Journal & Issues

Volume 116 (2023): Issue 1 (January 2023)

Volume 115 (2022): Issue 1 (January 2022)

Volume 114 (2021): Issue 1 (January 2021)

Volume 113 (2020): Issue 2 (June 2020)

Volume 113 (2020): Issue 1 (January 2020)

Volume 112 (2019): Issue 2 (December 2019)

Volume 112 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)

Volume 111 (2018): Issue 2 (December 2018)

Volume 111 (2018): Issue 1 (September 2018)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2072-7151
First Published
30 Jun 2018
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 115 (2022): Issue 1 (January 2022)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2072-7151
First Published
30 Jun 2018
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

0 Articles
Open Access

Cretaceous biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy of the Glinzendorf Syncline based on well Gänserndorf UeT3 (Vienna Basin, Austria)

Published Online: 04 Feb 2022
Page range: 1 - 14

Abstract

Abstract

The 2200 m thick Cretaceous units of well Gänserndorf UeT3 have been biostratigraphically analyzed based on cuttings from 3210 m to 5140 m. The deposits from the Tirolic Glinzendorf Syncline (a part of the buried Northern Calcareous Alps) can be largely correlated with the Lower Gosau Subgroup of the Grünbach Syncline. An exception is the basal unit, which has no equivalent in the Grünbach Syncline. This lower unit is subdivided into a non-marine lower and a largely marine upper part. No age constraints are available for the lower part, whereas the upper part has a possible age range from middle Turonian to Coniacian. For this unit, which is documented for the first time from the Glinzendorf Syncline, we propose Glinzendorf Formation as new lithostratigraphic term.

The Glinzendorf Fm. is overlain by the Grünbach Fm., which is intercalated by a thick unit of conglomerates. These are interpreted as equivalents of the Dreistetten Conglomerate Mb. The calcareous nannofossils of these units suggest a latest Santonian to early Campanian age. Non-marine conditions prevailed during deposition of the Grünbach Fm., but marine incursions are indicated for parts of the Dreistetten Conglomerate Mb. The top of the Grünbach Fm. is formed by an about 50-m-thick unit of coal, rich in Characeae oogonia, which, together with the Dreistetten conglomerates serve as marker layer for correlation with the outcrops in the Grünbach Syncline. The Grünbach Fm. is overlain by marls and silty shales of the Piesting Fm. for which a late Campanian and Maastrichtian age is documented. Marine conditions predominated during this interval. The topmost unit in well Gänserndorf UeT3 is overthrusted on the Maastrichtian Piesting Fm. and represents Campanian sandstones and conglomerates of the Grünbach Fm. This Gänserndorf Thrust is detected and biostratigraphically constrained for the first time.

Keywords

  • Glinzendorf Syncline
  • Cretaceous
  • Gosau Group
  • Gänserndorf Thrust
  • Glinzendorf Formation
Open Access

Petrological and geochronological investigations on the individual nappes of the Meran-Mauls nappe stack (Austroalpine unit/South Tyrol, Italy)

