Lithospheric structure of the Pannonian basin derived from seismic, gravity and geothermal data

Gábor Tari, Péter Dövényi, István Dunkl, Frank Horváth, László Lenkey, Mihai Stefanescu, Péter Szafián, Tamás Tóth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

172 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper is part of the special publication No.156, The Mediterranean basins: Tertiary extension within the Alpine Orogen. (eds B.Durand, L. Jolivet, F.Horvath and M.Seranne). The structure of the Pannonian basin is the result of distinct modes of Mid-Late Miocene extension exerting a profound effect on the lithospheric configuration, which continues even today. As the first manifestation of extensional collapse, large magnitude, metamorphic core complex style extension took place at the beginning of the Mid-Miocene in certain parts of the basin. Extrapolation of the present-day high heat flow in the basin, corrected for the blanketing effect of the basin fill, indicates a hot and thin lithosphere at the onset of extension. This initial condition, combined with the relatively thick crust inherited from earlier Alpine compressional episodes, appears to be responsible for the core complex type extension at the beginning of the syn-rift period. This type of extension is well documented in the northwestern Pannonian basin. Newly obtained deep reflection seismic and fission-track data integrated with well data from the southeastern part of the basin suggests that it developed in a similar fashion. Shortly after the initial period, the style of syn-rift extension changed to a wide-rift style, covering an area of much larger geographic extent. The associated normal faults revealed by industry reflection seismic data tend to dominate within the upper crust, obscuring pre-existing structures. However, several deep seismic profiles, constrained by gravity and geothermal modeling, image the entire lithosphere beneath the basin. It is the Mid-Miocene synrift extension which is still reflected in the structure of the Pannonian lithosphere, on the scale of the whole basin system. The gradually diminishing extension during the Late Miocene/Pliocene could not advance to the localization of extension into narrow rift zones in the Pannonian region except some deep subbasins such as the Mako/Bekes and Danube basins. These basins are underlain coincidently by anomalously thin crust (22-25 km) and lithosphere (45-60 km). Significant departures (up to 130 mW m-2) from the average present-day surface heat flow for the initiation of two newly defined narrow rift zones (Tisza and Duna) in the Pannonian basin system. However, both of these narrow rifts failed since the final docking of the Eastern Carpathians onto the European foreland excluded any further extension of the back-arc region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-250
Number of pages36
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
Volume156
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Geology

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