Slump folds within mid-Miocene crevasse-splay deposits: a unique example from the Tomisławice lignite opencast mine in central Poland

Marek Widera


Non-tectonic, soft-sediment deformation structures occur in mid-Miocene crevasse-splay deposits exposed in the Tomisławice lignite opencast mine in central Poland. The crevasse-splay cross-stratified siliciclastic deposits are underlain by continuously folded and relatively thick lignite beds, and overlain by a thin undisturbed layer of lignite. Only the middle part of the crevasse-splay succession is deformed plastically in the form of folds, while the lower and uppermost beds are undeformed. Most of the intraformational deformation structures are recumbent folds, while only a few can be classified as upright folds in the initial stage of their evolution. The origin of these folds is associated here with a penecontemporaneous slumping process caused by liquefaction of sandy-muddy sediments. The slumping was triggered by an increase in the inclination of heterolithic layers caused by the compactional subsidence of an organic-rich substrate – peat. This type of subsidence occurred following a sudden siliciclastic load on top of the underlying and poorly-compacted peat/lignite seam. The initiation and development of the slump folds can be explained by differentiated loading, compaction and liquefaction processes, and the introduction of a tectonic agent is unnecessary.


crevasse-splay facies; lignite lithotypes; slump folds; soft-sediment deformation; Konin Basin; Neogene

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