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Castelluccio A.,University of Padua | Andreucci B.,University of Padua | Zattin M.,University of Padua | Ketcham R.A.,University of Texas at Austin | And 3 more authors.
Lithosphere | Year: 2015

In this paper, a new approach is applied to test a proposed scenario for the tectonic evolution of the Western Carpathian fold-and-thrust belt- foreland system. A N-S balanced section was constructed across the fold-and-thrust belt, from the Polish foreland to the Slovakia hinterland domain. Its sequential restoration allows us to delineate the tectonic evolution and to predict the cooling history along the section. In addition, the response of low-temperature thermochronometers (apatite fission-track and apatite [U-Th]/He) to the changes in the fold-and-thrust belt geometry produced by fault activity and topography evolution are tested. The effective integration of structural and thermochronometric methods provides, for the first time, a high-resolution thermo-kinematic model of the Western Carpathians from the Early Cretaceous onset of shortening to the present day. The interplay between thick- and thin-skinned thrusting exerts a discernible effect on the distribution of cooling ages along the profile. Our analysis unravels cooling of the Outer Carpathians since ca. 22 Ma. The combination of thrust-related hanging-wall uplift and erosion is interpreted as the dominant exhumation mechanism for the outer portion of the orogen. Younger cooling ages (13-4 Ma) obtained for the Inner Carpathian domain are mainly associated with a later, localized uplift, partly controlled by extensional faulting. These results, which help unravel the response of low-temperature thermochronometers to the sequence of tectonic events and topographic changes, allow us to constrain the tectonic scenario that best honors all available data. © Geological Society of America.

Zattin M.,University of Padua | Andreucci B.,University of Padua | Jankowski L.,Polish Geological Institute Carpathian Branch | Mazzoli S.,University of Naples Federico II | Szaniawski R.,Polish Academy of Sciences
Terra Nova | Year: 2011

Apatite fission-track analysis was used to investigate the Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Polish sector of the Outer Western Carpathians, where thrusting was overlapped by extension in the last 10Ma. The results show a general decrease of burial degree towards the European foreland and a range of cooling ages between 26 and 7Ma. Younger ages (10-7Ma) are confined to the eastern region, whereas exhumation in the central-western region is about 10Ma older and is characterized by no major age differences among structural units. Therefore, exhumation of the chain is inferred to have occurred since the Early Miocene, when it appears to have been essentially coeval with thrusting, whereas extensional tectonics is likely to have played an important role during Late Miocene exhumation. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Andreucci B.,University of Padua | Castelluccio A.,University of Padua | Corrado S.,Third University of Rome | Jankowski L.,Polish Geological Institute Carpathian Branch | And 3 more authors.
Bulletin of the Geological Society of America | Year: 2015

The Carpathian-Pannonian region is made up of the wide extensional Pannonian Basin surrounded by the Carpathian mountain belt. The Pannonian Basin formed in the Miocene by extension in a retro-wedge position while thrusting was still active at the Carpathian front. The Ukrainian region is an ideal area to reconstruct the relationship between the Pannonian Basin and the Carpathians, due to the relatively simple structural setting and to the progressive but neat transition between the two domains. This study uses low-temperature thermochronometry and vitrinite reflectance analysis to investigate the effect of the opening of the Pannonian Basin on the thermal and burialexhumation histories of the Ukrainian Carpathians. The results show heating and burial maxima in the central units of the wedge (up to ~170 °C and 6 km, respectively), tapering out toward both the innermost and the outermost thrust sheets. Cooling and exhumation occurred by means of a first rapid stage between ca. 12 and 5 Ma (exhumation rates of up to ~1 mm/yr), followed by a slower stage from ca. 5 Ma to the present (exhumation rates within 0.5 mm/yr). Timing and spatial pattern of exhumation are compatible with post-thrusting erosion enhanced by isostatic uplift. The extent of exhumation progressively decreases toward the Pannonian Basin, characterized by a thinned crust. No further significant influence of the Pannonian Basin opening on the thermal and burial history of the Ukrainian Carpathians may be inferred based on our results, whereas the comparison of the tectonothermal evolution of the two domains suggests that they are both controlled by the same lithospheric processes. © 2014 Geological Society of America.

