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

Late Quaternary fault activity in the Western Carpathians: evidence from the Vikartovce Fault (Slovakia)

Published: Dec 2011

Pages: 563 - 574



Abstract: The Cenozoic structure of the Western Carpathians is strongly controlled by faults. The E-W striking Vikartovce fault is one of the most distinctive dislocations in the region, evident by its geological structure and terrain morphology. This feature has been assumed to be a Quaternary reactivated fault according to many attributes such as its perfect linearity, faceted slopes, the distribution of travertines along the fault, and also its apparent prominent influence on the drainage network. The neotectonic character of the fault is documented herein by morphotectonic studies, longitudinal and transverse valley profile analyses, terrace system analysis, and mountain front sinuosity. Late Pleistocene activity of the Vikartovce fault is now proven by luminescence dating of fault-cut and uplifted alluvial sediments, presently located on the crest of the tilted block. These sediments must slightly pre-date the age of river redirection. Considering the results of both luminescence dating and palynological analyses, the change of river course probably occurred during the final phase of the Riss Glaciation (135±14 ka). The normal displacement along the fault during the Late Quaternary has been estimated to about 105–135 m, resulting in an average slip rate of at least 0.8–1.0 mm•yr–1. The present results identify the Vikartovce fault as one of the youngest active faults in the Central Western Carpathians.

Keywords: Western Carpathians, Vikartovce fault, Quaternary faulting, luminescence dating, neotectonics, tilting

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Volume 62 no. 6 / December 2011

Volume 62 no. 6