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

Structural pattern and emplacement mechanisms of the Krizna cover nappe (Central Western Carpathians)

Pages: 13 - 32


Abstract: The Central Western Carpathians are characterized by both the thick- and thin-skinned thrust tectonics that originated during the Cretaceous. The Krizna Unit (Fatric Superunit) with a thickness of only a few km is the most widespread cover nappe system that completely overthrusts the Tatric basement/cover superunit over an area of about 12 thousands square km. In searching for a reliable model of its origin and emplacement, we have collected structural data throughout the nappe body from its hinterland backstop (Veporic Superunit) to its frontal parts. Fluid inclusion (FI) data from carbonate cataclastic rocks occurring at the nappe sole provided useful information about the p-T conditions during the nappe transport. The crucial phenomena considered for formulation of our evolutionary model are: (1) the nappe was derived from a broad rifted basinal area bounded by elevated domains; (2) the nappe body is composed of alternating, rheologically very variable sedimentary rock complexes, hence creating a mechanically stratified multilayer; (3) presence of soft strata serving as decollement horizons; (4) stress and strain gradients increasing towards the backstop; (5) progressive internal deformation at very low-grade conditions partitioned into several deformation stages reflecting varying external constraints for the nappe movement; (6) a very weak nappe sole formed by cataclasites indicating fluid-assisted nappe transport during all stages; (7) injection of hot overpressured fluids from external sources (deformed basement units) facilitating frontal ramp overthrusting under supralithostatic conditions. It was found that no simple mechanical model can be applied, but that all known principal emplacement mechanisms and driving forces temporarily participated in progressive structural evolution of the nappe. The rear compression operated during the early stages, when the sedimentary succession was detached, shortened and transported over the frontal ramp. Subsequently, gravity spreading and gliding governed the final nappe emplacement over the unconstrained basinal foreland.

Keywords: Slovakia, Central Western Carpathians, Krizna Nappe, structural evolution, fluid inclusions, driving forces, emplacement mechanisms

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