The southern margin of the East European Craton: new results from seismic sounding and potential fields between the North Sea and Poland

Bayer U, Grad M, Pharaoh TC, Thybo H, Guterch A, Banka D, Lamarche J, Lassen A, Lewerenz B, Scheck M, Marotta AM


360(1-4), 2002, 301-314, 10.1016/S0040-1951(02)00359-1

The extension of eastern Avalonia from Britain through the NE German Basin into Poland is, in some sense, a virtual structure. It is covered almost everywhere by late Paleozoic and younger sediments. Evidence for this terrane is only gathered from geophysical data and age information derived from magmatic rocks. During the last two decades, much geophysical and geological information has been gathered since the European Geotraverse (EGT), which was followed by the BABEL, LT-7, MONA LISA, DEKORP-Basin'96, and POLONAISE'97 deep seismic experiments. Based on seismic lines, a remarkable feature has been observed between the North Sea and Poland: north of the Elbe Line (EL), the lower crust is characterised by high velocities (6.8–7.0 km/s), a feature which seems to be characteristic for at least a major part of eastern Avalonia (far eastern Avalonia). In addition, the seismic lines indicate that a wedge of the East European Craton (EEC) (or Baltica) continues to the south below the southern Permian Basin (SPB)—a structure which resembles a passive continental margin. The observed pattern may either indicate an extension of the Baltic crust much farther south than earlier expected or oceanic crust of the Tornquist Sea trapped during the Caledonian collision. In either case, the data require a reinterpretation of the docking mechanism of eastern Avalonia, and the Elbe–Odra Line (EOL), as well as the Elbe Fault system, together with the Intra-Sudedic Faults, appear to be related to major changes in the deeper crustal structures separating the East European crust from the Paleozoic agglomeration of Middle European terranes.