Mirdita Zone ophiolites and associated sediments in Albania reveal Neotethys Ocean origin

  • Hans-Jürgen Gawlick
  • Wolfgang Frisch
  • Lirim Hoxha
  • Paulian Dumitrica
  • Leopold Krystyn
  • Richard Lein
  • Sigrid Missoni
  • Felix Schlagintweit
Short note

DOI: 10.1007/s00531-007-0193-z

Cite this article as:
Gawlick, HJ., Frisch, W., Hoxha, L. et al. Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) (2008) 97: 865. doi:10.1007/s00531-007-0193-z

Abstract

The Mirdita Ophiolite Zone in Albania is associated with widespread mélanges containing components of up to nappe-size. We dated matrix and components of the mélange by radiolarians, conodonts, and other taxa. The components consist of radiolarites, pelagic limestones and shallow-water limestones, all of Triassic age, as well as ophiolites. Triassic radiolarite as a primary cover of ophiolite material proves Middle Triassic onset of Mirdita ocean-floor formation. The mélange contains a turbiditic radiolarite-rich matrix (“radiolaritic flysch”), dated as Late Bajocian to Early Oxfordian. It formed as a synorogenic sediment during west-directed thrusting of ophiolite and sediment-cover nappes representing ocean floor and underplated fragments of the western continental margin. The tectonic structures formed during these orogenic events (“Younger Kimmeridian or Eohellenic Orogeny”) are sealed by Late Jurassic platform carbonates. The geological history conforms with that of the Inner Dinarides and adjoining areas; we therefore correlate the Mirdita-Pindos Ophiolite Zone with the Vardar Zone and explain its present position by far-distance west-directed thrusting.

Keywords

Albania Mirdita ophiolites Neotethys Ocean Ophiolitic mélange Vardar Zone 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Jürgen Gawlick
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Frisch
    • 2
  • Lirim Hoxha
    • 3
  • Paulian Dumitrica
    • 4
  • Leopold Krystyn
    • 5
  • Richard Lein
    • 6
  • Sigrid Missoni
    • 1
  • Felix Schlagintweit
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for Applied Geosciences and Geophysics: Prospection and Applied SedimentologyUniversity of LeobenLeobenAustria
  2. 2.Institute of GeosciencesUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Geological Survey of AlbaniaTiranaAlbania
  4. 4.GuemligenSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of PalaeontologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  6. 6.Center for Earth SciencesUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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