Szaniawski R.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Mazzoli S.,University of Naples Federico II | Jankowski L.,Polish Geological Institute Carpathian Branch | Zattin M.,University of Padua
Journal of Geodynamics | Year: 2013

In the Outer Western Carpathians, previous paleomagnetic studies reported minor and differentiated tectonic rotations of particular thrust-belt segments. Alternatively, large magnitude vertical axis rotations of entire nappes and thrust sheets of regional extent were inferred from the study of Upper Eocene - Oligocene rocks. Paleomagnetic data obtained from the red Weglówka Marls (Senonian to Eocene) indicate that the NE segment of the Outer Western Carpathians was not significantly rotated with respect to the stable European Platform. The Weglówka Marls record a primary magnetization carried by hematite, with intervals affected by secondary reduction processes, associated with reduction to magnetite and pyrhottite. The characteristic remanent magnetization displays dual polarity, passes the fold-test and shows paleomagnetic declinations similar to those expected for stable parts of the European Platform. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) data show that the analyzed rocks were affected by significant compaction; however they record only a minor tectonic overprint, implying weak internal strain associated with folding and thrusting. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Mazzoli S.,University of Naples Federico II | Jankowski L.,Polish Geological Institute Carpathian Branch | Szaniawski R.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Zattin M.,University of Padua
Comptes Rendus - Geoscience | Year: 2010

Thermal indicators record exhumation of sedimentary units from depths in excess of 6 km over most of the Outer Carpathian fold and thrust belt in Poland. Apatite fission track data, showing cooling ages ranging between 32.1 ± 4.8 and 7.0 ± 0.8 Ma, indicate that exhumation was partially coeval with shortening. However, new thermochronometric information obtained as part of this study allowed us to unravel a previously undetected, post-thrusting exhumation stage. The integration of new field data and structural analysis with low-T thermochronometry suggests that termination of thrusting - at ca. 11 Ma in the area of the present study - was followed by gravity disequilibria within the orogenic wedge. The related extension and denudation phenomena appear to have played a primary role in the recent (< 10 Ma) tectonic evolution of the Western Outer Carpathians, exerting a major control on exhumation processes in this key area of the Alpine-Carpathian mountain system. © 2009 Académie des sciences.

Andreucci B.,University of Padua | Castelluccio A.,University of Padua | Jankowski L.,Polish Geological Institute Carpathian Branch | Mazzoli S.,University of Naples Federico II | And 2 more authors.
Tectonophysics | Year: 2013

Several tectonic processes have been proposed to be important in the Alpine to the recent evolution of the Polish Outer Carpathians, i.e., Paleogene-Neogene thrusting, post-thrusting extension, Quaternary reactivation of compression. This work tests the effect of these processes on exhumation of the wedge, in order to verify their timing and relative role in shaping the Polish Outer Carpathians. AFT, AHe and ZHe analyses were performed on samples collected along the study region. This allowed the reconstruction of their post-depositional minimum heating, depth of burial and timing of cooling and exhumation. After deposition samples from the innermost units were heated up to temperatures of ca. 60-120. °C (ca. 4-9. km), whereas samples from the outer units were heated to temperatures lower than 60. °C (ca. 4. km). Cooling and exhumation occurred progressively later from west to east (between ca. 25 and 10. Ma in the western sector, between ca. 15 and 5. Ma in the eastern sector). These results have been put in relationship with single structural features to understand the relative role of thrusts and normal faults. In the eastern sector of the study region samples at the footwall of significant normal faults show a higher degree of reset and younger ages than samples located at the hangingwall. This implies that, in this sector, extensional tectonics played an important role in exhumation. However, proper tectonic exhumation only had a minor role, the major exhumation mechanism being erosion, which is enhanced in the footwalls and reduced in the hangingwalls. In the western sector of the Polish Outer Carpathians only in few cases evidence of enhanced erosion to the footwall of major normal faults could be observed based on the present data. In this region the wedge exhumed mainly as a response to thrusting and normal faulting only played a minor role, locally modifying the pattern of erosion.Finally no major exhumation events occurred after Miocene, pointing to a minor relevance of recent compression.Unreset ZHe dates were used to estimate exhumation of source rocks through the ZHe PRZ and to outline the provenance of sediments forming the Polish Outer Carpathians. Exhumation occurred both in response to the Variscan (Late Devonian to Triassic) and Alpine (Late Jurassic to Early Paleocene) orogeneses, suggesting sedimentary provenance both from the southern margin and from the basement heights within the Outer Carpathian basin. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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