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

Volume 68 no. 3 / June 2017

Volume 68 no. 3 / June 2017

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Articles in this issue

  • 3D density modelling of Gemeric granites of the Western Carpathians

    Abstract: The position of the Gemeric Superunit within the Western Carpathians is unique due to the occurrence of the Lower Palaeozoic basement rocks together with the autochthonous Upper Palaeozoic cover. The Gemeric granites play one of the most important roles in the framework of the tectonic evolution of this mountain range. They can be observed in several small intrusions outcropping in the western and south-eastern parts of the Gemeric Superunit. Moreover, these granites are particularly interesting in terms of their mineralogy, petrology and ages. The comprehensive geological and geophysical research of the Gemeric granites can help us to better understand structures and tectonic evolution of the Western Carpathians. Therefore, a new and original 3D density model of the Gemeric granites was created by using the interactive geophysical program IGMAS. The results show clearly that the Gemeric granites represent the most significant upper crustal anomalous low-density body in the structure of the Gemeric Superunit. Their average thickness varies in the range of 5–8 km. The upper boundary of the Gemeric granites is much more rugged in comparison with the lower boundary. There are areas, where the granite body outcrops and/or is very close to the surface and places in which its upper boundary is deeper (on average 1 km in the north and 4–5 km in the south). While the depth of the lower boundary varies from 5–7 km in the north to 9–10 km in the south. The northern boundary of the Gemeric granites along the tectonic contact with the Rakovec and Klátov Groups (North Gemeric Units) was interpreted as very steep (almost vertical). The results of the 3D modelling show that the whole structure of the Gemeric Unit, not only the Gemeric granite itself, has an Alpine north-vergent nappe structure. Also, the model suggests that the Silicicum–Turnaicum and Meliaticum nappe units have been overthrusted onto the Golčatov Group.
  • Discovery of the Badenian evaporites inside the Carpathian Arc: implications for global climate change and Paratethys salinity

    Abstract: Massive evaporites were discovered in the Soltvadkert Trough (Great Plain, Hungary) correlating to the Badenian Salinity Crisis (13.8 Ma, Middle Miocene) on the basis of nannoplankton and foraminifera biostratigraphy. This new occurrence from Hungary previously thought to be devoid of evaporites is part of a growing body of evidence of evaporitic basins inside the Carpathian Arc. We suggest the presence of evaporites perhaps in the entire Central Paratethys during the salinity crisis. Different scenarios are suggested for what subsequently happened to these evaporites to explain their presence or absence in the geological record. Where they are present, scenario A suggests that they were preserved in subsiding, deep basins overlain by younger sediments that protected the evaporites from reworking, like in the studied area. Where they are absent, scenario B suggests recycling. Scenario B explains how the supposedly brackish Sarmatian could have been hyper/normal saline locally by providing a source of the excess salt from the reworking and dissolving of BSC halite into seawater. These scenarios suggest a much larger amount of evaporites locked up in the Central Paratethys during the salinity crisis then previously thought, probably contributing to the step-like nature of cooling of the Mid Miocene Climate Transition, the coeval Mi3b.
  • Calcareous nannoplankton and foraminiferal response to global Oligocene and Miocene climatic oscillations: a case study from the Western Carpathian segment of the Central Paratethys

    Abstract: The reactions of foraminiferal and calcareous nannoplankton assemblages to global warming and cooling events in the time intervals of ca. 27 to 19 Ma and 13.5 to 15 Ma (Oligocene and Miocene) were studied in subtropical epicontinental seas influenced by local tectonic and palaeogeographic events (the Central Paratethys). Regardless of these local events, global climatic processes significantly influenced the palaeoenvironment within the marine basin. Warm intervals are characterized by a stable, humid climate and a high-nutrient regime, due primarily to increased continental input of phytodetritus and also locally due to seasonal upwelling. Coarse clastics deposited in a hyposaline environment characterize the marginal part of the basin. Aridification events causing decreased riverine input and consequent nutrient decreases, characterized cold intervals. Apparent seasonality, as well as catastrophic climatic events, induced stress conditions and the expansion of opportunistic taxa. Carbonate production and hypersaline facies characterize the marginal part of the basins. Hypersaline surface water triggered downwelling circulation and mixing of water masses. Decreased abundance or extinction of K-specialists during each cold interval accelerated their speciation in the subsequent warm interval. Local tectonic events led to discordances between local and global sea-level changes (tectonically triggered uplift or subsidence) or to local salt formation (in the rain shadows of newly-created mountains).
  • Geochemical and isotopic evidence for Carboniferous rifting: mafic dykes in the central Sanandaj-Sirjan zone (Dorud-Azna, West Iran)

