1997, 2000; Buda et al. 2004). Major de-
formation and metamorphism occurred during the
Variscan orogeny, that is largely within the Early Carbon-
iferous. However, these units also include pre-Variscan el-
ements and an Alpine metamorphic overprint is also fre-
quent. The nature of the protoliths and relation to the indi-
vidual geotectonic cycles often cannot be restored in a
sufficient way. These units were affiliated to the Mediter-
ranean Crystalline Zone (Flügel 1990) and part of the
Moldanubian and Median Crystalline Zones (Matte
1986, 1991; Franke 1989; Ebner et al. 2004; Buda 2004,
The non- to low grade metamorphic Paleozoic units
generally began within the Ordovician and their former
basement is not known. Late Ordovician porphyroids are
important for interregional lithostratigraphic correlations.
The Silurian is made up of marine clastic and volcanosed-
imentary units, basic alkaline volcanics, black shales, ly-
dite and limestones which became more dominant towards
the Late Silurian. Devonian-Carboniferous pre-flysch sed-
iments are mainly formed by carbonatic-clastic sequences
of shelf and passive continental slope environments. Oce-
anic including arc related domains and intracontinental
rift formations are restricted. Siliciclastic successions,
sometimes of flysch type, predominately follow the shelf
and passive continental margins within the Early Carbon-
iferous. However, in some areas of the Carpatho-Bal-
kanides siliciclastic flysch was already deposited within
the Late Devonian. Despite the intensive discussions con-
cerning the primary position of these Paleozoic series
some major facies domains were recognized (Frisch &
Neubauer 1989; Flügel 1990; v. Raumer & Neubauer
1993; Neubauer et al. 1997; Vai 1994, 1998; Ebner et al.
Devonian—Early Carboniferous pre-flysch environments
The individual Devonian-Early Carboniferous pre-fly-
sch (pre-orogenic) environments are distributed as follows
(see also map of Ebner et al. (2004) and http//
Oceanic and arc related environments
The existence of Devonian—Carboniferous (Paleotethyan)
oceanic environments is strongly under discussion and areas
with extensive ophiolitic crust are missing in the CPR.
However, we also include arc related volcano-sedimentary
units and back arc environments in this domain.
Within the Eastern Alps candidates for Variscan ocean-
ic environments are found within the medium grade Mid-
dle Austroalpine Crystalline Units. The Plankogel Ter-
rane is a Paleozoic suture (melange) zone in which ocean
floor elements accreted to the continental margin of Lau-
russia. The Koriden Gneiss complex (Koriden Terrane)
interpreted as metamorphic flysch was formed in an accre-
tionary wedge setting on the northern margin of this con-
vergent system (Frisch & Neubauer 1989; Neubauer et al.
In the Western Carpathians the gneiss-amphibolite
complex of the Klatov Terrane is interpreted in terms of
oceanic crust. Due to the Alpine overprint the entire geo-
chronology is problematic. The undated Rakovec Grp.
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
(Rakovec Terrane) is mainly made up of basic metavolca-
nics, smaller amounts of tholeiitic basalts and intermedi-
ate/acidic volcanics and interpreted in terms of an
ensimatic island arc situated on back arc oceanic crust
(Ivan 1994; Vozárová & Vozár 1997). The S-Gemeric
Gelnica and Štós Fm represent a longlasting Paleozoic
volcanosedimentary environment. The Gelnica Grp. is
dated by microfossils to the range from the Ordovician to
the ?Early Devonian and possibly the Štós Fm may contin-
ue until Late Devonian—?Lower Carboniferous (Snopková
& Snopko 1979; Vozárová et al. 1998; Soták et al. 1999).
Quantities of redeposited acidic and intermediate volcani-
clastic material, derived from coeval magmatic arcs
(Vozárová & Ivanička 1996), are insufficiently present be-
side mature detritus from the continental margin as well as
basic and ultrabasic debris. This indicates that the sedi-
ments may represent a long lasting forearc basin flysch,
connected with an active continental margin (Vozárová
1993). The newest zircon SHRIMP age data indicate Cam-
brian-Ordovician (Vozárová et al. 2007). Sediments of the
Štós Fm represent distal turbidites with very rare basalt
fragments (olistoliths?). The Štós Fm is unconformably
covered by the Lower Permian continental deposits. This
suggests that the Štós Fm is either an equivalent of the
Devonian-Early Carboniferous flysch or an integral part of
the Gelnica Grp.
In the Tisia Megaterrane some small oceanic occur-
rences are imbricated within the Variscan metamorphic
domains. They are relics of oceanic crust obducted before
the onset of Variscan metamorphism (Szederkényi in
Kovács et al. 1997, 2000).
In the East Carpathians the upper parts of the Tulghes
metallogenetic features which could be compared with the
Gelnica Grp. But in contrast to the Tulghes Grp. the
Gelnica Gr. was connected with an active continental
margin setting and not with an extension setting. For the
sequence indicates an evolution of sedimentation from a
siliciclastic platform to a basinal environment with
turbiditic fans and intercalated lava flows and tuffs of
basaltic composition during Ordovician-Silurian times.
The continental breakdown is marked by intensive
volcanic activity of bimodal character. The mafic parts of
the magmatic activity are tholeiites of within-plate
character. In the late deep basinal stage, the flysch
deposits are followed by pelitic sediments associated with
submarine basaltic flows of tholeiitic signature and
MORB affinity. In conclusion, the deposition of the
Tulghe Group appears to have occurred in a prevailing
epicontinental platform to a rifting basin with a final stage
of crustal thinning. This evolution can be placed either in
an immature back-arc basinal setting, or in a continental
rifting system. There are no data about how the Tulghes-
Gelnica Terrane evolved later in Devonian and Carbonif-
erous times (Kräutner & Bindea 2002).
In the Carpatho-Balkanides of E-Serbia the Variscan
terranes include fragments of layered oceanic crust
covered by island-arc volcanics (Tisovita, Deli Jovan,
Zaglavak). They are interpreted as obducted parts of a dis-
membered latest Proterozoic oceanic crust (Kräutner
1999; Kräutner & Krstić 2002). Only small tectonic lenses
of undated serpentinites in the South Carpathians (Vadul
Dobri in the Poiana Rusca Mts; Agadâci in Banat) could
possibly represent remnants of Devonian—Lower Carbon-
iferous oceanic crust.
The several hundreds of m-thick Veles-Series of the
Vardar Zone is composed of basic metavolcanics,
quartzite, schists and marbles. They are considered to
represent back arc and island arc sediments of an oceanic
system that forms a Paleozoic precursor of the Vardar
ocean (Karamata et al. 1997; Karamata 2006).
Carbonate dominated Devonian—Lower Carboniferous
passive continental magins (Noric Bosnian/Carnic-Di-
Neubauer & Frisch (1989) affiliated the low grade to un-
metamorphosed Devonian of the Eastern and eastern
Southern Alps to a passive continental margin related to
the Noric Composite Terrane (NCT). In parts of the Middle
Austroalpine Crystalline Units the medium grade Mic-
aschist-Marble Complex (Neubauer & Frisch 1989; Frisch
& Neubauer 1993) may also be part of this terrane and cor-
related with biostratigraphically well dated Devonian se-
quences of the NCT. Due to some similarities to the Bos-
nian Paleozoics Flügel (1990) referred to this domain as
the Noric Bosnian Zone, in which strong relationships oc-
cur to the Bükk, the Jadar Block and Central Bosnian Ter-
ranes (Ebner et al. 1998, 2006; Filipović et al. 2003). But
earlier Vai (1994, 1998) referred some parts of the Noric
Bosnian Zone (Carnic Alps, Dinarides and Bükk Mts) to
the Carnic Dinaridic Zone, with marine post-Variscan and
Early Alpine (Middle—Later Permian) development. This
was due the fact that the biofacies of the Eastern Alps was
attributed to the Bohemian and Rhenish domain opposite
to that of the Carnic Alps as part of the Uralian biofacies,
although the lithofacies is similar in some features (Vai
1991, 1998). All these areas were summarized in the Devo-
nian—Early Carboniferous map of the CPR (Ebner et al.
2004, http//www.geologicacarpathica.sk) in one unit re-
lated to the Noric—Bosnian or Carnic-Dinaridic zones. In
account of a diverse Late Carboniferous to Permian evolu-
tion we prefer to distinguish a “Noric” evolution in the
Eastern Alps in contrast to the “Dinaridic” evolution in
the eastern Southern Alps, Bükk, Jadar Block and Central
The Devonian evolution of the entire domain is that of
rifted passive continental margins. Monotonous volcani-
clastic sequences (quartzphyllite units) of the outer pas-
sive margin interfingered with carbonate pelagic and
platform environments that evolved after the end of the
major rift stage within the late Early Devonian and extin-
guished significantly during the early Late Devonian.
Nevertheless, pelagic domains with flaser- and nodular
limestones and deep water basinal environments with
shales and lydite occurred beside these carbonate plat-
EBNER et al.
forms until the Early Carboniferous (Ebner 1991a; Vai
1998). Generally the limestones are well dated by fossils.
Conodonts are most useful for the pelagic limestones –
corals, stromatopora and brachiopods for the carbonate
platform areas. The facies patterns implies spatially and
temporarily enhanced rates of subsidence in an extension-
al regime. If volcanism occurred, it was related to rifting
and was mostly of alkaline geochemical character (Loe-
schke & Heinisch 1993). Devonian volcanism is missing
in the eastern Southern Alps but it is well pronounced in
the Eastern Alps and the Uppony Mts.
The differences between the Devonian sediments of the
Noric and Dinaridic evolution are significant. Besides the
absence of volcanics and the lack of dolomite the only
weak terrestrial sediment input is the main characteristic
feature for the Carnic Alps. A strongly differentiated car-
bonate facies also represented the transition from a rela-
tively thin pelagic domain to more than 1000 m thick
shallow water complexes with a pronounced facies transi-
tion of reef, back reef and intertidal lagoonal domains.
