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Transcurrent nature of the Teisseyre–Tornquist Zone in Central Europe: results of the POLCRUST-01 deep reflection seismic profile


Teisseyre–Tornquist Zone (TTZ) corresponds to a crustal boundary between the Precambrian East European Platform (EEP) and the Palaeozoic West European Platform. Although the zone has been controlling Phanerozoic evolution of large parts of Central Europe, its course, geometry and origin are still poorly constrained. Deep reflection seismic profile POLCRUST-01, recently acquired in SE Poland, for the first time allowed a precise comparison of the Ediacaran and later tectonic patterns to the deep crustal features of the TTZ and adjacent areas. The TTZ corresponds to the subvertical Tomaszów Fault separating the Radom–Kraśnik Elevation, composed of the typical EEP crust, from the Biłgoraj–Narol Block (BNB) in the SW, with a thinned crystalline basement showing affinities to the EEP crust. The BNB is a part of the larger Caledonian Łysogóry Terrane as evidenced by its Lower Palaeozoic stratigraphy and gravity data. Thus, for the first time, the proximal Baltican affinity of this unit has been documented unambiguously. The Łysogóry Terrane is delimited from the SW by the subvertical Cieszanów Fault Zone, corresponding to the Holy Cross Suture. The adjacent Małopolska Terrane is characterized by a distinct Early Palaeozoic stratigraphy, and lower-middle crust exhibiting SW-dipping reflective packages interpreted as NE-verging thrust and shear zones of a Neoproterozoic orogen. The observations from the POLCRUST-01 profile and regional comparisons indicate that the TTZ is a major Caledonian transcurrent zone between Poland and East Romania. In central Poland, the TTZ likely forms a narrow subvertical contact between the EEP and a proximal Kuiavia Terrane, as constrained by the deep refraction seismic data. To the NW, the zone extends towards the Pomeranian part of the Caledonide fold-and-thrust belt related to the Avalonia–Baltica collision zone (Thor Suture). South-east of Poland the TTZ corresponds to the Rava Ruska Fault Zone established as a Caledonian suture separating adjacent terrane, probably of a Baltican affinity. The East Romanian part of the TTZ conforms with the Sfântu Gheorghe Fault separating reworked EEP crust of the Pre-Dobrogean Depression from the North Dobrogea unit bearing a strong Variscan and Cimmerian overprint.

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POLCRUST-01 profile was acquired by the Industry-Academia Consortium led by the Institute of Geophysics PAS (together with “Geofizyka Toruń” Ltd. and PGNiG SA - Polish Oil and Gas Company) and was funded by the Polish Ministry of Environment through the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (Contract no 705/2009/Wn - 07/FG - BP - TX/D) and Polish Oil and Gas Company PGNiG SA. This work was partly supported within statutory activities No 3841/E-41/S/2014 of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland. We wish to thank the journal reviewers, Charlotte M. Krawczyk and Marian Munteanu, for their constructive remarks.

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Narkiewicz, M., Maksym, A., Malinowski, M. et al. Transcurrent nature of the Teisseyre–Tornquist Zone in Central Europe: results of the POLCRUST-01 deep reflection seismic profile. Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) 104, 775–796 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00531-014-1116-4

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  • Deep reflection seismic
  • Cratonic margin
  • Crustal accretion
  • Allochthonous terrane
  • Caledonian tectonics
  • Tectonic inheritance