Abstract

This paper presents the different analogue scenarios of the tectonic evolution of the northern Outer Carpathians (i.e. the Western and northern Eastern Outer Carpathians) which formed as an accretionary wedge in front of the East Alpine–Carpathian–Pannonian (ALCAPA) block during Oligocene–Miocene times. Currently, this fold-and-thrust belt forms an arc which is asymmetrically convex to the north and wider in its eastern part. Palaeomagnetic investigations have suggested that the rocks of the arc underwent counter-clockwise rotation along almost the whole arc, which is difficult to explain as an effect of simple indentation of the triangular indenter. In this case two branches of the arc should be rotated in the opposite directions. The structural evolution of the Western Outer Carpathians is characterized by superposition of two successive tectonic shortening events directed N–S and NE–SW. The results of the presented analogue modelling suggest that two scenarios of the geodynamic evolution of the studied belt could explain the occurrence of such differently oriented shortening events: (1) two phases of differently directed indentation (first to the N, then to the NE) and (2) indenter movement to the NE with simultaneous counter-clockwise rotation. However, the experiment in which the moving indenter is simultaneously rotated produces the most suitable model. The counter-clockwise rotation of the material is only possible in front of both sides of the convex indenter in this model. The results of the analogue modelling also prove that rotation of the ALCAPA block started after formation of the Magura nappe (the innermost nappe of the Western Outer Carpathians).

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