Published Online: 23 Feb 2022
Page range: 15 - 40

Abstract

Abstract

The Meran-Mauls nappe stack is part of the Austroalpine unit in South Tyrol (Italy). There it holds a special position directly in front of the Southalpine Dolomites indenter and west of the Tauern Window. It is situated in the hanging wall of the Southalpine unit, above a NW dipping segment of the Periadriatic fault system, namely the Meran-Mauls fault. Also all other sides are defined by Oligocene-Miocene strike-slip and normal faults. Based on recent mapping the Meran-Mauls nappe stack consists of three nappes separated by NW to NNW dipping shear zones. The lowermost nappe in the southwest is represented by the Schenna (Scena) unit. It is overlain along the Masul shear zone by a nappe consisting of the Hirzer (Punta Cervina) unit and the Pens (Pennes) unit including Triassic (meta)sediments. Separated by the Fartleis fault the St. Leonhard (San Leonardo) unit forms the uppermost nappe. The aim of this study is to describe the individual units and the separating structural elements more properly, based on new structural, petrological, geothermobarometric and geochronological data and to compare these units to other Austroalpine elements in the vicinity. Sillimanite-bearing paragneiss, minor amphibolite and quartzite as well as a distinct marble layer close to its base characterise the Schenna unit. Further, it contains pegmatite dikes, presumably Permian in age. Amphibolite-facies P-T conditions of c. 0.55 ± 0.15 GPa and 600 ± 100°C are thus correlated with a Permian metamorphic imprint. The Masul shear zone mostly consists of mylonitic paragneiss of the Hirzer unit. It is pre-Alpine in age and probably formed during the Jurassic. For the paragneiss of the Hirzer unit upper greenschist- to amphibolite-facies metamorphic conditions of 0.4-0.50 ± 0.15 GPa and 550 ± 70°C are attributed to the Variscan tectonometamorphic imprint. The whole Pens unit represents a shear zone. Due to the occurrence of Permotriassic (meta)-sediments within this shear zone, it is an Alpine structure, as well as the bordering Fartleis fault. Rb/Sr biotite ages yield sometimes partly reset pre-Alpine age values in the whole Meran-Mauls nappe stack, indicating a pervasive anchizonal to lowermost greenschist-facies metamorphic overprint during the Eoalpine tectonometamorphic event. Tectonostratigraphically the Meran-Mauls nappe stack can be attributed to the Drauzug-Gurktal nappe system. The latter forms the uppermost structural element of the Austroalpine nappe stack and thus only shows a weak Eoalpine metamorphic overprint. With respect to its special lithologic composition the Schenna unit can be correlated with the Tonale unit in the southwest and the Strieden-Komplex in the east.

Keywords

  • Eastern Alps
  • Austroalpine Unit
  • Meran-Mauls nappe stack
  • metamorphic evolution
  • geochronology
Open Access

From shallow into deep sea: Sedimentary facies and U-Pb zircon ages in the early Paleozoic Noric Group at Veitsch (Eastern Greywacke Zone, Austria)

Published Online: 12 Mar 2022
Page range: 41 - 73

Abstract

Abstract

The low-grade metamorphic early Paleozoic basement of the Veitsch area presents a wide variety of sedimentary facies domains. The first domain consists of thick metadacites of Middle Ordovician age (Blasseneck Porphyroid), overlain by fine-grained metaclastics of the Rad Formation (Late Ordovician to Silurian) and Devonian limestones and calcitic marbles (Kaiserstein and Kaskögerl Formation, respectively). Rhyolitic to dacitic magmatism initiated at ca. 479 Ma (LAMC-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon data) and lasted until ca. 444 Ma. The second domain comprises metaclastics of the Stocker Formation (Early Ordovician to Silurian), characterized by thin volcanics and volcaniclastics of andesitic and rhyolitic composition. U-Pb zircon data give Middle Ordovician age (463 Ma – 468 Ma). The third domain, exposed northwest of Veitsch, consists of thick metadacites (Blasseneck Porphyroid, ca. 478 Ma), followed by (siliceous) phyllites which grade into turbiditic metasediments (Sommerauer Formation, Late Ordovician to Devonian?). Clastic sediments of the Stocker and Sommerauer Formations were sourced from northern Gondwana showing a prominent Pan-African detrital zircon peak at ca. 640 Ma. Middle to Upper Ordovician volcanics (ca. 462 Ma – 448 Ma) represent the second source. Tectonic reconstruction leads us to the arrangement of three facies domains. A shallow marine shelf facies is located in the present days southwest. A marginal basin with volcanic islands on a sloping continent, and a deep-water environment containing turbidites are situated further to the northwest. The present arrangement of these facies domains is explained by eo-Alpine and Variscan thrust tectonics.

Keywords

  • Eastern Alps
  • Eastern Greywacke Zone
  • U/Pb zircon data
  • sedimentary facies
  • tectonics
Open Access

Stratigraphic architecture of a mixed clastic-carbonate succession and 87Sr/86Sr-based chronostratigraphy along the margin of a synorogenic extensional basin (Hochmoos Formation, upper Santonian, Northern Calcareous Alps)

Published Online: 21 Jun 2022
Page range: 74 - 99

Abstract

Abstract

The Gosau Group (Turonian to Ypresian) of the Eastern Alps is a synorogenic wedge-top succession that accumulated in active depocenters in an oblique-convergent plate tectonic setting. Due to high morphological differentiation of depocenters by tectonism, the Gosau Group displays a wide range of facies as well as marked facies heteropy and thickness variations over short lateral distances. In the area of the locations Gosau and Russbach, the Hochmoos Formation along the SE basin margin near Gosauschmied comprises coastal to shallow-marine deposits and small rudist bioconstructions and was investigated by way of field mapping, profile descriptions, microfacies analysis, isotope measurements and assessment of fossil content.

Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) from 0.707485 (oldest) to 0.707549 (youngest) indicate a latest Santonian age, with the youngest parts of the Hochmoos Formation possibly extending into the Campanian. On the west side of the study area, the succession of lithologies and fossil content record transgression of a fan-delta to marginal-marine environment (lowstand to transgressive systems tract), followed by shallow neritic deposition (part of the transgressive systems tract) and, finally, by progradational stacking of limestone beds in the highstand systems tract, culminating in growth of rudist thickets in an inner shelf and partially protected ‘lagoonal’ milieu. Eventually, at the inception of the following falling stage systems tract, input of large clasts of Dachstein Limestone, quartz and chert record a recurrence of the subaqueous part of a fan-delta. On the east side of the study area, a preponderance of rudist-clastic limestones over a few rudist biostromes preserved in situ indicate a normal-marine environment punctuated by high-energy events, such as storms or tsunami. The scarcity of benthic foraminifera and the presence of only isolated specimens of colonial corals underscore a habitat with a calcarenitic substrate frequently shifted by currents. Several lines of evidence indicate that the western part of the study area was more proximal relative to the eastern one. With a maximum thickness of 68 m, the Hochmoos Formation at Gosauschmied is slightly thicker and more distal than outcrops located nearer to the basin margin and farther towards the SE (Schmiedsippl, Katzhofgraben), but significantly thinner than the nearly 300 m at Gosau Pass-Gschütt, or the thickness of 170 m observed in the area of Rigaus-Abtenau farther in the West. These thickness variations are interpreted as a result of extensional syndepositional tectonism. At Gosauschmied, the vertical arrangement of facies records a cycle of relative sea-level change that may have been tectonically enhanced.

Keywords

  • Stratigraphy
  • Gosau Group
  • Hochmoos Formation
  • carbonate rocks
  • Late Cretaceous
  • Santonian
Open Access

The Rigelj Formation, a new lithostratigraphic unit of the Lower Permian in the Karavanke Mountains (Slovenia/Austria)

Published Online: 07 Jul 2022
Page range: 100 - 123

Abstract

Abstract

The Rigelj Formation is a new lithostratigraphic unit of the Lower Permian Rattendorf Group in the Karavanke Mountains. The Formation is up to 105 m thick and mainly composed of siliciclastic and fossiliferous carbonate sediments that are entirely of shallow-marine setting. Conglomerates are interpreted as shoreface deposits, sandstones as deposits of the upper to lower shoreface, and fossiliferous siltstones as offshore deposits. Fossiliferous limestones were deposited in a shallow, open-marine shelf environment of moderate to low energy (wackestone, floatstone) and strong water turbulence (packstone, rudstone). The siliciclastic and carbonate lithotypes form some well-developed backstepping cycles starting with conglomerates, overlain by sandstones, siltstones and fossiliferous limestones that formed in an open shelf environment without siliciclastic influx. Similar sedimentary cycles are developed in the Grenzland Formation of the Carnic Alps.

The fusulinid fauna indicates that the Rigelj Formation ranges in age from the late Asselian to the middle Sakmarian. In the western Karavanke Mountains and near Trögern, the Lower Permian lithostratigraphic succession is very similar to the succession in the Carnic Alps with Tarvis Breccia resting on the Trogkofel Limestone and the Goggau Limestone. Unlike this, in the central part of the Karavanke Mountains (Dovžanova Soteska–Mt. Pleschiwetz/Plešivec area) the Rigelj Formation is erosively overlain by the Tarvis Breccia. The stronger diversification of the sedimentary environments within the Karavanke-Carnic Alps in the Lower Permian after the uniform sedimentation in the Upper Carboniferous can be attributed to block-faulting.

