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Short summary
Central Western Europe underwent a strange episode of lithospheric deformation, resulting in a chain of small mountains that run almost West–East across the continent and formed in the middle of a tectonic plate, not at its edges as is usually expected. Associated with these mountains, in particular the Harz in Central Germany, are marine basins which are contemporaneous with the mountain's growth. We explain how those basins came to be, as a result of the mountains bending the adjacent plate.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-185
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-185

  27 Nov 2020

27 Nov 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

The Subhercynian Basin: An example of an intraplate foreland basin due to a broken plate

David Hindle and Jonas Kley David Hindle and Jonas Kley
  • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstr. 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany

Abstract. The Late Cretaceous, intraplate shortening event in Central Western Europe is associated with a number of marine basins of relatively high amplitude and short wavelength (2–3 km depth and 20–100 km width). In particular, the Harz Mountains, a basement uplift on a single, relatively steeply dipping, basement thrust, have filled the adjacent Subhercynian Cretaceous Basin with their erosive product, proving that the two were related and synchronous. The problem of generating subsidence of this general style and geometry in an intraplate setting is dealt with here, by using an elastic flexural model conditioned to take account of basement thrusts as weak zones in the lithosphere. Using a relatively simple configuration of this kind, we reproduce many of the basic features of the Subhercynian Cretaceous Basin and related basement thrusts. As a result, we suggest that overall, these basins share many characteristics with larger scale, foreland basins associated with collisional orogens on plate boundaries.

David Hindle and Jonas Kley

 
Status: open (until 23 Jan 2021)
Status: open (until 23 Jan 2021)
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David Hindle and Jonas Kley

David Hindle and Jonas Kley

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Short summary
Central Western Europe underwent a strange episode of lithospheric deformation, resulting in a chain of small mountains that run almost West–East across the continent and formed in the middle of a tectonic plate, not at its edges as is usually expected. Associated with these mountains, in particular the Harz in Central Germany, are marine basins which are contemporaneous with the mountain's growth. We explain how those basins came to be, as a result of the mountains bending the adjacent plate.
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