Influence of oblique basement strike-slip faults on the Mesozoic evolution of the south-eastern segment of the Mid-Polish Through

Jacek Gutowski, Hemin A. Koyi

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Abstract

A series of analogue models are used to demonstrate how the multistage development of the Mid-Polish Trough (MPT) could have been influenced by oblique basement strike-slip faults. Based on reinterpretation of palaeothickness, facies maps and published syntheses of the basin development, the following successive stages in the Mesozoic history of the south eastern part of the MPT were simulated in the models: (1) Oblique extension of the NW segment of the MPT connected with sinistral movement along the Holy Cross Fault (HCF, Early Triassic-latest Early Jurassic). (2) Oblique extension of both NW and SE segment of the MPT, parallel to the HCF (latest Early and Middle Jurassic). (3) Oblique extension of the SE segment of the MPT and much lesser extension of its NW segment connected with dextral movement along the HCF (Early Oxfordian-latest Early Kimmeridgian). (4) Oblique extension of the SE segment of the MPT and much lesser extension of its NW segment connected with dextral movement along the Zawiercie Fault (ZF, latest Early Kimmeridgian-Early Albian). (5) Oblique inversion of the NW segment of the MPT connected with dextral movement along the HCF (Early Albian-latest Cretaceous). (6) Oblique inversion of the SE segment of the MPT along the W-E direction (latest Cretaceous-Palaeogene). The different sense of movements of these two basement strike-slip faults (HCF and ZF) resulted in distinct segmentation of the basin and its SW margin by successive systems of extensional en-echelon faults. The overall structure of this margin is controlled by the interference of the border normal faults with the en-echelon fault systems related to successive stages of movement along the oblique strike-slip faults. This type of en-echelon fault system is absent in the opposite NE-margin of the basin, which was not affected by oblique strike-slip faults. The NE-margin of the basin is outlined by a typical, steep and distinctly marked rift margin fault zone, dominated by normal and dip-slip/ strike-slip faults parallel to its axis. Within the more extended segment of the basin, extensive intra-rift faults and relay ramps develop, which produce topographic highs running across the basin. The change in the extension direction to less oblique relative to the basin axis resulted in restructuring of the fault systems. This change caused shifting of the basin depocentre to this margin. Diachronous inversion of the different segments of the basin in connection with movement along one of the oblique basement strike-slip faults resulted in formation of a pull-apart sub-basin in the uninverted SE-segment of the basin. The results of the analogue models presented here inspire an overall kinematic model for the southeastern segment of the MPT as they provide a good explanation of the observed structures and the changes in the facies and palaeothickness patterns.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)67-86
Number of pages20
JournalBasin Research
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2007

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