Keywords

  • Lower Permian
  • Southern Alps
  • Dovžanova Soteska
  • Mt. Pleschiwetz/Plešivec
  • Clastic Trogkofel Beds
  • fusulinid biostratigraphy
Open Access

A regional scale Cretaceous transform fault zone at the northern Austroalpine margin: Geology of the western Ammergau Alps, Bavaria

Published Online: 28 Jul 2022
Page range: 124 - 145

Abstract

Abstract

We reinvestigated parts of the northern Austroalpine margin and provided structural and kinematic field data in order to interpret the kinematic relationship between the Cenoman-Randschuppe (CRS) marginal slice, Falkensteinzug (FSZ), Tannheim- and Karwendel thrust sheets occurring in a narrow strip at the northern front of the northwestern Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA). As a consequence, we propose a revised model for the tectonic evolution of the northern Austroalpine margin. As thrusting propagates from SSE to NNW (Cretaceous orogeny), the Karwendel thrust sheet (including its frontal part, the FSZ) was emplaced onto the Tannheim thrust sheet in the Albian, deduced from (i) upper-footwall deposits, the youngest sediments below the Karwendel thrust (Tannheim- and Losenstein Fms.), and (ii) thrust-sheet-top deposits unconformably overlying the deeply eroded northern Karwendel thrust sheet (Branderfleck Fm.). The future CRS marginal slice was, at that time, part of the foreland of this Early Cretaceous Alpine orogenic wedge. Pervasive overprint by sinistral shear within the CRS marginal slice and northern Tannheim thrust sheet suggests sinistral W-E striking transform faults cutting across this foreland, decoupling CRS marginal slice and FSZ from the main body of the NCA and enabling an independent evolution of the CRS marginal slice from the Early Cretaceous onwards. Subsequent Late Cretaceous and younger shortening leads to successive incorporation of Arosa zone, Rhenodanubian Flysch (RDF) and Helvetic units into the Alpine nappe stack; the Tannheim thrust representing the basal thrust of the NCA. Growth strata within thrust-sheet-top deposits (Branderfleck-Fm.) give evidence for refolding of thrust sheet boundaries. In a typical thin-skinned fold-and-thrust belt, deformation should cease towards the thrust front, whereas within the NCA it increases. An Austroalpine thrust front controlled by E-trending transform faults could cause an increase in deformation towards the most external NCA and explain the absence of the Arosa zone between Allgäu and Vienna. Such faults would most probably also cut out Lower Austroalpine units. Therefore, RDF and CRS marginal slice are juxtaposed; the latter found in the tectonic position of the Arosa zone. The presence of transform faults underlines the strong imprint of the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean on the depositional setting and tectonic evolution of the NCA.

Keywords

  • Northern Calcareous Alps
  • Cenoman-Randschuppe marginal slice
  • Falkensteinzug
  • strike-slip tectonics
  • thrust tectonics
  • Cretaceous synorogenic sediments
Open Access

Metamorphic tourmaline and its petrogenetic significance from the Maramureș Mountains (East Carpathians, Romania)

Published Online: 11 Oct 2022
Page range: 146 - 166

Abstract

Abstract

This study describes mineralogical and crystallochemical characteristics of metamorphic tourmalines from an Alpine shear zone in a Variscan metamorphic rock sequence from the Maramures region in the northern part of the East Carpathians. We use this mineral to unravel aspects of the evolution of the tourmaline bearing host rocks and compare the crystallo-chemical characteristics to other tourmalines from Alps. Petrographic and microstructural observations, as well as electron microprobe analyses on several zoned tourmalines and associated minerals (mica, feldspar) from mylonitic schist of the Rebra terrane (Maramureș Mountains), indicate that the pre-kinematic tourmalines belong to the alkali group (Na dominant), hydroxyl dominated on the crystallographic W-site and can be assigned to the species dravite and schorl. The tourmaline-bearing rocks have a metasedimentary protolith. The analysed porphyroblasts, rotated by simple shear, show corroded rim that are interpreted to have formed due to pressure release. Three main compositional zones were evidenced on a tourmaline porphyroblast: a core zone and two asymmetrically arranged inclusion-poor/free rims, all formed in pre-alpine prograde metamorphic conditions. Based on mineral microstructural relations and geothermobarometry (tourmaline–muscovite, tourmaline–plagioclase geothermometry and phengite geobarometry), the metamorphic peak conditions of the investigated Rebra terrane were evaluated to have been at a temperature of ca. 590 to 620 ± 22 °C and Pmin = 5.5 - 6.0 ± 0.5 kbar. By observing dynamically recrystallized microstructures in quartz and feldspar in the shear zone a temperature of 350 - 400 °C was estimated and the quartz paleopiezometry outlined a differential stress of about 1.5 kbar that implied only minor chemical change in tourmaline outer zone.

