International Geological Journal - Official Journal of the Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association

Tertiary development of the Polish and eastern Slovak parts of the Carpathian accretionary wedge: insights from balanced cross-sections

Published: Oct 2006

Pages: 355 - 370


Abstract: During Eocene–Sarmatian, a Polish-eastern Slovak portion of the Outer West Carpathian accretionary wedge was deformed in front of the ALCAPA terrane. This portion advanced into the area of the subducting remnant Carpathian Flysch Basin, a large oceanic tract left in front of the Alpine orogen. Western parts of the wedge were characterized by a noticeable lack of involvement of thick-skin thrusting and by a predominant development of fault-propagation folds. Eastern parts of the wedge were characterized by the involvement of thick-skin thrusting, triangle zones and back-thrusts. The frontal portion of the wedge was characterized by a decollement formed along the shale and gypsum formations of the Badenian molasse sediments, which resulted in the increased width of the thrust sheets. Forelandward thinning of foreland basin sediments indicates that the portion of the European Platform attached to the subducting oceanic lithosphere flexed underneath the advancing Carpathians as early as the Eocene. Oligocene sediments record syn-depositional thrusting by abrupt thickness changes over short distances. Younger periods of the thrusting are documented by the Eggenburgian–Karpatian piggy-back basin carried by thrust sheets in the frontal portion of the ALCAPA terrane, the Early Miocene age of the youngest sediments in the central portion of the wedge and involvement of the middle Badenian molasse sediments in the frontal portion of the wedge. The end of the shortening is documented by the lower Sarmatian end of the strike-slip fault activity behind the wedge, by the middle Sarmatian transgression over the deformed wedge in the Orava-Nowy Targ Basin, which is located in the rear portion of the wedge, and by the Sarmatian undeformed sediments sealing the wedge front. The existence of the forebulge in front of the advancing Carpathians is documented by local Eocene, Oligocene and Lower Miocene unconformities in the frontal portion of the wedge.

Keywords: Western Carpathians, development mechanism, structural style, balanced cross-sections

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Volume 57 no. 5 / October 2006

Volume 57 no. 5