Besides this a nearly carbonate free cherty/pelitic basinal
environment developed in a progressive but not uniformly
deepening basin. The maximum of the barrier-type reef
formation was within the Givetian to Frasnian and ended
near the Frasnian/Famennian boundary by drowning and
the evolution of an uniform pelagic carbonate cephalo-
pod-trilobite-ostracode-conodont facies (Kreutzer 1990,
1992; Schönlaub & Heinisch 1993; Schönlaub & Histon
2000). In the S-Karawanken Mts atoll-like reef complexes
only reached some 300 m (Rantitsch 1990).
In the Eastern Alps reef growth was less pronounced.
The Lower—Middle Devonian shallow water complexes
reflect the evolution of lagoons and shorelines, rich in
dolomite, strongly influenced by clastic sediment input
and some intercalations of alkaline basic volcanics. Or-
gandetritic shallow water formations with coral-stromato-
pora and brachiopod faunas are of biohermal character;
nevertheless a very few reef complexes did form. The shal-
low water complexes also drowned in the Frasnian and
were followed by pelagic environments (Hubmann et al.
The Devonian of the Bükk Terrane has strong affinities
to both, the Eastern Alps and the Carnic Alps. In the Szen-
drő Mts the Middle Devonian of the Abod Subunit is iden-
tical to coral-bearing formations of the Rannach Grp. in
the Graz Paleozoic due to fine grained siliciclastic input
and identical coral faunas (Mihály 1978; Ebner et al.
1998). Within the northern and southern marble zones of
the Rakaca Subunit a carbonate platform evolved from the
?Middle Devonian/Early Frasnian until its drowning in
the Late Frasnian.
In the Uppony Mts the Talpolcsány Subunit in general,
has a close relationship to the basinal facies of the Carnic
Alps with quartzites and graywackes at the base and deep-
water siliceous pelitic±euxinic sediments (Zollner Fm)
from the Silurian onwards until the Early Carboniferous.
The only exception is the basic volcanism in the Uppony
Mts. However, limestone olistoliths in the volcanic matrix
are identical with contemporaneous formations in the Car-
nic Alps. In the Lázbérc subunit the carbonate platform
drowned at the end of the Famennian as indicated by vol-
canogenic influenced pelagic limestones (“cipollino”;
Kovács 1989; Ebner et al. 1998).
The Devonian of the Jadar Block Terrane exhibits basin
(Jadar Trough) and swell (West Serbian Sill; Western Ser-
bian facies) geometries (Krstić et al. 1988; Flügel 1990).
The latter, is formed in some parts by Middle and Upper
Devonian nodular limestones and shales with pelagic fau-
nas (cephalopods, condonts). It has strong affinities to
parts of the Graz Paleozoic and the Bükk Terrane, respec-
tively, and to the pelagic facies of the Carnic Alps.
A characteristic feature of the Central Bosnian Terrane
(Bosnian Swell) is the intensive keratophyric volcanism
(Karamata et al. 1996; Hrvatović et al. 2006) while the late
Lower Devonian brachiopod limestone, Middle Devonian
reef, and Upper Devonian flaser limestones resemble those
of the Carnic Alps. This is opposite to the Croatian Trough
(Medvednica Mts near Zagreb) where the fine clastic input
of the Devonian metaclastites and the inclusion of clayey
limestones are more similar to the Eastern Alps (Krstić et
al. 1988; Flügel 1990).
In the Eastern and eastern Southern Alps as well as the
Bükk Terrane the Devonian pre-flysch environments last-
ed in pelagic sequences of pelites, lydites and nodular/fla-
ser limestones of restricted thickness until Viséan/Ser-
pukhovian times (Ebner 1991; Ebner et al. 1991, 1998,
Schönlaub & Histon 2000). This transgressive trend is in-
dicative for wide parts of the Alpine-Mediterranean Paleo-
zoics as demonstrated by the propagation of “Goniatitico
Rosso” and a succeeding (lydite)-radiolarite facies (Vai
1998). This trend is also responsible for the Jadar Block
Terrane where a thin condensed pelagic carbonate se-
quence with conodonts and cephalopods continued across
the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary until the Ser-
pukhovian (Filipović 1974; Filipović et al. 1975) and also
the Drina-Ivanjica Terrane with Late Tournaisian and Ear-
ly Viséan black pelites, lydite and pelagic conodont bear-
ing limestones (Filipović & Sikošek 1999).
In some areas pelagic limestones include subaerial ero-
sional gaps and karstification across the Devonian-Car-
boniferous boundary. The time span of these gaps may
extend from Frasnian to Early Viséan times in maximum,
but mostly it ends within the Late Tournaisian (Ebner
1991a). During the Carboniferous transgression mixed
conodont faunas infiltrated the paleokarst relief. Such
karst reliefs burried by pelagic carbonate sediments are im-
pressively documented within the Carnic Alps, S-Karawan-
ken Mts and the Eastern Alps (Graz Paleozoic, Graywacke
Zone; Tessensohn 1974; Ebner 1991a; Ebner et al. 1991;
Schönlaub et al. 1991). In contrast, Vai (1998) also dis-
cussed a model with submarine gaps and the filling of ex-
tensional cracks for the eastern Southern Alps. In the Szen-
drő Mts (Rakaca Subunit) the Late Frasnian to Middle
Viséan is represented by a hiatus. Pelagic fissure fillings/
neptunian dykes with mixed conodont faunas of all miss-
ing zones bear witness to pelagic sedimentation during
this time. This hiatus can be explained by strong subma-
rine currents, which permanently swept the pelagic lime
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
from the surface of the drowned platform into fissures/
cracks which opened sporadically (Kovács 1992).
At the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary the O and
isotopic patterns of carbonate reflect global glacial
eustatic oscillations. These may be responsible for short
lived stratigraphic gaps and for changes in the oceanic
environment leading to the formation of thin intercala-
tions of black shales (Kaiser 2005). As the gaps do not oc-
cur in the entire area it is concluded that Late Devonian/
Early Carboniferous synsedimentary movements may ex-
ceed the magnitude of oceanic oscillations and may be re-
garded as the major reason for subaerial erosion and
O values of apatite in conodonts in-
dicate tropical—subtropical conditions with temperatures
between 22—30 °C for the surface seawater of the Carnic
Alps (Kaiser 2005). In some sections of the Graz Paleozoic
with continuous sedimentation the beginning of the Early
Carboniferous transgression is marked by a lydite or ly-
dite-phosphorite horizon. A lydite horizion in the same
position was also found in the Lázbérc Subunit of the Up-
pony Mts (Kovács 1992; Ebner et al. 1998).
In some parts of the Noric Bosnian/Carnic Dinaric Zone
the pelagic carbonate facies reaches the Latest Tournai-
sian—Viséan and was superposed by flysch type siliciclas-
tics. In the Graz Paleozoic, Bükk Terrane and parts of the
Jadar Block Terrane ± continous carbonate pelagic sedi-
mentation lasted until the Serpukhovian and was followed
by shallow water limestones, or siliciclastics. Erosional
disconformities and stratigraphic gaps are frequent at
these levels but until now no angular unconformities were
recorded (Ebner 1991b; Kovács 1992; Filipović et al.
1995; Ebner et al. 1998; Ebner et al. 2000; Protić et al.
2000; Filipović et al. 2003).
In some places of the Szendrő Mts (Rakaca Subunit) Up-
per Viséan basinal limestone covers after a hiatus the De-
vonian platform, elsewhere the sililciclastic “flysch” was
directly sedimented onto the platform. The southern mar-
ble zone of the Rakaca Subunit is intercalated between a
Late Viséan and Early Bashkirian basinal facies or is inter-
fingered through a brecciated transitional slope facies
with the basinal facies. In spite of metamorphism and lack
of fossils the Late Viséan to Early Bashkirian age of this
platform is well constrained. A more diverse situation is
found S of Rakacaszend, where the lower part of the plat-
form interfingers with Lower Viséan crinoidal limestone,
thus indicating the slope setting of a “Walsourtian reef”
Siliciclastic dominated Devonian stable continental
margins (Inovo Zone)
(1) Kučaj Terrane of E-Serbia and W-Bulgaria
The sequence follows graptolite schists within the
Lochkovian. It is composed of approximatly 100 m thick
hemipelagic shales, siltstones, cherts, limestones, chan-
nel sandstones and occasional turbidite layers. This
channeled slope environment changed to a syn-orogenic
flysch within the Late Devonian (Krstić et al. 2004,
(2) Inovo Fm of the Stara Planian Porec Unit of E-Serbia
The clastic Inovo Fm of the Stara Planina Porec Unit
( = Upper Danubian Unit), some hundreds of meters thick, is
dominated by coarse grained turbiditic clastics with inter-
calations of thin bedded finer sediments formed on the
lower part of a passive continental slope. Debris/grain
flows, turbidites and olistostromes are frequent. Late Sil-
urian to early Middle Devonian stratigraphic levels were
dated by palynomorphs and plants (Krstić et al. 1999, 2004,
2005a). Equivalents of the Inovo Fm occur in the S part of
Upper Danubian Porec segment (Ravna Reka Fm), the
Lower Danubian Kutlov Unit (Sredogriv Fm) and the Bel-
ogradcik Unit (Raianovska Fm).
The biostratigraphic control of Quartzphyllite Com-
plexes of the Eastern and Southern Alps is poor. These
units are regarded as the fills of Early Ordovican to Early
Carboniferous basins affiliated to marginal parts of the
Noric Composite Terrane (Frisch & Neubauer 1989; Neu-
bauer & Sassi 1993). After a renewed pulse of rifting dur-
ing the Silurian and Lower Devonian the early basinal rift
environments were followed by passive continental mar-
gins with Middle to Upper Devonian carbonate platforms.
