Crustal structure below the Polish Basin: Is it composed of proximal terranes derived from Baltica?

Dadlez R, Grad M, Guterch A.


411(1-4), 2005, 111-128, 10.1016/j.tecto.2005.09.004

The large-scale seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection experiment POLONAISE'97 together with LT-7 and TTZ profiles carried out with the most modern techniques gave a high resolution of crustal structure of the Trans-European Suture Zone (TESZ) in NW and central Poland. The results of seismic investigations show the presence of relatively low velocity rocks (Vp < 6.1 km/s) down to a depth of 20 km beneath the Polish Basin (PB), and a high velocity lower crust (Vp = 6.8–7.3 km/s). The crustal thickness in the TESZ is intermediate between that of the East European Craton (EEC) to the northeast (40–45 km) and that of the Variscan crust (VB) to the southwest (∼ 30 km). Velocities in the uppermost mantle are relatively high (Vp = 8.25–8.45 km/s). The crust is three-layered with substantial differences in the velocities and thickness of individual layers. The area of the TESZ in NW and central Poland can be divided into at least two crustal blocks (terranes), called here Pomeranian Unit (PU, in the northwest) and Kuiavian Unit (KU, in the southeast). The postulated boundary between KU and PU is rather sharp at particular levels of the crust. Velocity distribution in the middle and lower crystalline crust in the TESZ area resemble values recognized in the EEC area, the fundamental difference being the much smaller thickness of both these layers. Our hypothesis/speculation is that the attenuated lower and middle crust of the TESZ belong to proximal terranes built of the EEC crust detached in the southeast and re-accreted to the EEC due to the process of anti-clockwise rotation of the Baltica paleocontinent during the Ordovician–Early Silurian.