The Pieniny Klippen Belt (PKB) is a narrow arcuate structure separating the Central and Outer Western Carpathians formed during several Cenozoic deformational stages. The primary aim of this study was to obtain paleomagnetic constraints for the mechanism of formation of the arc. We investigate Albian-Santonian red pelagic marls from 14 localities, distributed along a strike length of ca. 400km. AMS measurements reveal a pattern characteristic of weakly deformed sedimentary rocks and magnetic lineations do not correlate with the general strike of the PKB. Paleomagnetic analysis revealed well defined hematite-based ancient magnetization components at 13 localities, which are dated using fold- and inclination tests. A within-locality fold test is negative for two localities exhibiting large CCW rotations of similar magnitude situated at the two ends of the PKB. Remanences of pre-folding age were documented for 11 localities, with an overall mean paleomagnetic direction of D=311°, I=53°, and α95=11°. The indicated general CCW rotation most probably took place during the Miocene, together with Western Central and Outer Carpathians. Paleolatitudes for the PKB indicate a considerable separation from the southern margin of stable Europe leaving space for coordinated rotation. A paleomagnetic oroclinal test involving all localities with primary magnetizations was negative. When localities with monoclinal steep dips are omitted due to possible declination bias, the overall mean paleomagentic direction does not change significantly, but correlation is observed between the general trend of the PKB and the paleomagnetic declinations. Thus, we conclude that the present shape of the arc can be partly due to oroclinal bending. This must have happened before Oligocene since paleomagnetic declinations for neighboring Paleogene basins in the Central and Outer Western Carpathians reveal a uniform CCW rotation of ca. 50° magnitude, irrespective of the position of the localities in relation to the Carpathian arc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes