Abstract

The Brunovistulian was one of the first tectonic units of Central Europe to be defined as a ‘terrane’. In spite of extensive studies, the Early Palaeozoic palaeogeographical position and provenance of this unit remains unclear. A palaeomagnetic study of the Lower Cambrian red beds and a study of the trilobite fauna were performed to provide constraints on the palaeogeographical position of the terrane in Early Cambrian time. Good quality palaeomagnetic data obtained from the Lower Cambrian red beds suggest the mixed nature of the Early Cambrian geomagnetic field and a nearly equatorial position (a palaeolatitude of c. 7°) of the Brunovistulian terrane in the Early Cambrian. Comparison of this palaeolatitude with existing palaeogeographical models leads to the conclusion that at this time the Brunovistulian terrane was separated by a great distance from the Avalonian margin of Gondwana. The terrane was located within the Cadomian belt, occupying a position north of the present-day northern margin of Africa. It was coupled to the present-day southern margin of Baltica during the Cambrian, when Baltica moved along the Cadomian margin of Gondwana. Another possibility is that the Brunovistulian terrane could have remained near this margin of Baltica since Grenvillian time and was incorporated into the Cadomian orogen.

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