Abstract

We present the Euler rotations of the plates involved in the Alpine–West Carpathian orogen. The rotations are defined to a large extent by the magnetic anomalies of the Atlantic Ocean. A few extra rotations occurred during two collisions and a Mid-Cretaceous event. At variance with earlier reconstructions, we additionally control the rotations by the orientation of palaeomagnetic declinations. The plate rotations are integrated into a model illustrated by palaeogeographical maps. Special features of the model are: (1) subdivision of the northern margin of Adria into the two plates, Pelso and Austroalpine–West Carpathia, on the basis of palaeomagnetic data; (2) Eohellenic obduction of Meliata units onto the eastern margins of Pelso and Austroalpine–West Carpathia from the Tethys side; (3) first (Eoalpine) collision of the marginal plates of Adria with Tisza far off the West European plate margin; (4) a 80–90° rotation of Austroalpine–West Carpathia during the Eoalpine collision; (5) subdivision of the Neoalpine collision into a Palaeogene stage of predominantly strong SE–NW shortening and a Neogene stage of predominantly lateral extrusion westward and eastward. In principle, the maps show quantitative ocean spreading, subduction, and plate rotations. However, possible modifications of the model discussed in this paper limit the quantitative evaluation.

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