Geology and Hydrocarbon Resources of the Inner Western Carpathians, Slovakia, and Poland
J. Janočko, M. Pereszlényi, D. Vass, V. Bezák, M. Kohút, M. Poiák, J. Mello, S. Jacko, Jr., S. Jacko, 2006. "Geology and Hydrocarbon Resources of the Inner Western Carpathians, Slovakia, and Poland", The Carpathians and Their Foreland: Geology and Hydrocarbon Resources, Jan Golonka, Frank J. Picha
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The Western Carpathians are a part of the extensive Alpine-Carpathian mountain system composed of the Western and Eastern Alps passing eastward into the Carpathians and Dina-rides. The Western Carpathians represent the northernmost part of the Alpine orogen adjacent at its foredeep to the North European and Russian platforms. They are divided into two belts: the Outer Western Carpathians, consisting mostly of Neoalpine nappes, and the Inner Western Carpathians, with essentially a Paleoalpine structure overlain by Tertiary postnappe deposits. The Hercynian basement of the Inner Western Carpathians is covered by late Paleozoic and Mesozoic rock sequences that either are autochthonous or form allochthonous nappes. The tectogenesis of the Tertiary postnappe basins is mainly related to the convergence of the Carpathian-Pannonian block and North European lithospheric plate, the tectonic escape of lithosphere fragments from the Alpine realm, as well as the rise of the Pannonian asthenolite.
The Paleozoic units of the Inner Western Carpathians have their hydrocarbon potential practically exhausted. The oldest Paleozoic units of the Tatricum, Veporicum, and Gemericum are altered by different grades of metamorphism. The Mesozoic units are the most prospective in the western part of the region, where total possible resources of natural gas are estimated to be about 50 x 109 m3 (1.76 x 1012 ft3). The highest potential for hydrocarbon exploration has Tertiary basins represented by Inner Carpathian Paleogene basins and Neogene basins, particularly Vienna, Danube, and the East Slovakian basins. Although knowledge on the Neogene basins is relatively good (existence of three-dimensional seismic data and many boreholes), the area of the Inner Paleogene basin is still at the early stage of prospection.