Similar evolutions may be identified in the low grade
metamorphic sequences of the Pelsonia Composite Terrane
(Transdanubian Range Terrane; Zagreb-Midtransdanubian
Terrane/Mt Medvednica metamorphic sequence) and some
small low grade tectonic inclusions of pelitic-psammitic
sequences with a few calcareous and volcanic (basalts,
porphyroids) intercalations in the Tisia Megaterrane. All
these complexes, except the Mt Medvednica metamorphic
sequence, were deformed and metamorphosed during the
Carpatho-Balkanic Intracontinental Rift Zones (CBRZ)
Intracontinental rift basins of Rheno-Hercynian type (as
named in the Devonian—Early Carboniferous map of the
CPR; Ebner et al. 2004a, http//www.geologicacarpathica.sk)
evolved during the Devonian above pre-Variscan meta-
morphics and different Silurian sediments of the Eastern
Carpathianas (Rodna Terrane), Carpatho-Balkanides (Poi-
ana Rusca Terrane, Locva-Ranovac-Vlasina Terrane;
Ideg Terrane) and possibly within the Tisia Megaterrane
(Apuseni Mts). During the Early/Middle Devonian the be-
ginning of a renewed rifting phase is documented by
coarse grained clastics and psammito-pelitic sediments
followed by basaltic and keratophyric volcanics. Small
intercalations of partly reef-derived limestones occurred
in both areas within the Late Devonian (East Carpathians:
Cimpoiasa Grp.; South Carpathians: Ghelar Grp.). These
rift sediments were topped by thick Early Carboniferous
(Tournaisian) shallow water carbonate sediments (Eastern
Carpathians: 300 m thick upper part of the calcareous/do-
lomite Prislopas Fm; Southern Carpathians: 300 m thick
sparry Ideg Lmst. in the Danubian Unit and the > 1000 m
EBNER et al.
thick Hunedoara-Luncani dolomite in the Pades Group of
the Bucovino-Getic Nappe System). The Variscan pile is
closed by thick siliciclastics interpreted as syn-orgenic
The Bistrita Terrane in the Eastern Carpathians is now
devoid of a Devonian—Lower Carboniferous cover. This
zone is interpreted as a continental rise which was original-
ly situated between the Rodna rift in the Eastern Car-
pathians and the Poinana Rusca rift of the Southern Car-
pathians. Nevertheless, Early Carboniferous palynomorphs
in limestones (formerly called Tibau Fm), actually interpret-
ed as infiltrations within the Precambrian basement rocks
(Rebra Grp.), demonstrate that the Bistrita Terrane was at
least partially covered by sediments during the Late Car-
boniferous (Kräutner 1997). In the South Carpathians a sim-
ilar continental rise may be suspected in the Supragetic
Bocsa Nappe (Banat), interposed between the rift sytems of
the Poiana Rusca and Locva-Ranovac-Vlasina Terranes.
Although the lithological sequences in the Rodna Ter-
rane, Poiana Rusca Terrane and Locva-Ranovac-Vlasina
Terrane are roughly similar, some local individualities
support their origin in different sedimentation basins. Dif-
ferences mainly involve the amount and type of carbonate
deposits, detrital input, flysch development and metallog-
eny associated with rift volcanism:
In the Poiana Rusca Terrane carbonate deposits predat-
ing the flysch-like sedimentation are extremely thick
( > 1000 m) and the Lower Carboniferous rhythmic detrital
input is large, suggesting a relatively high subsidence
rate. Intensive metallogeny with iron ores of the Lahn-Dill
and Teliuc-Ghelar types as well as base metal vein systems
are related to the late rhyolitic phases. In the Rodna Ter-
rane carbonate and flysch-like deposits are less devel-
oped, probably due to a lower subsidence rate. Lahn-Dill
type iron ores show only a small incipient development. In
the Locva-Ranovac-Vlasina Terrane carbonate deposits
are missing, late flysch-like development is intensive, the
initial clastic sediments are locally feldspar rich and the
specific metallogeny is missing.
Devonian/Carboniferous siliciclastic turbiditic environ-
In the CPR the pre-flysch sediments are followed during
the late Early Carboniferous by siliciclastic turbiditic
sequences. Partly they were interpreted as syn-orogenic
flysch. They are not documented in the CPR terrane maps
(Kovács et al. 2004; http//www.geologicacarpathica.sk).
The only exception is the Kučaj flysch which already
began within the Late Devonian and which is therefore
shown in the Devonian—Early Carboniferous map together
with the pre-flysch environments (Ebner et al. 2004, http//
Flysch environments interpretred as syn-orogenic
(Variscan Flysch Zone)
Flysch sensu strictu forms in a syn-orogenic collisional
setting. Therefore, typical flysch sequences were included
immediately after sedimentation in the evolving orogenic
belt and indicated at the top by changes towards post-oro-
genic molasse sediments and a clear unconformity (Fücht-
The existence of Variscan flysch in the Eastern Alps is
the subject of discussion. Shales of the Dult Grp. in the
Graz Paleozoic show scarce evidence of olistostromes, pe-
lagic limestone/lydite breccias and allodapic limestones
(Ebner et al. 2000). Possibly the clastic sequences of the
Dornerkogel Fm could be interpreted as syn-orogenic fly-
sch (Neubauer et al. 2001). But because of the lack of an
unconfomity within the Paleozoic sequence until the Ear-
ly Bashkirian and the absence of a Variscan molasse the
existence of of such a syn-orogenic flysch basin is quite
speculative. In the western Graywacke Zone a Carbonifer-
ous age for the top of the sililciclastics with extensive ba-
saltic formations is not documented. In the eastern
Graywacke Zone blackshales (Eisenerz Fm) are younger
than Late Viséan and in the Gurktal Paleozoic the young-
est limestone intercalations within clastic sequences are of
Viséan age. The unconformable superposition with conti-
nental molasse indicates that the possible interval for the
Variscan deformation is latest Viséan—Kasimovian (Krain-
er 1992, 1993; Schönlaub & Heinisch 1993). For the Aus-
tro- and Southalpine Quartzphyllite Complexes syn-oro-
genic flysch before basin closure and low grade
metamorphism (350—320 Ma; Viséan to Bashkirian) is
suggested but not proved (Neubauer & Sassi 1993). Possi-
bly, the “Diabaszug of Eisenkappel” (pillow lavas, sills,
tuffite, clastic sediments) also has a Carboniferous age
(Schönlaub & Histon 2000).
The sedimentation of the pelagic pre-flysch in the east-
ern Southern Alps (Carnic Alps, S Karawanken Mts) lasted
until the Tournaisian/Viséan boundary and predates the
beginning of the 600—1000 m thick syn-orogenic flysch
(Hochwipfel Fm; Tessensohn 1971; Spalletta et al. 1980;
Ebner 1991b; Vai 1998; Schönlaub & Histon 2000). Lo-
cally this change still took place during the Late Viséan
(Spalletta & Perri 1998). The transition to a flysch envi-
ronment was the subject of intensive debates until the rec-
ognition of a wide variety of paleokarst features and
related structures (e.g. collapse breccias, fissures, silicret
regolite, paleo-speleothems, polymetallic-baryte-fluorite
mineralizations). This was caused by a global sea-level drop
during the Tournaisian. Presumably starting within the Ear-
ly Viséan the transgression of the Hochwipfel Fm was due to
sea-level rise and/or syn-sedimentary tectonics affecting
the collapse and drowning of the emerged carbonate blocks
(Tessensohn 1974; Schönlaub et al. 1991; Schönlaub &
Histon 2000). In Slovenia some tens of meters thick micritic
limestones and only rare olistostromes indicate distal posi-
tions of the flysch basin in contrast to the Carnic Alps. An-
other special feature in Slovenia is the inclusion of
porphyroidic materials in a sequence with Early Carbonifer-
ous conodonts (Ramovš 1971, 1990; Schönlaub 1971).
The flysch character is well demonstrated by turbidites, pebbly
mudstones, chaotic debris flows, limestone and chert breccias,
olistostromes and olistoliths (Tessensohn 1971; Spalletta et al.
1980). Two distinct types of mud supported breccias and con-
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
glomerates occur at the base of the flysch. Monomictic angular,
grey-black chert breccias represent intrabasinal formations just
before the material became involved in debris flows. The polymictic
type has rounded cherts, granites and metamorphics from the ex-
trabasinal hinterland which were reworked before transportation
to the remaining syn-orogenic sedimentary basin (Spalletta &
Venturini 1988). Olistolith limestone clasts also yield shallow
water fossils (Hexaphyllia, fusulinids and algae). They derived
from a carbonate shelf primarily situated N of the Carnic domain
which was later totally destroyed by tectonic activities (Flügel &
Schönlaub 1990). The basic volcanics of the Dimon Fm represent
intraplate alkalibasalts at the climax of the extensional period be-
fore the environment turned to an active plate tectonic margin in a
collisional regime (Läufer et al. 1993; Schönlaub & Histon 2000).
Plant remains suggest that that age of the Hochwipfel flysch is
Middle Viséan to Serpukovian (v. Ameron et al. 1984; v. Ameron
& Schönlaub 1992). It is followed by the Variscan deformation
and the onset of the Auernig molasse within the Late Mitachkovo
substage of the Moscovian stage (Schönlaub & Histon 2000).
Whether the Štós Fm in the S-Gemeric basement of the
West Carpathians was part of the Gelnica Grp., or whether
it represents Carboniferous-age syn-orogenic flysch, was
already discussed. In the Silica Unit the Bashkirian Turiec
Fm. represents a syn-orogenic flysch (Ebner et al. 1990;
Vozárová & Vozár 1992). It consists of black phyllites,
metasiltstones and metasandstones with carbonate olis-
tostromes and T
turbidite layers of volcaniclastics of the
subalkaline rhyolite-dacite magmatic group. Paracon-
glomerates are predominantly made up of intraformational
detritus. The olistostrome consists of carbonate olistoliths
ranging from tens of meters to a decimeter in size. They
contain conodont mixed faunas of Bashkirian and Em-
sian-Tournaisian ages. Sporomorph assemblages from the
matrix are of Bashkirian (Namurian B—Westphalian A)
age (Planderová in Vozár et al. 1989). The pelagic carbon-
ate blocks indicate a passive margin setting of Noric Bos-
nian/Carnic Dinaridid-type as the source area opposite to
an active continental margin as the hinterland of the acidic
volcaniclastics and phyllitic materials. Based on sedimen-
tological criteria and age the Turiec Fm was correlated
with the Szendrő Phyllite Fm as well as the Carboniferous
flysch complexes of the Carnic Alps.
