Provenance of Albian to Cenomanian exotics-bearing turbidites in the Western Carpathians: a heavy mineral analysis

Roman Aubrecht, Simona Bellova, Tomáš Mikuš


Throughout the Cretaceous, Tethyan oceanic branches gradually closed, and various ophiolites became obducted and eroded. Their remnants, however, provide an abundance of exotic clasts of unknown origin. Sandstone samples from the oldest, Albian exotics-bearing strata of the Pieniny Klippen Belt and Central Western Carpathians were analysed for heavy minerals. These samples were dominated by a high content of chrome-spinels, zircon, tourmaline, apatite and rutile. Titanite, kyanite, monazite, epidote, sillimanite and staurolite were much less abundant. Garnet was generally also rare; however, it was locally common, as were blue amphiboles, pyroxenes and kyanite. The spinels found in the samples were predominantly derived from harzburgites (supra-subduction peridotites and volcanic rocks). The blue amphiboles represented glaucophanes to ferroglaucophanes, and were derived from HP/LT metabasites. Pyroxenes (enstatite, less commonly augite and diopside) most likely came from coeval volcanics. Most of the tourmalines were derived from metasedimentary rocks and locally from granitoids. Furthermore, some have a complex zonation with two phases of tourmaline, or tourmaline intergrown with quartz. These were likely derived from ophiolitic sources. The results from our analysis indicate a dominance of ophiolites and older sediments with local input of continental crust metamorphic rocks. A resulting palaeogeographic reconstruction involves secondary doubling of the Neotethys suture zone and its lateral shift north of the Central Western Carpathians, which formed a common source for exotics in the Pieniny Klippen Belt and the Central Western Carpathians.


ophiolites; Cr-spinel; blue amphibole; tourmaline; pyroxenes; Cretaceous paleogeography

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