    Abstract: In this paper, we present detailed field observations, chronological, geochemical and Sr–Nd isotopic data and discuss the petrogenetic aspects of two types of mafic dykes, of alkaline to subalkaline nature. The alkaline mafic dykes exhibit a cumulate to foliated texture and strike NW–SE, parallel to the main trend of the region. The 40Ar/39Ar amphibole age of 321.32 ± 0.55 Ma from an alkaline mafic dyke is interpreted as an indication of Carboniferous cooling through ca. 550 °C after intrusion of the dyke into the granitic Galeh-Doz orthogneiss and Amphibolite-Metagabbro units, the latter with Early Carboniferous amphibolite facies grade metamorphism and containing the Dare-Hedavand metagabbro with a similar Carboniferous age. The alkaline and subalkaline mafic dykes can be geochemically categorized into those with light REE-enriched patterns [(La/Yb)N = 8.32– 9.28] and others with a rather flat REE pattern [(La/Yb)N = 1.16] and with a negative Nb anomaly. Together, the mafic dykes show oceanic island basalt to MORB geochemical signature, respectively. This is consistent, as well, with the (Tb/Yb)PM ratios. The alkaline mafic dykes were formed within an enriched mantle source at depths of ˃ 90 km, generating a suite of alkaline basalts. In comparison, the subalkaline mafic dykes were formed within more depleted mantle source at depths of ˂ 90 km. The subalkaline mafic dyke is characterized by 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.706 and positive ɛNd(t) value of + 0.77, whereas 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.708 and ɛNd(t) value of + 1.65 of the alkaline mafic dyke, consistent with the derivation from an enriched mantle source. There is no evidence that the mafic dykes were affected by significant crustal contamination during emplacement. Because of the similar age, the generation of magmas of alkaline mafic dykes and of the Dare-Hedavand metagabbro are assumed to reflect the same process of lithospheric or asthenospheric melting. Carboniferous back-arc rifting is the likely geodynamic setting of mafic dyke generation and emplacement. In contrast, the subalkaline mafic sill is likely related to the emplacement of the Jurassic Darijune gabbro.
  • Geochemistry, environmental and provenance study of the Middle Miocene Leitha limestones (Central Paratethys)

    Abstract: Mineralogical, major, minor, REE and trace element analyses of rock samples were performed on Middle Miocene limestones (Leitha limestones, Badenian) collected from four localities from Austria (Mannersdorf, Wöllersdorf, Kummer and Rosenberg quarries) and the Fertőrákos quarry in Hungary. Impure to pure limestones (i.e. limited by Al2O3 contents above or below 0.43 wt. %) were tested to evaluate the applicability of various geochemical proxies and indices in regard to provenance and palaeoenvironmental interpretations. Pure and impure limestones from Mannersdorf and Wöllersdorf (southern Vienna Basin) show signs of detrital input (REEs = 27.6 ± 9.8 ppm, Ce anomaly = 0.95 ± 0.1 and the presence of quartz, muscovite and clay minerals in impure limestones) and diagenetic influence (low contents of, e.g., Sr = 221 ± 49 ppm, Na is not detected, Ba = 15.6 ± 8.8 ppm in pure limestones). Thus, in both limestones the reconstruction of original sedimentary palaeoenvironments by geochemistry is hampered. The Kummer and Fertőrákos (Eisenstadt–Sopron Basin) comprise pure limestones (e.g., averages Sr = 571 ± 139 ppm, Na = 213 ± 56 ppm, Ba = 21 ± 4 ppm, REEs = 16 ± 3 ppm and Ce anomaly = 0.62 ± 0.05 and composed predominantly of calcite) exhibiting negligible diagenesis. Deposition under a shallow-water, well oxygenated to intermittent dysoxic marine environment can be reconstructed. Pure to impure limestones at Rosenberg–Retznei (Styrian Basin) are affected to some extent by detrital input and volcano-siliciclastic admixture. The Leitha limestones at Rosenberg have the least diagenetic influence among the studied localities (i.e. averages Sr = 1271 ± 261 ppm, Na = 315 ± 195 ppm, Ba = 32 ± 15 ppm, REEs = 9.8 ± 4.2 ppm and Ce anomaly = 0.77 ± 0.1 and consist of calcite, minor dolomite and quartz). The siliciclastic sources are characterized by immobile elemental ratios (i.e. La/Sc and Th/Co) which apply not only for the siliciclastics, but also for marls and impure limestones. At Mannersdorf the detrital input source varies between intermediate to silicic igneous rocks, while in Kummer and Rosenberg the source is solely silicic igneous rocks. The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) is only applicable in the shale-contaminated impure limestones. CIA values of the Leitha limestones from Mannersdorf indicate a gradual transition from warm to temperate palaeoclimate within the limestone succession of the Badenian.
  • Significant hiatuses in the terrestrial Late Variscan Central and Western Bohemian basins (Late Pennsylvanian–Early Cisuralian) and their possible tectonic and climatic links

    Abstract: Significant changes in the stratigraphy of the Central and Western Bohemian Upper Palaeozoic basins occur during or shortly after hiatuses. The different extent and changes in the depocentres of the Radnice and Nýřany members (Moscovian) in the Plzeň Basin clearly indicate changes in the structure of this basin taking place during a break in sedimentation between these two units (311.9–308.3 Ma). Thick weathered rocks that occur in boreholes in the Mšeno–Roudnice Basin indicate another sedimentation break (305.9–304.1 Ma) between the Nýřany Member and the Týnec Formation (Kasimovian). Another possible hitherto undiscovered hiatus occurred between the Týnec and Slaný formations (Kasimovian–Gzhelian, about 304–303 Ma). The most significant changes in the configuration of the basins occurred between the Slaný and Líně formations (Gzhelian–Asselian, 301.6–300.6 Ma). This is indicated by deeply cut river valleys at the top of the Slaný Formation, by high thickness of weathered deposits occurring immediately beneath the Líně Formation, and mainly by the shift of depocentres from the southern to the northern part of the Central Bohemian basins. The hiatuses between the Radnice and Nýřany members and between the Slaný and Líně formations are accompanied by significant changes in the depocentres, and they are therefore interpreted primarily as tectonic events related to the extensional collapse of the Variscan orogenic belt. By contrast, the hiatuses beneath and above the Týnec Formation are interpreted as being the products of lower sedimentation rates during drier climates, which is consistent with the characteristics of the sediments, correlation with other Central European basins, and with climate models for this period. Due to the characteristics of the Líně Formation, in which the effects of climate aridization are clearly seen, the authors presume that tectonic as well as climatic changes occurred at the hiatus between the Slaný and Líně formations.