Controls on basal Zechstein (Wuchiapingian) evaporite deposition in SW Poland

Kazimierz Dyjaczyński, Tadeusz Marek Peryt


The development of basal Zechstein (Wuchiapingian) strata inSW Polandindicates the existence of a diversified relief inherited after the flooding of the pre-existing depression by the transgressing Zechstein sea. The deeper parts of the basin were the place of development of thin basinal Zechstein Limestone showing sedimentary condensation manifested by bored and encrusted grains and thick evaporites (mostly halite), and in shallow parts Zechstein Limestone reefs followed by thinner evaporite sequences (dominated by anhydrite) occur. The analysis of 3D seismic sections showed that instead of three conventionally recognized evaporite units of stratigraphic potential in the PZ1 cycle, five units occur (from the base to the top: Lower Anhydrite, Lower Oldest Halite, Middle Anhydrite, Upper Oldest Halite, Upper Anhydrite). In a particular place their number may vary from two (Lower Anhydrite at the base of the PZ1 cycle and Upper Anhydrite at the top of the PZ1 cycle) to five. There are two complexes of Lower Anhydrite occurring throughout the platform and basinal zones showing deepening-upward (transgressive) trend. The halite sedimentation in the deepest parts of salt basins began shortly after the deposition of the upper Lower Anhydrite complex while in the sulphate platform areas the sulphate deposition lasted still for a long time. The Lower Oldest Halite deposits occur in the depressions. Between the halite basins, anhydrite platforms occur, and the thickness of anhydrite platform deposits is smaller than it is observed in salt basins. The Upper Oldest Halite in turn is recorded above the anhydrite platform. The two halite units represent different phases of development of halite basins. The Lower Oldest Halite basins are related to the pre-Zechstein depressions, although in some cases their syndepositional subsidence was controlled by reactivation, during the deposition of basal Zechstein strata, of former faults. In turn, the Upper Oldest Halite basins used the accommodation space created due to anhydritization of the Lower Anhydrite deposits composed originally of selenitic gypsum. The 3D seismics evidences that the PZ1 evaporites inSW Polandhave been deposited in far more complex and dynamic system than it was assumed before. 


Zechstein Basin, evaporites, 3D seismics, lithofacies, sedimentation, anhydritization, SW Poland

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