Structure and development of the Valmiera–Lokno Uplift – a highly elevated basement block with a strongly deformed and eroded platform cover in the East European Craton interior around the Estonian–Latvian–Russian borderland

Igor Tuuling, Rein Vaher

Abstract


Based on drillings, a number of geological cross-sections, and structure contour and isopach maps were composed to describe/analyse the structure and development of the Valmiera–Lokno Uplift (VLU), a basement block elevated up to 700 m with a heavily deformed and eroded platform cover in the East European Craton interior, along the regional Liepaja–Riga–Pskov Fault Zone (LRPFZ). Five isolated basement-cored anticlines (BCA), the Lokno, Haanja, Mõniste, Valmiera and Smiltene uplifts, arise in the platform cover on the VLU, whereas the downthrown LRPFZ side defines a complex monoclinal fold. The anticlines, straddling or occurring near the monocline, merge with it and thus have highly asymmetrical shapes. Thickness changes of stratigraphic units across the VLU reveal its complex history, reflecting regional tectonic activation pulses that varied noticeably even between neighbouring BCAs. In all, the latest Precambrian–earliest Ordovician initiation epoch of the VLU was followed by modest tectonic activity or a standstill period in the Middle Ordovician–Early Silurian. Intensifying tectonic movements culminated again in the prime of the Caledonian Orogeny in latest Silurian–earliest Devonian time, and faded thereafter towards the end of Early Devonian. The VLU has been reactivated occasionally since the latest Devonian and emerges as a crustal weakness in the recent movement and seismicity patterns. To decipher the origin of the VLU, hitherto factually undiscussed topics, a more detailed study of the LRPFZ, analysis of its fault pattern and kinematics alongside the regional tectonic setting/history is needed. A cursory look hints to a substantial Early Paleozoic sinistral strike-slip along the LRPFZ, allowing interpreting the VLU as a possible restraining bend structure.


Keywords


East European Craton interior; Baltic Homocline–Baltic Syneclise junction; Liepaja–Riga–Pskov Fault Zone; Valmiera–Lokno Uplift; platform cover basement-cored anticlines; strike-slip movements

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