The Eastern and Southern Carpathians have a similar
late Variscan sedimentary record. Shallow water carbon-
ates at the top of the Carpathian rift basins are superposed
by some hundreds of meters thick silicilclastic sediments.
The Fata Muntelui Fm of the Eastern Carpathians is com-
posed of coarser grained feldspar rich psammites in com-
parison to the Sevastru Fm of the Southern Carpathians
which is mainly composed of black phyllite with fine
grained inclusions of metapsammite. In the Pades and Le-
scovica Fms quartzitic sequences prevail and layers of
mafic magmatic rocks occur in the upper part. Besides
some lithological features a syn-orogenic flysch setting is
constrained by the Variscan low grade metamorphic over-
print and the unconformable superposition by continental
molasse within the early Moscovian (Westphalian C;
(Kräutner 1989, 1997; Kräutner & Nastaseanu 1990)).
In the Carpatho-Balkanides a syn-orogenic flysch sys-
tem (Kučaj-Zvonce flysch) is well established in the Getic
Kučaj-Sreda Gora units of E-Serbia and W-Bulgaria. In the
Kučaj Terrane a 100 m thick Devonian channeled slope
facies prevailing until the Late Frasnian is followed by
Carboniferous siliciclastic flysch about 600 m thick. It
represents various sedimentologically well constrained
realms of an upwards retrogradational system with inner to
outer fan and even basinal environments and the respec-
tive olistostromatic and turbidite facies zones. Exceptions
are the Rtanj and Suva Planina with a progradational suc-
cession from the outer and mid fan complex towards a
channeled supra fan and inner fan slope. Sedimentation
took place within a N—S elongated basin. In spite of local-
ly different directions in sediment transport the main
source areas are suggested in the E and NE. The minimum
age of the flysch, as constrained by palynomorphs and
conodonts is Viséan. The Variscan event is documented
by a low grade metamorphic overprint and unconformable
superposition of continental clastics, dated as Late Kasi-
movian to Early Gzhelian (Stefanian B and C) by plants
(Maslarević & Krstić 1987a,b; Krstić & Maslarević 1990;
Krstić et al. 2004, 2005a).
The terrigenous flysch of the Tumba-Penkjovci (also
described as Lužnica) Unit in E-Serbia is similar to that of
the Kučaj Terrane. However the paleogeographic rela-
tionships are not clear. The Alpine units hosting this zone
are correlated with the Penkjovci-Poletinci (described
also as W-Kraishte) Zone in Bulgaria where the >1000 m
thick pelitic-psammitic Katina Fm, with some intercala-
tions of limestone and lydite, is dated by conodonts as
Famennian to Tournaisian. Further south conglomeratic
levels are also included (Technov 1989).
Carboniferous turbiditic sliciclastic sediments on sta-
ble margins interpreted as anorogenic (Bükk-Jadar Zone)
Turbiditic sliciclastic sediments, often with typical sed-
imentological flysch features, are conformably followed
by shallow marine fossiliferous sediments in the Bükk,
Sana Una, Jadar Block and the Central Bosnian Durmitor
Terranes. The turn to these shallow water environments is
connected with shallowing upward trends in the turbiditic
sequences and sometimes also with distinct stratigraphic
gaps. There is no proof of any tectonic unconformity or
break in metamorphism before the beginning of this new
sedimentary cycle, which was often assigned in the litera-
ture as “molasse” type or “post-Variscan”. We do not re-
gard the turbiditic siliciclastics with the lack of any
Variscan overprint as syn-orogenic flysch. As these anoro-
genic turbiditic sequences were described as flysch in the
past we further use the term “flysch” in the previous chap-
ter but within quotation marks. Ebner (1991b) named
these turbiditic sililciclastics as “filling up type flysch”. It
may represent the evolution of a long lasting passively
subsiding continental margin which later changed into a
shallowing margin (Ebner 1991b; Karamata & Vujonović
2000; Ebner et al. 2006).
Anorogenic turbiditic siliciclastics are well described in
the Bükk Terrane. The Szendrő Phyllite Fm did not start
before the Late Viséan or later in the Rakaca Subunit of the
EBNER et al.
Szendrő Mts. However, after cessation of carbonate depo-
sition in the Early Bashkirian, turbiditic siliciclastic depo-
sition took over. Taking into account the situation in the
nearby Bükk Mts it possibly continued until Early Mos-
covian times. The sequence shows a fining-upward charac-
ter. The lower proximal part is rich in olistostromes with
intraformational and older limestone clasts, whereas its
middle and upper parts are of a more distal turbidic type
(Kovács 1992; Fülöp 1994; Ebner et al. 1998). These parts
are identical in facies and pre-metamorphic mineral com-
position to the “flysch” of the Bükk Mts. Conodonts indi-
cating Middle Devonian to Lower Bashkirian ages were
recorded from the olistolithic limestone materials (Kovács
1992; Fülöp 1994). Their opposite structural orientation
indicates individual structural settings during the Alpine
(Cretaceous) orogeny. The lithofacies is as in the Carnic
Alps but the tectonofacies is anorogenic. Definite similar-
ities particularly between the Carboniferous formations of
the Szendrő Unit and the Medvednica Unit of the Zagorje-
Midtransdanubian Terrane should also be mentioned.
However, a detailed comparative study is missing.
Fine grained sililciclastic sediments of the Éleskő Fm in
the Talpolcsány Subunit of the Uppony Mts. include
Devonian olistolithic materials. They are tentatively
interpreted as part of Middle Carboniferous siliciclastics
formerly described as “flysch” (Kovács 1992).
The distal turbiditic shale-sandstone Szilvásvárad Fm,
pre-Late Moscovian (pre-Podolskian) in age, is the oldest
formation in the Bükk Mts. It could be partially an
equivalent or continuation of the Szendrő Phyllite Fm
(Árkai 1983). It is followed by Upper Moscovian—
Gzhelian fossiliferous limestones and siliciclastics of the
shallow marine Mályinka Fm, the upper parts of which
have been eroded to different levels. There is no evidence
for any orogenic movements or a metamorphic event
between the two environments (Árkai 1983; Ebner et al.
1991; Fülöp 1994; Pelikán 2005).
In the autochthonous units of the Jadar Block Terrane
(JBT) a > 1000 m thick siliciclastic sequence (Vlasić Fm)
was deposited besides pelagic limestones from the ?Mid-
dle Devonian until the Serpukhovian. Tournaisian to Ser-
pukhovian levels are proved by fossils. The upper
turbididtic parts include life-traces and drifted plant fos-
sils. A regressive trend (Early Serpukhovian—Early Bash-
ikrian) associated with the “Erzgebirge” event caused
conglomerates and sandstones followed by a stratigraphic
gap at the top of the Vlasić Fm. The beginning of the new
(“post Variscan”) sedimentary cycle was during the Late
Moscovian with graviational transported “wildflysch”
sediments (Ivovik Fm) which were activated by the “As-
turian” event and deposited in “molasse” depressions near
to elevated areas in the Ub region. Nevertheless, no angu-
lar unconformities were observed between the Vlasić and
Ivovik Fms (Filipović 1995; Protić et al. 2000; Filipović
et al. 2003; Krstić et al. 2005).
Bluish grey limestones with intercalations of shales
(Đjulim Fm) with the significant Serpukhovian—Lower
fauna are found at the top of the Carboniferous turbiditic
siliciclastics occurring in the allochthonous units of the
JBT. The sedimentary evolution ends without any discon-
formity with carbonate formations, rich in shallow water
fossils, within the Moscovian (Filipović 1995; Filipović
et al. 2003; Krstić et al. 2005). On the other hand, a definite
angular discordance (about 30°) can be recognized betwen
the Kriva Reka Formation and the overlying Middle Per-
mian siliciclastics—evaporites (Filipović et al. 2003).
The Carboniferous siliciclastic evolution of the Sana
Una Terrane exhibits laminated silt- and sandstones.
These are topped in the Sana Unit by Serpukhovian—
Moscovian fossiliferous limestones similar to those of
the Jadar Block allochthonous. They contrast with the se-
quence of the Una Unit which include a stratigraphic gap
beween the Bashkirian siliciclastics and the Upper Mos-
covian olistostromatic Blagaj Fm which can compared
with the Jadar Block autochtonous units (Protić et al.
In summary there are strong affinities between the Bükk,
Jadar Block and Sana Una Terranes and a Variscan defor-
mation is not evident within the Bashkirian—Moscovian
sequence (Ebner et. al. 1991, 1998; Filipović 1995; Protić
et al. 2000; Filipović et al. 2003). The Rannach nappe of
the Graz Paleozoic is another domain where stratigraphic
gaps are frequent within the Carboniferous but no angular
unconfomities are evident at least until tle Late Bashkiri-
an (Ebner et. al. 2000). On the other hand the sedimento-
logical characteristics of the turbiditic sequences are a
connecting feature to the syn-orogenic flysch of the Car-
nic Alps and Karawanken Mts. But the latter reveals a dis-
tinct Intra-Late Carboniferous deformation event (Carnic
phase) and a well established angular unconfomity at the
contact to the post-orogenic marine/terrestrial Auernig
molasse which is similar in bio-/lithofacies to the Mályin-
ka Fm in the Bükk Terrane, the Ivovik/Kriva Reka Fm in
the Jadar Block autochthonous and the Blagaj Fm of the
Una Unit (Ebner et. al. 1991, 1998; Protić et al. 2000; Fil-
ipović et al. 2003). On the other hand, equivalents of the
Lower Permian Rattendorf Group and Trogkofel Fm of the
Carnic Alps are missing in all the three units, indicating
uplift, some tectonic movements and erosion prior to the
Turbiditic siliciclastic Carboniferous is also known
from the East Bosnian Durmitor Terrane (EBT) and the
Drina-Ivanjica Terrane (DIT). However oberservations
on the sedimentary character, the age and the influence of
the Variscan orogeny are scarce. In the EBT Early Carbon-
iferous to Bashkirian siliciclastic sequences (Karamata &
Vujnović 2000) are superposed by olistostomes and shal-
low water limestones similar to the Jadar Block Terrane
(Filipović 1995; Krstić et al. 2005). Significantly the post-
Carboniferous sediments began within the Middle/Late
Permian. In the DIT Tournaisian pelitic/lyditic pre-flysch
sediments are followed by Carboniferous siliciclastics
which include olistoliths with Silurian and Devonian car-
bonate blocks. As there is no sedimentary record from the
Variscan history is quite speculative but could be similar
to that of the EBT (Filipović & Sikošek 1999).
