G. Kittler, R. Neumayer, 1983. "Austrian Molasse Basin", Seismic Expression of Structural Styles: A Picture and Work Atlas. Volume 1–The Layered Earth, Volume 2–Tectonics Of Extensional Provinces, & Volume 3–Tectonics Of Compressional Provinces, A. W. Bally
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The Austrian Molasse basin forms part of the northern Alpine foredeep. Sediments contained in the Austrian Molasse basin range from Eocene to Miocene. These are underlain by Jurassic and Cretaceous clastics and shelf carbonates which transgressed over the Hercynian basement complex. These shelf series were dissected by faults during the Paleocene phase of Alpine foreland deformation.
Late Eocene clastics and shelf carbonates trangressed over the truncated Mesozoic series. Rupelian and Lattorfian shale, were deposited under deepening water conditions. Oligocene strata consist of deepwater shales and turbiditic conglomerates and sandstones that were derived from the advancing Alpine Nappes. The base of the Miocene is marked by a submarine unconformity. The Miocene strata consist of the essentially deeper water shales of the Mall formation and the shallow water, deltaic clastics of the Innviertel Formation.
At the time the Mesozoic strata were deposited on the distal parts of the northern Tethys shelf the Cenozoic strata accumulated during the main phases of the Alpine orogeny in the northward migrating foredeep basin. The upper Eocene shallow water clastics and carbonates were deposited under slowly rising water conditions along the northern margin of the incipient Molasse foredeep. During the latest Eocene and the early Oligocene, end-loading of the European foreland plate by the advancing Alpine nappes induced the flexual downbending of the crust and the northward migration of the axis of the Molasse foredeep. This was accompanied by tensional faulting of the upper parts of the crust. These faults were active predominantly during the Lattorfian and Rupelian deepening phase of the basin. Displacements along these faults generally die-out upward in the Oligoene Puchkirchen formation.
The emplacement of the Helvetic and Austro-Alpine nappes at their present location is dated as latest Oligocene pre-Burdigalian by the transgression of the Hall Formation. Intra- and post-Miocene reactivations of the Upper-Austrian part of the Alpine front were of relative minor importance.
The Miocene basin axis is located somewhat to the north of the late Oligocene basin axis. The Miocene strata were deposited under upward shallowing water conditions and reflect the basin filling stage. At present the Molasse basin is being isostatically uplifted in conjunction with the erosion of the Alpine fold belt.