Seismically-induced soft-sediment deformation in crevasse-splay microdelta deposits (Middle Miocene, central Poland)

Lilianna Chomiak, Piotr Maciaszek, Robert Wachocki, Marek Widera, Tomasz Zieliński


Crevasse-splay microdelta deposits and their soft-sediment deformation structures (SSDS) are described from a tectonically active lignite-bearing area. These strongly deformed siliciclastic deposits, situated between two lignite benches, are typical of a crevasse-splay microdelta. They accumulated in the overbank zone of a Middle Miocene river system (backswamp area) where shallow ponds or lakes occasionally existed. The deformation takes the form of deformed lamination and load (load casts and flame structures) structures as well as seismic breccias within the first Mid-Polish lignite seam. Ductile deformation structures were generated first by liquefaction and then the breccia was formed under brittle conditions. The brecciation followed a sudden tectonic collapse resulting in an increase in pore pressure related to upward water movement. The occurrence in a tectonic graben and characteristic morphological features suggest an origin of these deformational structures with seismic shocks; thus, they can be called seismites. Hence, we provide strong evidence for accumulation of crevasse-splay sediments in the standing water of a backswamp area, and for tectonic activity in central Poland as the Middle Miocene lignite accumulated.


backswamp area; SSDS; ductile and brittle deformations; earthquakes; seismites

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