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
Carboniferous foredeep and remnant basins (Veitsch/
The Veitsch/Nötsch—Szabadbattyán-Ochtiná—Zone (VN-
SOZ) situated in the ALCAPA Megaterrane is not shown in
the Devonian—Early Carboniferous terrane map of the CPR
(Ebner et al. 2004; http//www.geologicacarpathica.sk). The
sedimentation of this zone began during the Late Tournai-
sian/Viséan, that is after the Late Devonian—Early Carbon-
iferous climax of the Variscan orogeny when the internal
metamorphic zones of the Intraalpine Variscides (Mediter-
ranean Crystalline Zone, MCZ, sensu Flügel 1990) were
formed. The VNSOZ is post-tectonic in respect to the MCZ
and includes marine foredeeps (Eastern Alps, Transdanubi-
an Range Terrane) as well as remnant basins (West Car-
pathians). The VNSOZ is contemporaneous to the much
more externally situated pelagic domains of the Noric Bosi-
nan/Carnic-Diaridic zones which were deformed during In-
tra-Late Carboniferous tectonic phases. At least the Veitsch
Nappe of the Graywacke Zone in the Eastern Alps lacks all
signs of Variscan deformation and metamorphism (Ratsch-
bacher 1987; Ebner 1992; Ebner et al. 2006).
In the Eastern Alps the Late Devonian/Early Carbonif-
erous climax was connected with medium grade metamor-
phism. After deformation, metamorphism and intrusion of
syn-orogenic granitoids (Finger et al. 1992; Neubauer et
al. 1999) marine, molasse like fore deep environments did
form in the Veitsch Nappe of the Graywacke Zone and the
Nötsch Carboniferous of the Drauzug (Flügel 1977; Neu-
bauer & Vozárová 1990; Krainer 1992, 1993; Ebner 1992;
Neubauer & Handler 2000).
The sequence of the Veitsch Nappe resembles the evolu-
tion of a shallow carbonate/clastic shelf, sometimes inter-
fingering with hypersalinar lagoons, lensoid bioherms and
basic volcanics. The sequence began with the Steilbach-
graben Fm, up to 230 m of graphitic metapelites—psam-
mites, limestones/dolomite, and sparry magnesite within
the Late Viséan. Devonian ages of detrital micas can be
related to a pre-Carboniferous metamorphic source area
which was part of the MCZ (Neubauer & Handler 2000).
The bedded to massive limestones of the Serpukhovian to
Bashkirian Triebenstein Fm are about 300 m thick. At the
top there is the Moscovian Sunk-Fm (50—150 m) made up
of coarsening upwards siliciclastic deposits with plant fos-
sils and seams/lenses of graphite. It was formed along a
regressive shore line with distributary bay and river domi-
nated delta environments (Ratschbacher 1987; Krainer
1992, 1993). Heavy mineral spectra derived from a meta-
morphic hinterland are dominated by anatectic granitoids
(Ratschbacher & Nievoll 1984).
The Nötsch Carboniferous in the Drauzug consists of Late
Viséan—Kasimovian sediments, deposited in a shelf/upper
continental slope environment. Two clastic formations
(Erlachgraben Fm some 100 m; Nötsch Fm, 400—600 m) are
intercalated by the Badstub Fm (350—400 m). The latter
has a green matrix of reworked amphibolite, rounded crys-
talline and a few limestone clasts with conodonts of Late
Viséan—Early Serpukhovian age. Fossils (brachiopods, bi-
valves, trilobites, gastropods, corals, crinoids, bryozoans,
few cephalopods, ostracods, small foraminifers, few con-
odonts, plants and trace fossils) are frequent (Schönlaub
1985; Schönlaub & Flügel 1990; Krainer 1992, 1993).
The Szabadbattyán Fm (Late Viséan) in the Transdanu-
bian Range Terrane is made up of ~ 100 m thick black,
bituminous limestones with intercalations of shales and
sandstones and marine shallow water fossils (corals, brachi-
opods, algae). The continental Füle conglomerat (Late
Bashkirian—Early Gzhelian; Westphalian/Stephanian), oc-
curring in a short distance to Szabadbattyán, is the proof for
an Intra-Late Carboniferous tectonic event between the two
formations (Lelkes-Felvári 1987).
Parts of the Mediterranen Crystalline Zone of the West-
ern Carpathians were formed during Late Devonian/Ear-
ly Carboniferous tectonics and metamorphism in a
collision zone suturing units of the Western Carpathian
Crystalline Zone and the North Gemeric Zone (formation
of the Spiš Composite Terrane by amalgamation of the
Klatov and Rakovec Terranes; Vozárová & Vozár 1996,
1997). The sedimentation of the Ochtiná Grp. of the North
Gemeric Zone started after amalgamation and metamor-
phism of the Spiš Composite Terrane.
The basal Hrádok Fm and Črme Fm are proximal to distal
flysch complexes above an unknown basement. The turbid-
ite clastic wedges derived from both sides of the supposed
suture and covered the rest of the intrasuture remnant basin.
The Hrádok Fm consists of dark-grey and black metacon-
glomerates, -sandstones, and -pelites interlayered with me-
tabasalts, -dolerites and basalt metavolcaniclastics of
tholeiitic N-MORB affinity. Thin layers of lydites and sili-
ceous metapelites are rare. Slabs of ultramafic rocks (?oce-
anic crust fragments) have also been reported. Turbidity
current flows, gravity slides and grain flows are indicated by
typical sedimentary structures as the dominant sediment
transporting mechanisms. A monotonous complex of dark-
grey metapelites above the coarse-grained basal part yield-
ed microfloral assemblages of Late Tournaisian-Viséan age
(Bajaník & Planderová 1985).
In the E and SE part of the North Gemeric Zone the distal
flysch of the Črme Fm is composed of alternating
metapelites, fine-grained metasandstones, basic to inter-
metacarbonates and lydites. Small amounts of acidic vol-
caniclastic detritus are unevenly dispersed. The Tournai-
sian-Viséan age was indicated by microfloral assemblages
(Snopková in Bajaník et al. 1984).
The shallowing upwards trend is a characteristic feature of
the Ochtiná Group. The upper lithostratigraphic unit, the
Lubeník Fm, consists of black metapelites, dolomite schists
and well-bedded dolomites, which were partly metasoma-
tized to massive coarse-grained magnesites. Dolomites and
dolomite limestones are rich in fossils (echinodermata, lamel-
libranchiata, foraminifera, bryozoa, algae etc.). In summary,
foraminifera indicate Late Viséan (Plašienka & Soták 2001),
trilobites Serpukhovian (Bouček & Přibyl 1960) and marine
algae (Mamet & Mišík 2003) resp. conodonts Late Viséan to
Serpukhovian ages (Kozur et al. 1976).
Near Košice shallow-marine sediments of the Lubeník
Fm. with magnesites are tectonically isolated from the
EBNER et al.
Črme Fm. Due to some specific differences (occurrence of
redeposited carbonate fragments; absence of fauna) they
are named the Bankov Beds (Vozárová 1996).
The whole Tournaisian-Serpukhovian sequence was de-
formed and weakly metamorphosed before the Bashkirian.
The new Bashkirian-Lower Moscovian sedimentary cycle
is represented by a delta fan/shallow-marine to paralic
overlapped sequence (the Hámor Fm) which occurs only in
tectonically reduced fragments. These sediments are litho-
logically similar to the Sunk Fm. in the Eastern Alps. Due
to the strong Alpine tectonics the basement-cover contacts
are preserved only in some places.
Paleogeographic reconstruction, discussion and
The outlined features in stratigraphy, sedimentary,
orogenic and metamorphic facies characterize the following
domains as the important Variscan paleogeographic zones
within the Devonian—Carboniferous evolution of the CPR
(Flügel 1990; Neubauer & Vozárová 1990; Neubauer &
Handler 2000; Ebner et al. 2006):
Mediterranean Crystalline Zone (MCZ; Flügel 1990;
= Peri-Mediterranean Metamorphic Belt Neubauer & Han-
dler 2000) and part of the Moldanubian Zone (Matte
1986; Matte et al. 1991; Buda et al. 2004; Klötzli et al.
Oceanic and arc related zones (OAZ)
Veitsch-Nötsch-Szabadbattyán-Ochtiná Zone (VNSOZ)
Noric Bosnian/Carnic-Dinaric Zone (NBZ/CDZ)
Carpatho-Balkanic Intracontinental Rift Zone (CBRZ)
Inovo Zone (IZ)
Variscan Flysch Zone (VFZ)
Bükk-Jadar Zone (BJZ)
Mediterranean Crystalline Zone (MCZ)
The metamorphism and deformation of the MCZ and
parts of the Moldanubian Zone with the medium to high-
grade metamorphic complexes of ALCAPA and TISIA are
mainly of Late Devonian/Early Carboniferous age. How-
ever, sometimes they directly follow Silurian/Devonian
and older metamorphic events. This suggests an early
Variscan orogeny which was related to the active Laurus-
sian margin (Neubauer & v. Raumer 1993; Neubauer et al.
1999; Neubauer & Handler 2000). The MCZ extends from
the Eastern Alps to the Carpathian arc and includes a major
Carboniferous suture zone primarily situated between
parts of the MCZ and the fossil bearing NBZ/CDZ to the
south. This orogenic collage was analysed in terms of ter-
rane tectonics by Frisch & Neubauer (1989), Neubauer et
al. (1997), Vozárová & Vozár (1996, 1997), Szederkényi
in Kovács et al. (1997, 2000), Kräutner (1997) and Neu-
bauer & Handler (2000). The Variscan metamorphic com-
plexes of the Dacia-Megaterrane (Serbian Macedonian
Massif, metamorphic units of the Romanian Bucovino-
Getic and Danubian Units) were accreted to the Proto-
Moesian or the East European Plate during the Carbonifer-
ous. The intensity of the medium—high grade metamor-
phic impact depends on the position in the Variscan pile.
