Find the EGU on

Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Find us on Google+ Find us on LinkedIn Find us on YouTube

Tag your tweets with #egu2013


The Tethyan Heart and Sole of Pangea
Convener: Daniel Pastor-Galán  | Co-Convener: Stephen Johnston 
 / Fri, 12 Apr, 08:30–12:00  / Room B13
 / Attendance Thu, 11 Apr, 17:30–19:00  / Blue Posters

Amalgamation and dispersal of supercontinents have had a profound effect on the evolution of the Earths crust, atmosphere, climate, and life. Many geoscientists agree that amalgamation of supercontinents occurred in repeated cycles, however the mechanisms responsible for these cycles are controversial.

Approximately between 300 and 200 million years ago, all of the Earth's continental land masses were assembled into the last giant supercontinent: Pangaea, which included a large eastward-opening wedge-shaped ocean called Tethys, surrounded by a superocean, Panthalassa. The formation and break-up of Pangaea gave rise to the creation and destruction of oceanic lithosphere as well as the formation of large orogens, some of which show significant curvatures (Kazakhstan orocline, Calabrian orocline), or even “S” or “Z” shaped curvatures such as the Variscan chain in Iberia or the Carpathians.

There is a strong debate about: (a) the precise timing of assembly of the constituent pieces of Pangaea; (b) how these pieces amalgamated and dispersed including their configuration (Pangaea A vs. Pangaea B); and (c) the mechanisms of Pangaea breakup. The formation and closure of the Tethys Ocean, today represented by the Mediterranean Sea, are key events in the evolution of Pangaea as well as in the origin of large number of curved mountain belts and oroclines such as the Ibero-Armorican arc, Rif-Betic, Calabrian, Carpathians, Caucasus, Himalayan.

This session welcomes contributions dealing with the evolution of Pangaea and associated curved mountain belts and is sponsored by IGCP 574, Bending and Bent Orogens, and Continental Ribbons and by IGCP 597 Amalgamation and Breakup of Pangaea: the type example of the supercontinent cycle.

Solicited Presenters:
Trond Torsvik
Stefano Mazzoli

Field Trip description:

In the heart of Europe, the Western Carpathians represent not only a classic hydrocarbon province, but also a well studied but still controversial collisional mountain belt. These mountains provide us with the opportunity to analyze some of the fundamental tectonic processes involved in the development of an accretionary orogen. By visiting a series of outcrops located in Slovakia and Poland, the field trip will address topics including: (1) the tectonic relationship between basement nappes (the Inner Carpathians) and the foreland fold and thrust belt (the Outer Carpathians); (2) mélange formation (the Pieniny 'Klippen Belt'); (3) the role of structural inheritance and of the original paleogeographic setting; (4) the nature and context of syntectonic sedimentation; (5) exhumation rates and processes; and (6) the significance of post-orogenic processes. Outcrops will include:

–Rocks belonging to all the main tectonic domains of the Western Carpathians will be touched during the 5-days field trip. A large thermochronometric database, acquired by the field trip leaders during the last few years, allows constraining tectonic burial conditions and timing of exhumation of the various tectonic units that will be visited.

–Basement and Mesozoic cover of the Inner Carpathian domain will be visited in the Mala Fatra region of Slovakia.

–The tectonic melange constituting the so-called "Pieniny Klippen Belt" will be visited in the Orava Lake region, around the Slovakia-Poland boundary. In this area, outcrops of the Inner Carpathian Paleogene Basin ("Podhale Basin") will also be visited.

–The main sedimentary units of the Outer Carpathians will be visited in a series of outcrops located in Poland, moving from west to east. Stops will allow examining classic tectonic windows (e.g. Mszana Dolna), main exposed tectonic contacts, stratigraphy and internal deformation of the thrust sheets.

–The field trip will end with the visit of the Wieliczka salt mine in the Cracow area.

The field trip will start in Vienna on Saturday, April 13th, in the morning and will end in Krakow on Wednesday, April 17th, in the evening.

Transport will be by two (for a maximum attendance of 26 people + 4 field trip leaders), 15-seater minibuses.

Cost: 500 euros/person.

Payment: by bank transfer (please include conference name and participant surname into each transfer) to:

Institute of Geophysics
Polish Academy of Sciences
ul. Ksiecia Janusza 64,
01-452 Warszawa, Poland
Bank: Bank Pekao SA
IBAN: PL 93 1240 6380 1111 0000 5109 1323