Afterword: A General Approach to Basin Analysis
Published:January 01, 1988
The aim of this volume has been to present a study of basin evolution within the Pannonian basin, which is more accurately called the Pannonian basin system because it consists of several individual basins. The papers contained in this volume were designed to present basic data from a wide variety of geological disciplines, and to integrate these different data sets into acomprehensive study of the evolution ofthe Pannonian basin. These papers have focused not only on evolution of the basins themselves, but also on attendant processes within the crust and upper mantle that controlled the development of the basin in some fundamental ways.
The Pannonian basin system is a particularly good candidate for basin analysis, partly because the evolution of this young basin system is relatively simple. In addition, the basin system had one brief period of extension, a simple sedimentary history and a clearly defined regional tectonic setting. The active processes that formed the basin system were short-lived and recent, are essentially finished, and have not been overprinted by subsequent tectonic events. Events within the basin system itself can be spatially and temporally related to regional tectonic events outside of the basin area. The young age of the basin system ensures that many geological and geophysical data such as heat flow, seismic velocities, earthquakes, and so on, provide useful constraints on the processes of basin formation. Because dating is more accurate in young rocks than in older ones, events that are diachronous by as little as one or two million years can be documented in this young basin system, whereas in older basins these events would appear to be contemporaneous everywhere.
Figures & Tables
The Pannonian Basin: A Study in Basin Evolution
The Pannonian basin system is an integrap part of the Alpine mountain belts of east-central Europe. It is completely encircled by the Carpathian Mountains to the north and east, the Dinaric Alps to the south, and the Southern and Eastern Alps to the west. In 1912, Kober defined the Pannonian basin as one of the type “Zwischengebirge,” a relatively un-deformed region characterized by block faulting and situated between externally vergent thrust belts. More recent studies using subsurface data have shown that the Pannonian area was extensively deformed by Mesozoic thrusting and subsequently disrupted by a complex system of Cenozoic normal and wrench faults. Thus, the Pannonian “massif” has undergone several types of deformation, which are partly hidden by a thick sequence of sedimentary rocks of Neogene-Quaternary age. The Pannonian basin is actually a system of small, deep basins separated by relatively shallow basement blocks. The Neogene-Quaternary sedimentary rocks exceed 7 km in thickness in some areas, and the basin system (including the Transylvanian basin) is about 400 km from north to south and 800 km from east to west. It is currently interpreted by most workers as a Mediterranean back arc extensional basin of the middle Miocene age. The Carpathians, Eastern Alps, and Dinarides, which surround the Pannonian basin, are the result of Mesozoic and Cenozoic continental collision between Europe and several continental fragments to the south, including Africa. Thrusting was direted outward from the present Pannonian basin toward the European platform and the Adriatic region. In all the orogenic belts, the interior parts of the thrust belts were deformed in Mesozoic time, while the outer parts were deformed in Tertiary time. The volume presents 26 papers and eight regional maps resulting from a joint five-day symposium held in Veszprem, Hungary, in 1982 entitled “Evolution of Extensional Basins within Regions of Compression with Emphasis on the Intra-Carpathian Region.” The symposium was sponsored jointly by the Hungarian Oil and Gas Trust, the Hungarian Geological Survey, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.