International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 99, Issue 7, pp 1535–1544 | Cite as

Links between the structure of the mantle lithosphere and morphology of the Cheb Basin (Eger Rift, central Europe)

Original Paper


The Cheb Basin (CHB), located in the western part of the Eger Rift (ER) and the western Bohemian Massif, is characterized by earthquake swarms, neotectonic crust movements and emanations of CO2 dominated gases of mantle origin. Deep structure of the region can be characterized as junction of three domains of mantle lithosphere with different olivine fabrics revealed by consistent orientations of seismic anisotropy. The domains represent mantle components of the major tectonic units (micro-plates): Saxothuringian (ST), Teplá-Barrandian (TB) and Moldanubian (MD), which were assembled during the Variscan orogeny. The ST-TB boundary, reactivated during the Cenozoic extension, controlled the position and development of the ER and the CHB. We show that the CHB originated above the rejuvenated mantle suture between the ST and TB. Though the basin is located within the ST crust domain, which is thrust over the mantle junction, it is the mantle suture that controls the CHB shape and its development through the allochthonous ST crust. The seismically active Mariánské Lázně Fault limits the basin against the uplifted block of the Erzgebirge Crystalline Complex. The most subsided parts of the ER and CHB developed above the centre of the mantle transition, whereas a well expressed morphology developed above its flanks. Our study documents a long memory of the mantle lithosphere assembly inherited from the Variscan orogeny. It is possible that other continental regions also contain some of intra-plate basins that originated above healed palaeo-plate mantle boundaries.


Western Bohemian Massif Eger Rift Cheb Basin Surface morphology Mantle lithosphere 



We are grateful to Peter Ziegler and to an anonymous reviewer for thoughtful and constructive comments and suggestions, which substantially improved the original manuscript. Our research was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic under project 205/07/1088 and by grant No. IAA300120709 of the Grant Agency of the Czech Academy of Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of GeophysicsAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPraha 4Czech Republic

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