International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 93, Issue 6, pp 1008–1024 | Cite as

Thermotectonic evolution of an extensional dome: the Cenozoic Osogovo–Lisets core complex (Kraishte zone, western Bulgaria)

  • A. Kounov
  • D. Seward
  • D. Bernoulli
  • J.-P. BurgEmail author
  • Z. Ivanov
Original paper


The Kraishte region of Bulgaria is located at the junction of the Balkanides and Hellenides-Dinarides tectonic belts. Fission-track analysis on both apatites and zircons documents the Cenozoic exhumation of a Precambrian basement bounded by low-angle detachments. Late Eocene–Oligocene extension began prior to 47 Ma and was dominantly in a top-to-the-southwest direction, confirmed by the sense of younging of apatite and zircon ages. This crustal extension controlled the formation of half-graben sedimentary basins on the hanging walls of the detachments. Thermal modelling of these hanging wall units provides evidence for heat transfer across the detachments from a relatively warm rising footwall. From 32 to 29 Ma, pervasive magmatic activity resulted in the emplacement of rhyolitic to dacitic subvolcanic bodies and dykes, along with intrusion of the Osogovo granite. The results give evidence for extension in the southern Balkan older than, and separated from, the Miocene to Quaternary Aegean extension. This might reflect transtension during northeastward extrusion and rotation of continental fragments around the western boundary of Moesia. Eocene–Oligocene extension seems to have been controlled by the distribution of earlier thickening all around the Carpatho-Balkanic orocline, which is reflected by the Cretaceous emplacement of the Morava Nappe in the Kraishte.


Fission track Core complex Heat transfer Extension Bulgaria 



This study was supported by the ETH Zurich, project No. 0-20657-99. U-Pb SHRIMP ages were carried out by M. Fanning, ANU, Australia. The University of Sofia supported Z. Ivanov. We thank the entire Structural Geology and Tectonic research group from Sofia University, Bulgaria, for their advice and particularly their support in the field. The authors also thank L.-E. Ricou for enlightening discussions and E. Sobel for detailed attention to the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Kounov
    • 1
    • 3
  • D. Seward
    • 1
  • D. Bernoulli
    • 1
  • J.-P. Burg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Z. Ivanov
    • 2
  1. 1.Geologisches InstitutETH and Universität ZürichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Faculty of Geology and GeographyUniversity Kliment OchridskiSofiaBulgaria
  3. 3.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of Cape TownRondebosch, Cape TownSouth Africa

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