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Extensional styles at depth beneath five basins within the Pannonian basin system (Vienna, Danube, Zala, and Transcarpathian basins and Great Hungarian Plain) were evaluated by applying a simple graphical technique to subsidence and heat flow data from wells in each basin. The average rate of thermal subsidence in each basin, excluding the Transcarpathian basin, indicates the same rate of cooling of the lithosphere as does the surface heat flow measured in the same basin. Thermal subsidence rates, heat flow, and effective mantle thinning or (heating) show a systematic increase with increasing distance from the Carpathian thrust front. Initial subsidence and crustal thinning show little to no correlation with distance from the thrust front. These results are consistent with thin-skinned extension (involving only crustal rocks) beneath the Vienna basin, which is located near the thrust front. At greater distances from the thrust front, extension involves both the crust and mantle-lithosphere. Beneath the basins located more than 200 km from the thrust front, the mantle lithosphere appears to be very thin or very hot. A transitional zone exists between the area of thin-skinned extension in the crust and the area of greatly thinned mantle lithosphere, and is roughly coincident with the Miocene calcalkaline volcanic belts.

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