Dawn and dusk of Late Cretaceous basin inversion in central Europe

Voigt, Thomas; Kley, Jonas; Voigt, Silke

Central and western Europe were affected by a compressional tectonic event in the Late Cretaceous, caused by the convergence of Iberia and Europe. Basement uplifts, inverted graben structures, and newly formed marginal troughs are the main expressions of crustal shortening. Although the maximum activity occurred during a short period of time between 90 and 75 Ma, the exact timing of this event is still unclear. Dating of the start and end of Late Cretaceous basin inversion gives very different results depending on the method applied. On the basis of borehole data, facies, and thickness maps, the timing of basin reorganization was reconstructed for several basins in central Europe. The obtained data point to a synchronous start of basin inversion at 95 Ma (Cenomanian), 5 Myr earlier than commonly assumed. The end of the Late Cretaceous compressional event is difficult to pinpoint in central Europe, because regional uplift and salt migration disturb the signal of shifting marginal troughs. Late Campanian to Paleogene strata deposited unconformably on inverted structures indicate slowly declining uplift rates during the latest Cretaceous. The differentiation of separate Paleogene inversion phases in central Europe does not appear possible at present.



Voigt, Thomas / Kley, Jonas / Voigt, Silke: Dawn and dusk of Late Cretaceous basin inversion in central Europe. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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