Neogene changes in palaeogeography, palaeoenvironment and the provenance of sediment in the Northern Danube Basin


Authors: Rybar S, Kovač M, Šarinova K, Halasova E, Hudačkova N, Šujan M, Kovačova M, Ruman A, Klučiar T

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 91, issue 2; pages: 367 - 398; Received 15 June 2015; Accepted in revised form 8 March 2016; Online 28 June 2016

Keywords: Neogene, biostratigraphy, sedimentology, depositional systems, provenance of clastics, palaeogeography,

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The Danube Basin is situated between the Eastern Alps, Central Western Carpathians and Transdanubian Range. The northwestern embayment of the basin is represented by the Blatne depression with deposits ranked into the Langhian-Serravallian (Badenian, Sarmatian) and Tortonian-Pliocene (Pannonian-Pliocene). They are documented by the NN4, NN5 and NN6 calcareous nannoplankton zones; the CPN7 and CPN8 foraminiferal zones (equivalent to N9, N10 and N11 of global foraminiferal zones and to the MMi4a, MMi5 and MMi6 of Mediterranean foraminiferal zones) and by the mammalian zones MN9, MN10, MN13 and by Be isotopes. Sedimentation in basin began with basal conglomerates formed by local fan-deltas short before and during the initial rifting phase. Early Langhian conglomerates are composed of Mesozoic rocks derived from the sedimentary cover and nappe units of the Eastern Alps and Central Western Carpathians. The content of crystalline rocks increases upwards, which documents a continual denudation of the emerged source area (at present forming the pre-Neogene basement of the Danube Basin). The middle to late Langhian synrift stage of the basin development was accompanied by volcanic activity. Gravity transport of sediment took place on the basin slopes formed by pronounced fault activity. The basin floor reached the deep neritic zone. During the early Serravallian shelfal offshore sedimentary conditions prevailed and gradually passed into the late Serravallian regressive coastal plains with normal to brackish salinity. Tortonian transgressive sedimentation on the muddy shelves of Lake Pannon followed and was subsequently replaced by a relatively short-living deltaic environment and later by deposition on an alluvial plain. Final Pliocene to Quaternary fluvial sedimentation is characterized by gravel and sand beds.