The basement of the Little Plain (Kisalföld) basin is composed of two parts: an eastern part comprised of folded and overthrusted Triassic and Paleozoic rocks of the Pelso block (Transdanubian Central Range) compressed in the Early Cretaceous, and a western part consisting of stacked nappes of the Austroalpine zone of Paleozoic rocks, significantly metamorphosed during Cretaceous and later compression, overriding Jurassic oceanic rift-zone rocks of the Penninic zone.
The evolution of the basin began in the late Karpatian-early Badenian (middle Miocene) when the eastern part of the basin began to open along conjugate sets of northeast- and northwest-trending normal faults.
Neogene rocks in the study area, on the average, contain less than 0.5 wt. % total organic carbon (TOC) and, therefore, are not considered effective source rocks. Locally, however, where TOC values are as high as 3 wt. %, significant amounts of gas may have been generated and expelled. Although potential stratigraphic traps are numerous in the Neogene section, these potential traps must be downgraded because of the small amount of hydrocarbons discovered in structural traps to date.
With the exception of the Cretaceous, the Mesozoic section has not been actively explored. Large anticlinal and overthrust structures involving pre-Cretaceous strata remain undrilled.