Deep palaeovalley in the floor of Polish Carpathian Foredeep basin near Pilzno and its control on facies of Badenian (Middle Miocene) evaporites

Andrzej Głuszyński, Paweł Aleksandrowski


The Pogórska Wola palaeovalley of combined tectonic and erosional origin dissects the Mesozoic floor of the Carpathian Foredeep Basin to a depth exceeding 1200 m. It formed during Paleogene times presumably due to fluvial and submarine erosion, concentrated along a local pre-Late Badenian graben system. All members of the foredeep’s Badenian-Sarmatian sedimentary fill attain distinctly greater values inside the palaeovalley than on top of elevated plateaux on palaeovalley shoulders. The fill comprises the Early to Late Badenian sub-evaporite Skawina Formation, the laterally equivalent Late Badenian evaporite Krzyżanowice and Wieliczka formations and the supra-evaporite Late Badenian to Early Sarmatian Machów Formation. Over the plateaux and in the highest palaeovalley segment, the evaporites are developed in the sulphate facies Krzyżanowice Formation, whereas in the lower palaeovalley segments chloride-sulphate facies evaporites of the Wieliczka Formation occur. The rock salt-bearing rocks are involved in thrusting and folding at the Carpathian orogenic front, which helps to assess the lateral extent of the Wieliczka Formation in seismic records. The deep palaeotopographic position of the evaporites inside the palaeovalley, combined with their lithological and sedimentary features, point to their formation via subaqueous gravity flow-driven redeposition of originally shallow-water evaporites, preferentially halite-bearing, presumably combined with precipitation from sulphate and chloride brines at the palaeovalley floor. Both the redeposited sediments and the brines must have come from the adjacent plateaux and from a thrust-sheet top basin, approaching from the south on top of the Cretaceous-Paleogene Carpathian flysch thrust wedge



Carpathian foredeep, reflection seismics, deep-water evaporites, Badenian salinity crisis, Paratethys, Cenozoic

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