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Constraints on the tectonic evolution of the Central European Basin System revealed by seismic reflection profiles from Northern Germany

  • S. Mazur (a1) and M. Scheck-Wenderoth (a1)
Abstract

A selection of reflection-seismic lines from the southern part of the Central European Basin System and its southern margin were used to establish the spectrum of extensional and compressional deformation structures and to calibrate the timing of these events. The lines are arranged in a N-S and an E-W transect running across the Pompeckj Block and the Lower Saxony Basin in Northern Germany. The structural record provided by the seismic data points to an interplay between far-field horizontal stresses and vertical movements of the basin floor, the latter only weakly correlated with the development of seismic-scale tectonic structures. A detailed seismo-stratigraphic analysis indicates that Late Triassic-Jurassic extension has been the principal control on the structure of the E-W profile, whereas the N-S profile is dominated by compressional structures associated with Late Cretaceous inversion. Overprint effects of extension and inversion tectonics can be classified among a few distinct tectonic events accompanied by movements of the Upper Permian salt: firstly, an episode of subsidence and diapiric rise in the Keuper; secondly, a clear Jurassic-to-Early Cretaceous extension recorded by normal faulting and differential subsidence. The latter was interrupted by a major episode of Late Jurassic uplift. Thirdly, a Late Cretaceous-Early Paleogene basin inversion was associated with approximately N-S compression; and fourthly, recurring extension during the Cenozoic associated with diapiric rise and collapse. The Mesozoic extension is expressed in a number of normal faults that were most active during the Early Cretaceous localised subsidence within the Lower Saxony Basin. The deformation associated with the Late Cretaceous inversion was partly decoupled along the salt. The compressional deformation at the southern margin of the basin was thick-skinned in style, characterized by folding and faulting of the Mesozoic sedimentary fill and pre-Zechstein strata. Further north, towards the centre of the basin, folding and reverse faulting were mostly concentrated above the salt. The tectonic evolution of the investigated area suggests the presence of a zone of crustal weakness along the SW margin of the Central European Basin System which allowed strain localization in response to a favourable oriented stress field.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author. Present address: S. Mazur, Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Wroclaw, Pl. M. Borna 9, 50-204 Wroclaw, Poland. Email: smazur@ing.uni.wroc.pl
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Netherlands Journal of Geosciences
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  • EISSN: 1573-9708
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