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Abstract

The Rumanian salt domes are confined to the axial portions of sharp anticlinal folds and fracture zones which affect the sedimentary rocks of the region. The anticlines are aligned with the Carpathian axes. Intrusion of the salt has been accompanied by intrusion of thick masses of breccia composed of sedimentary and some igneous rocks of all ages, including types of rock unknown beneath these portions of the mountains. Both salt and breccia have been thrust upward in diaper manner and even overthrust with sharp, recumbent crests.

The author believes that the salt in the Rumanian domes cannot be of Miocene age, as has been previously contended, and he argues that the original salt beds from which salt domes have formed, not only in Rumania but universally, are products of the evaporation of the earliest lakes and shallow seas to form on the surface of the primitive earth. These waters were rich in chlorides and other salts taken into solution from the heated rocks of the earth's crust and condensed from the heavy blanket of the earth's atmosphere. Part of the immense quantity of salt deposited in this manner was re-dissolved in the permanent oceans, but after these had become saturated, the main part of the salt deposit remained, to be covered by the first muds laid down on primitive sea floors. They were thus protected until movement and pressure squeezed the salt upward as salt plugs. The intrusion of the Rumanian salt plugs is late Pliocene or early Pleistocene.

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