This metamorphism also retrograded the pre-Variscan
metamorphic units which exhibited a higher metamorphic
grade. Locally these complexes are intruded by granitoids
of Late Carboniferous to Early Permian age (Krstić & Kara-
mata 1994; Kräutner 1997).
Oceanic and arc related domains (OAZ)
Oceanic and arc related environments in the CPR are
remnants of the Mid-Paleozoic Paleo-tethyan oceanic
domains between Laurussia and Gondwana (Frisch &
Neubauer 1989; v. Raumer 1998; Neubauer 2002; v.
Raumer et al. 2003). As dismembered elements they are
included in the MOZ. They may form parts of the South
Gemeric Unit, and occur as small slices along suture zones
and terrane boundaries in the Tisia-Megaterrane and the
Carpatho-Balkanides. The Vardar Zone is regarded as an
oceanic system which still remained open during the
Variscan orogenic period (Karamata et al. 1997; Karamata
All the oceanic domains are hard to correlate and the af-
filiation to well defined Paleozoic oceanic systems is
quite speculative due to the fragmentation during
Variscan accretion and severe Alpine tectonics after the
consolidation of the Variscan crust. Paleomagnetic data
from individual terranes of the Carpatho-Balkanic
Variscan terrane collage suggest that during the Early
Devonian some terranes were situated most probably
along the same latitude but differ strongly in paleolatitude
(Table 2): Stara Planina Terrane 4°N, Kučaj Terrane and
Locva-Vlasina-Ranovac Terrane 39°S (Milićević 1996;
Krstić et al. 1996). This suggests a north—south oceanic
separation in this segment between Laurasia and Gondwa-
na of at least 35° of latitude ( ~ 4000 km). After the Carbon-
iferous collision the Kučaj Terrane had a paleolatitude of
8°N (Karamata 2006).
Veitsch-Nötsch-Szabadbattyán-Ochtiná Zone (VNSOZ)
The VNSOZ in the ALCAPA-Megaterrane evolved after
the formation of the MCZ in its foreland (Veitsch/Nötsch,
Szabadbattyán) or as a remnant basin, related to sequential
suturing of the Variscan orogenic belt in the Western Car-
pathians (Flügel 1977, 1990; Neubauer & Vozárová 1990;
Ebner et al. 1991, 1998; Ebner 1992; Vozárová 1996).
Fragments of ultramafic rocks and doleritic dykes inside
the huge turbiditic filling of the lower part of the Ochtina
Gr. indicate oceanic crust provenance. Mixing of this de-
tritus with the quartzose to quartzolitic character of the
bulk of the Ochtiná metasandstones implies recyclying of
sedimentary and metasedimentary sources without a sig-
nificant contribution from unroofing of the deep crustal
basement. Subaqueous ashflow tuffs (basic to intermedi-
ate), apparently derived from presumed arc eruptions were
indicated. The uplifted interior was the source of older in-
crements of the orogenic suture (465 Ma
Ar ages of
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
clastic mica, Vozárová et al. 2005). As convergence pro-
ceeded, the synorogenic turbidite sedimentation in the
remnant basin (Turnaisian-Viséan) was succeeded by shal-
low-water carbonate-siliciclastic (Serpukhovian) and del-
taic siliciclastic (Moscovian) sedimentation. This evolu-
tion reflects the change of basin architecture, from
turbiditic remnant ocean basin to shallow-water/deltaic
foreland basin floored by a continental substratum.
The primary basement of the VNSOZ is partly uncertain.
However, there is some evidence for a primary Devonian—
?Early Carboniferous metamorphic basement in the
Veitsch Nappe of the Eastern Alps (Neubauer & Handler
2000) and that the Rakovec and Klátov Terranes amal-
gamated after or partly ?diachronous to the onset of the
Carboniferous Ochtiná Group in the Western Carpathians.
Naturally, the basement beneath such late-synorogenic
sedimentary sequences is usually uncertain because they
were detached and overrode the continental margin. There
is no proof of a Variscan deformation of the VNSOZ in the
Veitsch Nappe (Ratschbacher 1987) whereas basin closure
due to continuation of convergence is documented by a
hiatus during the Lower Bashkirian (Namurian B—C) in the
Western Carpathians (Vozárová 1996).
Noric Bosnian (NBZ)/Carnic-Dinaric Zone (CDZ)
(Flügel 1990) first summarized the entire domain, which
represents the carbonate dominated Devonian—Early Car-
boniferous passive continental margin of the Noric Com-
posite Terrane (Frisch & Neubauer 1989 = Noric-Bosnian
Terrane Neubauer & Handler 2000), as the Noric Bosnian
Zone. Characteristically, it includes parts of the Eastern
and eastern Southern Alps which have strong affinties to
the Bükk, Jadar Block, and Central Bosnian Terranes. Ac-
cording to Vai (1994, 1998) significant differences in the
Permian distinguish the Eastern Alps with the “Noric”
evolution in contrast to the “Carnic-Dinaridic” evolution
in the other domains.
It is not known, whether all these domains formed a con-
nected facies realm/terrane or if they were part of individ-
ual terranes of similar type (e.g. European Hunic Terranes
Stampfli 2000; v. Raumer et al. 2003) which were separat-
ed by the opening of the Paleotethys from the Peri-Gond-
wana margin. Anyhow, sedimentation during the drift
stage of the terranes until the Early Carboniferous was
dominated by predominantly carbonate pelagic and plat-
form environments sometimes interfingering with monot-
onous clastic sequences at the outer passive margins
(Quartzphyllite zones). Carbonate platform environments
were extinguished within Frasnian times and were re-
placed by an uniform pelagic and basinal facies with flaser
(nodular) limestones, shales and lydites (Vai 1998). Local
stratigraphic gaps between the Late Devonian and the
Viséan resulted from erosion/karstification and synsedi-
mentary block movements (Ebner 1991a; Schönlaub &
Histon 2000). Acidic to intermediate volcanics are signif-
icant for the Devonian/Early Carboniferous of the Central
Bosnian Terranes (Karamata et al. 1997; Hrvatović 2006).
Significantly overall the pelagic limestones were followed
during the late Early Carboniferous, except for the Central
Bosnian Terrane, by siliciclastic turbiditic sediments
which were interpreted either as syn-orogenic flysch or
anorogenic sliciclastic sediments on stable margins (Eb-
ner 1991b; Ebner et al. 2006).
Table 2: Paleozoic paleomagnetic data of the CPR.
EBNER et al.
Carpatho-Balkanic Intracontinental Rift Zone (CBRZ)
The CBRZ in the Carpatho-Balkanides and Eastern Car-
pathians (described as Intercontinenal rifting zones of
Rheno Hercynian type in the CPR map Ebner et al. 2004,
http//www.geologicacarpathica.sk) evolved above a pre-
Variscan metamorphic basement (Kräutner 1997; Karama-
ta et al. 1997). Lower Devonian siliciclastic deposits are
followed by marine psammito-pelitic sediments, interca-
lated with rift related bimodal volcanics, until the Late De-
vonian/Early Carboniferous. These sequences are over-
lain by thick shallow water carbonate sediments, that
predate the onset of clastic flysch type siliciclastics during
the Viséan. These rift basins of similar character were affil-
iated to individual Variscan terranes. However, the Rodna
Terrane in the Eastern Carpathians and the Ideg Terrane
in the South Carpathians could have been connected be-
fore Alpine dispersion (Kräutner 1997). It is suggested that
this Rodna Rift was separated from the South Carpathian
rift basins in Supragetic position (Poiana Rusca Terrane,
Locva-Ranovac-Vlasina Terrane) by a submerged conti-
nental ridge of Carpian metamorphics (Bistrita Terrane).
The two Carpatho Balkanic rift sequences of the Supra
Getic Unit, (Poiana Rusca Terrane and Locva-Ranovac-
Vlasina Terrane), were possibly also separated from each
other during the Middle Paleozoic by an other submerged
ridge (Bocsa Nappe). In the Serbian literature the Locva-
Ranovac-Vlasina Terrane has an alternative interpreation
as a back arc environment (Krstić et al. 2005a; Karamata
Inovo zone (IZ)
In the Devonian—Early Carboniferous map of the CPR
(Ebner et al. 2004a, http//www.geologicacarpathica.sk) all
non to low grade metamorphosed Devonian to Lower
Carboniferous siliciclastic units were summarized by one
colour and further differentiated into flysch type and non
flysch type depositional enviroments. We distance
ourselves from this concept in this paper because:
(1) We affiliated the siliciclastics of the South Gemeric
zone to arc related and oceanic domains.
(2) There are no autochthonous Devonian sediments in
the Drina-Ivanjica Terrane and the oldest Carboniferous
(Tournaisian) pelitic-lyditic-carbonate sediments are there
of pelagic pre-flysch type Filipović & Sikošek (1999).
Flügel (1990) affiliated the two environments men-
tioned above beside some Western Mediterranean Paleo-
zoics into the Betic Serbian Zone which represents an area
with long lasting Paleozoic (Silurian—Bashkirian) clastic
deep water facies on stable continental margins with rem-
nants of deep sea fan complexes.
Devonian clastic deep water sediments of this character
are found in the Carpatho-Balkanides in the Kučaj and In-
ovo Terrane where the predominantly sililciclastic sedi-
ments turned to syn-orogenic flysch type sediments
during the Late Devonian/Carboniferous (Krstić et al.
1999, 2004, 2005a). However, it is suggested that the
Kučaj and Inovo Terrane had separate depocentres as con-
strained by paleomagnetic data (Milićević 1996). In the
Carpatho-Balkanides the Middle Devonian facies pattern
of the individual Variscan terranes of the Bucovino-Getic
is complex (Fig. 7). Besides continental dry lands (Serbian
Macedonian Massif and Kraishte units) continental slope
environments which are dominated by fine siliciclastic
sediments are related to Carpatho-Balkanic Rift Zones and
stable continental margins of the IZ, occurring in the
Kučaj and Inovo Terranes.
