The Variscan Orogen in Poland

Stanisław Mazur, Paweł Aleksandrowski, Ryszard Kryza, Teresa Oberc-Dziedzic


The structure and evolution of the Polish part of the Variscan Orogenic Belt is reviewed, based on published data and interpretations. The Sudetic segment of the Variscides, together with adjacent areas, experienced multi-stage accretion during successive collisional events that followed the closure of different segments of the Rheic Ocean. In SW Poland, Variscan tectono-stratigraphic units are tectonically juxtaposed and often bear record of contrasting exhumation/cooling paths, constrained by palaeontological and geochronological data. This points to the collage-type tectonics of this area. A three-partite subdivision of the Sudetes is proposed that reflects timing differences in deformation and exhumation of the respective segments. The Central, West and East Sudetes were deformed and amalgamated during the Middle/Late Devonian, at the turn from the Devonian to Carboniferous and during Early Carboniferous times, respectively. Problems in extending the classical tectono-stratigraphic zonation of the Variscides into the Sudetes are discussed and attributed to activity along Late Palaeozoic strike-slip faults and shear zones, disrupting and dispersing the initially more simply distributed tectono-stratigraphic units into the present-day structural mosaic. Relationships between the Variscan Externides and the foreland basin are explored. Sediments of the foreland basin locally onlap the external fold-and-thrust belt that had undergone an earliest Carboniferous partial tectono-thermal overprint. During the Late Carboniferous, the SW part of the foreland basin was heavily affected by thrusting and folding and incorporated into the Externides. During Westphalian C to Early Permian times, localized folding and thrusting affected the distal parts of the foreland basin, probably in response to dextral transpressional movements along NW-SE trending basement faults.


Bohemian Massif; Sudetes; Palaeozoic; terranes; metamorphism; magmatism

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