Variscan Flysch Zone (VFZ)
The formation of the VFZ began within the late Early
Carboniferous. This zone was established on top of parts
of the NBZ/CDZ (Eastern and eastern Carnic Alps) and the
CBRZ. The only exception is the Kučaj Terrane where
syn-orogenic flysch was already deposited during the Late
Devonian (Ebner 1991b; Krstić et al. 2005a; Ebner et al.
The formation of Viséan—Bashkirian syn-orgenic flysch
(Fig. 8) in the Eastern and eastern Southern Alps is due to
the flexuring down of the NW-parts of the Noric Compos-
ite and related Terranes and N-directed A-subduction just
before their accretion to the already consolidated MCZ to
the Laurussian continental margin (Neubauer & Handler
2000; Schönlaub & Histon 2000). Closing of the flysch
basins by deformation, sometimes low grade metamor-
phism, and an unconformable superposition by molasse
sediments was the result of this Intra-Late Carboniferous
(Serpukhovian—Moscovian) collision in the Alpine to
Carpathian segment. With the sole exception of the ma-
rine/terrestrial Auernig Fm of the Carnic Alps the molasse
is continental (Vozárová et al. 2006). Olistoliths are main-
ly derived from the pre-orogenic passive continental mar-
gin of the Noric Composite Terrane. The flysch of the Tur-
na Unit is suggested to have formed in a similar position
(Ebner et al. 1990; Vozárová & Vozár 1992). The syn-oro-
genic flysch environments of the Eastern Carpathians and
the Carpatho-Balkanides were formed in a similar geody-
namic environment before the Intra-Carboniferous amal-
gamation of the Carpatho-Balkanic Variscan terranes to
the E-European and Proto-Moesian plate. Overall the post-
orogenic molasse is of continental type (Kräutner 1997;
Karamata et al. 1997; Ebner et al. 2006; Vozárová et al.
2006). To the W the VFZ may extend to the W-Mediterra-
nean areas (Engel 1984; Ebner 1991b). Blocks of Early
Carboniferous fossiliferous shallow water limestones in
the VFZ of the Mt Noire and Carnic Alps indicate a paleo-
geographic relation of the flysch basin with VNSOZ-type
domains on the Laurussian margin (Engel 1984; Ebner
1991b; Flügel & Schönlaub 1991). Syn-orogenic flysch of
the VFZ may be followed to the east along the Laurussian
magin as far as to the N-Dobrogea, Caucasian Main- and
Forerange zone and the Scythian Platform (Ebner 1991b).
Bükk-Jadar Zone (BJZ)
The impact of the Intra-Late Carboniferous collision di-
minished in a southeasterly direction from the Eastern
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
Fig. 7. Middle Devonian paleoenvironments
in the Bucovino Getic and Danubian units of
the Eastern and Southern Carpathians and the
Alps and eastern Southern Alps and seems to be missing in
the Bükk, Sana Una and Jadar Block Terranes or to be only
weak in the Drina-Ivnajica or problematic in the East Bos-
nian Durmitor and Central Bosnian Terranes. At least the
Bükk, Sana Una and Jadar Block Terranes may be situated
during the Carboniferous on the back side of the drifting
Noric Bosnian and related terranes and close to the Pale-
otethys ocean (Fig. 8). These parts (summarized as the
BJZ) represent subsiding but still passive continental mar-
gins. First the sedimentation became turbiditic and olis-
tostromatic but significantly the sequences were not sub-
sequently deformed. This anorogenic turbiditic facies was
terminated during the Bashkirian by stratigraphic gaps
and a turn to characteristic marine shallow water sedi-
ments. Major tectonic deformation, unconformities and
metamorphic overprint are totally missing (Ebner 1991b;
Ebner et al. 2006; Vozárová et al. 2006).
Remarkable, but in their consequences already un-
known, are the affinities of the Bükk Terrane, situated at
the ?northwesternmost part of the BJZ, to the Rannach
EBNER et al.
nappe of the Graz Paleozoic. In the latter Carboniferous
carbonate sedimentation lasted until the Bashkirian and
an orogenic impact is not known during this time (Ebner
1976; Ebner et al. 1991, 1998, 2000, 2006). Another enig-
ma is the occurrence of marine Permian and other
“Southalpine” Triassic clasts in Upper Cretaceous “Gos-
au”-conglomerates covering the Graz Paleozoic. These
pebbles are absolute exotic for the Eastern Alps and can be
considered for a primary position of parts of the Graz Pale-
ozoic close to domains with a marine Permomesozoic cov-
er of South Alpine/Dinaric type (Flügel 1980; Ebner et al.
1991; Ebner & Rantitsch 2000).
In respect to their Late Devonian/Carboniferous evolu-
tion the Bükk, Sana Una and Jadar Block terranes were pri-
marily situated close together. During the Alpine opening
of oceanic tracts and late orogenic Late Cretaceous—Ter-
tiary strike slip movements, they became separated from
each others and displaced as terranes to their present posi-
tions (Protić et al. 2000; Filipović et al. 2003). Taking into
account the sedimentary facies, orogenic zonation and pa-
leomagnetic data the Eastern Alps and eastern Southern
Alps should have a closer but more western position to the
Laurussian Early Carboniferous collision zone (Fig. 8).
The sedimentation of Bellerophon type limestones in the
Late Permian was another characteritic feature pointing to
the paleogeographic realtionships within the JBZ as well
as to the Carnic Alps (Pešić et al. 1988; Filipović et al.
2003). Further to the SE the turbiditic sequences of BJZ-
type may extend as far as to Chios, Karburun and the Pon-
tides (Ebner 1991b).
Fig. 8. Cartoon of the Viséan/Serpukhovian paleogeographic restoration and Variscan orogenic zoning in the Circum Pannonian Region
(based on Ebner et al. 1991, 1998, 2006, 2007 and Karamata 2006). The correlation to and the situation in the Eastern Carpathians and
the Carpatho-Balkanides is not clear. Size, boundaries and positions of the units are strongly schematized and not in scale. The position of
the equator is only tentative. Intraalpine Variscan deformed zones: – Mediterranean Crystalline Zone (MCZ) with Late Devonian—Early
Carboniferous deformation and metamorphism and SMZ with polystage Variscan overprint. – Veitsch-Nötsch-Szabadbattyán-Ochtiná
Zone (VNSOZ): post orogenic sediments (marine foredeeps, remnant basins) in respect to the MCZ. – Syn-orogenic siliciclastic flysch
sediments of the Variscan flysch zone (VFZ): deformed during the (?)Late Viséan until Intra-Late Carboniferous orogeny. Anorogenic
Variscan zones (AVZ): – Pelagic carbonate and turbiditic siliciclastic sediments lacking any Variscan deformation of the Bükk-Jadar
Zone. – Elements of the future Gondwana NE border without Carboniferous syn-orogenic flysch sediments and lack of Variscan or
suspected Variscan deformation. – Paleotethys with the Veles Series Terrane remained as an open oceanic domain during the final
Variscan period. * PA Panafrican basement: – without Variscan overprint from the northern margin of Gondwana, explored in AGIP
drillings in front of the Southern Alps (Vai in Ebner et al. 2004). Further Abbreviations: B – Bükk Mts, CA – Carnic Alps, CBT – Central
Bosnian Terrane, CB – Carpatho-Balkanides, D – Dinarides, DHT – Dalmatian Herzegovinian Terrane, DIT – Drina Invanjica Terrane,
EA – Eastern Alps, EBT – East Bosnian Durmitor Terrane, EC – Eastern Carpathians, Ge – Gemeric Units, Gr – Rannach Nappe of the
Graz Paleozoic, Gt – Gurktal Nappe, HM – Helvetic Moldanubian Unit, JBT – Jadar Block Terrane, M – Medvednica Mts, N – Noric
Nappe (Graywacke Zone), T – segment of later Tisia Megaterrane, Tu – Turna Unit, TV – Tatro-Veporic Units, SK – South Karawan-
ken Mt, SMZ – Serbo-Macedonian Zone, SUT – Sana-Una Terrane, U – Uppony Mts, Sz – Szendrő Mts, VST – Veles Series Ter-
rane, WC – Western Carpathians, WSA – Western Southern Alps.
DEVONIAN—CARBONIFEROUS PRE-FLYSCH AND FLYSCH ENVIRONMENTS (PANNONIAN REGION)
During the past the Variscan orogenic events in the CPR
were affiliated to the “classical” Variscan tectonic phases
(Bretonic, Sudetic, Asturian) established for other parts of
the Central European Variscan belt. Knowing the problems
by doing this, Vai (1975) established the Carnic phase
between the Late Serpukhovian and Early Moscovian as the
major orogenic phase for the Carnic Alps. Due to the poor
stratigraphic constraints, the problematic use of tectonic
phases defined for other paleogeographic domains and the
geodynamically diverse positions of the orogenic zones, we
distinguish the following tectonic events and domains in
the CPR (Ebner et al. 2006):
(1) Accretion of terranes to the Laurussian margin ac-
companied by a predominantly medium grade metamor-
phism during an (Late Devonian-) Early Carboniferous
orogeny. These metamorphic terranes are presently part of
the Mediterranean Crystalline Zone. Post-orogenic marine
sedimentation in respect to this event started within the
late Early Carboniferous and is represented in the Veitsch-
(2) A Mid- to Intra-Late Carboniferous (Serpukhovian/
Bashkirian) collisional event occurred at the end of the
syn-orogenic flysch stage in the Eastern Alps, the eastern
Southern Alps, the Western and Eastern Carpathians and
the Carpatho-Balkanides. During this event the Noric
Composite and related terranes collided with parts of the
Mediterranean Crystalline Zone of the Laurussian margin.
The Variscan terranes of the Carpatho-Balkanic segment
collided with each other and/or Proto-Moesia. post-oro-
genic marine and continental molasse began within the
eastern Southern Alps within the Late Moscovian. The
onset of continental molasse in the other domains of the
CPR-Variscan belt began during the Kasimovian-Ghzelian.
(3) The Carboniferous sequences of the Bükk, Sana Una
und Jadar Block Terranes are characterized by turbididitic
and olistostromatic siliciclastics without any Variscan
deformation. Possibly they were also part of the before
mentioned colliding terranes but with a position on the
anorogenic “back side” of the terranes closer to the
Paleotethys. Therefore no distinct Variscan deformation or
metamorphism was detected. The change of the “Variscan
to the post-Variscan stage” is marked by shallowing
upwards trends, stratigraphic hiati (Late Bashkirian—Early
Moscovian) and the sedimentological change of turbiditic
siliciclastic sediments to carbonate shallow water sedi-
(4) The Veles Series Terrane was not affected by Carbon-
iferous deformation/metamorphism. It remained as an in-
herited island arc element in the Mesozoic Vardar ocean
until its inclusion into the Main Vardar Ophiolite Zone
during the Late Jurassic (Karamata 2006). For another in-
terpretation see Schmid et al. (2007 in print).
(5) The Intra-Carboniferous tectonic evolution of the
Central Bosnian, East Bosnian Durmitor and Drina-Ivanji-
ca Terranes which were later included in the NE border-
zone of Gondwana SW of the Paleotethys is not document-
ed in a sufficient way. The Variscan impact seems to be
partly missing or of very weak intensity (Karamata 2006).
(6) Persisting Gondwana—Laurussia convergence dur-
ing the Late Carboniferous—Early Permian after the climax
of the Variscan orogeny gave rise to the exhumation of the
Variscan belt, which was dissected by far ranging strike
slip faults (the global Pangean transform zone Smith &
Livermore 1991). These processes were related to the in-
dentation of Gondwana derived elements in sectors of the
Variscan belt (“Paleo-Alpine” indenter; Neubauer & Han-
dler 2000) and may be responsible for some Permian tec-
tonic events occurring in parts of the CPR (Vozárová et al.
Origin of terranes
Elements of the Variscan CPR terrane collage derived
from the Mid-Paleozoic oceanic domains between Laurus-
sia and Gondwana and from the northern margin of Gond-
wana (v. Raumer 1998; Neubauer 2002). During the Late
Silurian a group of terranes (Gotic Terranes Golonka et al.
2006 cum lit., European Hunic Terranes Stampfli 2000; v.
Raumer et al. 2003) was separated by the opening of the
Paleotethys from the Peri-Gondwana margin. The accre-
tion of these terranes to the active Laurussian margin dur-
ing the Devonian/Early Carboniferous marks the onset of
the Variscan orgeny followed by a final intra Late Carbon-
iferous continent/continent collision due to the continu-
ous N-drift of Gondwana (Matte 1986, 1991; Frisch &
Neubauer 1989; Franke et al. 1995; Stampfli 1996; Neu-
bauer 2002; v. Raumer et al. 2003). Another model (Vai
1991, 1998) suggests a relatively stable epicontinental
sea during the Early Paleozoic which was later disturbed
by oblique dextral rift perturbation for the CPR. Thus the
Carnic-Dinaric Plate was separated from Gondwana dur-
ing the Mid-Paleozoic and during the Early Carboniferous
by the opening of a new branch of the Paleotethys from the
Uralian/Kazakhstan Plate. The dextral displacement final-
ly resulted in the collision of the Carnic-Dinaric Plate
with central Europe.
However, the positions of the individual terranes during
the Variscan evolution is quite speculative. The scarce pale-
omagnetic data, suggesting some paleogeographic posi-
tions of the individual terranes, are summarized in Table 2.
The Eastern Alps and Carnic Alps, have a quite diverse
biofacies. Therfore Vai (1991, 1998) affiliated the Eastern
Alps to the Bohemian and the Carnic Alps to the Uralian
biofacies. However, this contrast is weakened by the con-
sideration of fauna exchange and paleo-oceanic currents
Schönlaub (1993). This and the strongly scattering picture
of the Paleozoic paleomagnetic data (Table 2) suggest that
these areas were not assembled in one single terrane (Noric
Terrane, v. Raumer & Neubauer 1993) but rather in a
group of terranes with similar sedimentary character (part
of the European Hunic Terranes, Stampfli 2000; v. Raum-
er et al. 2003).
The Carpatho-Balkanic terranes with intracontinental
rift environments (Rodna Terrane, Poiana Rusca Terrane,
Locva-Ranovac-Vlasina Terrane) may derive from rifting
systems primarily situated on the southern continuation of
Variscan Europe, now involved in the Alpine orogen.
These rift systems were separated by more or less emerged
EBNER et al.
continental rises (Bistrita Terrane, Bocsa Nappe). North of
the Alpine front, such types of Variscan structures includ-
ing rifting zones may be recognised in the sequence of the
Rheno-Hercynian and Saxo-Thuringian zones separated
by the “Mitteldeutsche Schwelle”.
The Carpatho-Balkanic terranes which docked during
the Carboniferous to the Moesian Plate derived from oce-
anic domains situated during the Early Paleozoic beween
Gondwana and the continental masses that later became
Eurasia in the north. Some relics of oceanic crust along the
boundaries of the Variscan terranes are most probably
parts of Cadomian oceanic crust, typical for pre-Variscan
terranes in the Carpatho-Balkanides (Haydoutov et al.
2004). The primary position of the individual terranes was
far from each others. In summary the terranes were trans-
ported during the Paleozoic until the Late Carboniferous
from up to 30—40 °S to a near equatorial position (Karama-
ta 2006). The Kucai/Ranovac Terranes had a palaeolati-
tude of 5 °N and a Laurasian position due to Eurasian flora
after the Variscan collision during the Moscovian/Kasi-
movian (Pantić & Dulić 1991; Milićević1996; Karamata
2006). Some paleogeographycally fixed positions of the
individual terrane wanderpaths are outlined in Table 2.
The history of the terranes SW of the Carboniferous Pa-
leotethys which were later included in the Gondwana NE
margin is not well constrained. It is suggested that all units
derived rather from different parts and not from one Paleo-
zoic superunit (Karamata & Vujonović 2000). First the
Central Bosnian Terrane docked to the Dinaride Block
during ?Early Carboniferous—Middle Permian (Karamata
et al. 1997; Karamata 2006). This is followed by the East
Bosnian Durmitor and Drina-Ivanjica Terranes, but with
uncertain age. During the Carboniferous the Sana Una Ter-
rane was still connected with the Jadar Block Terrane and
closely associated with the later NE margin of Gondwana
as indicated by a latitude of 4 °S and Gondwana type flora
(Pantić & Dulić 1991).
Post Variscan (Pennsylvanian) configuration
After the peak of Variscan deformation and metamor-
phism the CPR (Fig. 8) was part of Pangea and located in
the north and west of the eastward opening bay of the still
open parts of the Paleotethys. Moesia, Rhodopes, the pre-
Mesozoic units of Alcapa and Tisia were sutured in the N
to the Laurasian arm of Pangea whereas Adria and adjacent
terranes in the W were situated close to Gondwana (Flügel
1990; Vai 1998; Karamata et al. 2003; Karamata 2006;
Golonka et al. 2006). Karamata (2006: Fig. 6) locates the
Central Bosnian, East Bosnian Durmitor and Drina-Ivanji-
ca Terranes on the SW margin of the Paleotethys close to
Adria. The Sana Una, Jadar Block and Bükk Terranes are
still connected with each others and located in a much
more western position of the end of the Paleotethys. How-
ever, the termination of the Paleotethys at this time is still
an open question. The collision zone of the Noric Compos-
ite Terrane to the central European margin (Southern and
Eastern Alps) was clearly located further to the west. The
northern part of the present day Tisia-Megaterrane was
part of the European Helvetic-Moldanubian zone (Kloetzi
et al. 2004), whereas the southern part of Tisia (Slavonia)
has affinities to the West Carpathian Tatro-Veporic Crys-
talline (Buda et al. 2004). The existence of Variscan medi-
um grade and granitoid zones in the S Pannonian domain
(Tisia-Megaterrane) and the most remarkable feature that
the modern Western Carpathians and Tisia are separated
by non-metamorphic areas of Dinaridic origin are due to
major Tertiary terrane movements (Csontos et al. 1992).
The feature of the terrane concept in the pre-Neogene base-
ment of the Pannonian Basin is, that, separated by the
Mid-Hungarian or Zagreb-Zemplín Line, the Zagorje-
Bükk Zone on the north is related to the southerly Carnic-
Dinaridic Zone, whereas on the south the Mórágy Com-
plex in the basement of the Alpine Mecsek Zone, is related
to the northerly Moldanubian Zone. So, here is a textbook
example of “displaced terranes”!
Paleomagnetic data indicating the geographical posi-
tions of the Variscan collision zone are scarce (Table 2).
Nevertheless, during Moscovian—Kasimovian the Jadar
Block Terrane had a latitude of 4 °S on the Gondwana side
of Paleotethys and parts of the E-Serbian Carpatho-Bal-
kanides with a paleo-latitude of 5 °N were situated on the
Laurussian margin of the Paleotethys (Pantić & Dulić
1991; Milićević 1996). The Inner Carpathian parts had a
nearly equatorial position during Late Carboniferous (Krs
et al. 1996).
Acknowledgments: The authors thank all colleagues and
individual national working groups of the former IGCP
No. 5 (leaders H.W. Flügel and F.P. Sassi) and No. 276
(leader D. Papanikolaou) for fruitful cooperation over
decades. Further we acknowledge the support of the
coordinators (S. Kovács, S. Karamata, J. Vozár), the
discussions of the colleagues of the “Joint Venture on
Circumpannonian Terrane Maps” and the effort of K.
Breznyánsky for printing the maps at the Hungarian Geo-
logical Institute. The autors express their thanks also to
the reviewers Prof. I. Filipović (Belgrade), Prof. J. Golonka
(Kraków) and Prof. Stefan Schmid (Bern) for their critical
reviews, comments and helpful suggestions. Prof. R.
Scholger (Leoben) contributed thankfully to the collec-
tion of the paleomagnetic data. M. Šipková (Slovak Acad.
Sci.) is thanked for the professional preparation of the
computer graphics. Parts of the investigations were sup-
ported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) due to Grant
P10277, the Slovak Science Fund (APVV) due to Grant
No. APVV-0438-06 and APVT-51-002804 and in Hungary
by the National Research Fund (OTKA), Grants
No. T37595 and T47121.
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