Keywords

  • Alpine shear zone
  • East Carpathians
  • metamorphic petrology
  • geothermobarometry
  • microprobe
  • schorl-dravite
Open Access

Deformation of the Dachstein Limestone in the Dachstein thrust sheet (Eastern Alps, Austria)

Published Online: 12 Dec 2022
Page range: 167 - 190

Abstract

Abstract

Deformation affecting the Upper Triassic Dachstein Limestone has been analyzed in the Dachstein thrust sheet, the uppermost thrust unit of the central Northern Calcareous Alps (Eastern Alps). Different scales of deformation are discussed, from kilometer-scale thrusting down to folds in the order of tens of meters to meters. Observations are based on both conventional outcrop observations and on digital fieldwork performed on drone-captured virtual outcrops and on GoogleMaps 3D terrain renderizations. The structures observed were formed at different times and document the following events: 1) Late Triassic syn-depositional instability and slumping; 2) Late Triassic syn-depositional growth of the Hallstatt diapir; 3) Late Triassic syn-depositional, salt-driven, extensional faulting; 4) Jurassic-age re-activation of extensional faults; 5) (presumably) Early Cretaceous shortening in both east-west and north-south directions; and 6) (presumably) Late Cretaceous extensional re-activation of faults. The structures and their origin have a bearing on the interpretation of the tectonic evolution of the Dachstein thrust sheet, highlighting the potential relevance of salt tectonics in controlling its structure.

Keywords

  • Dachstein Limestone
  • soft-sediment deformation
  • tectonic deformation
  • salt tectonics
  • Eo-Alpine
  • virtual outcrops
Open Access

The detachment mechanism of the rockslide causing the Chamoli February 7th, 2021 debris flow disaster

Published Online: 27 Dec 2022
Page range: 191 - 198

Abstract

Abstract

On February 7th, 2021, a rockslide of about 20 Mio m³ detached in a height of 5600 m asl. from the northern flank of Mount Ronti (Chamoli district, Uttarakhand state, India), turned into a rock mass fall and produced a debris flow. When the rock mass hit the Ronti Gad valley after a fall height of 1800 m the rock mass mixed with melting dead ice together with snow and ice avalanche material of previous debris flows. The debris flow destroyed hydroelectric infrastructure between 10 - 20 km down the valley killing 204 people either working at or visiting the power plants. By combining remote sensing, structural geology and kinematics/mechanical analysis of the rockslide, we demonstrate that a 600 m wide and almost 800 m long block of quartzite, bordered laterally by two joints and a newly formed tension crack on the top detached from an underlying layer of biotite-rich paragneisses. Assuming full hydrostatic heads in both joints and in the tension crack as well as 75% of the full hydrostatic head in the lower boundary surface between quartzites and paragneisses, the rock block analysis yields a friction angle of 32° for both joints, which is a plausible value of the friction angle of joints in quartzites. The detachment of the block has been the result of the widening of the tension crack on top, of a progressive propagation of the lateral joints together with a catastrophic failure of the detachment plane at the border between quartzites and paragneisses. At the time of the failure, all discontinuities must have been almost completely filled with water raising the question, if the frequency of rockslides in the Himalayas is increasing as temperatures rise and permafrost is thawing due to climate change.

Keywords

  • Chamoli disaster 2021
  • mechanics of rock failure
  • back analysis
  • natural hazard
Open Access

Hydrogeology of alpine lakes in the Northern Calcareous Alps: a comparative study on the role of groundwater in Filblingsee and Eibensee

Published Online: 31 Dec 2022
Page range: 199 - 212

Abstract

Abstract

In the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) there are countless small lakes with small orographic catchments that are often located only slightly below the respective summit regions. On the one hand, the lakes are located in karstable aquifers and their existence is likely to be related to karstification. Then, they are expected to be directly connected to the karst water body. These lakes are classified as karst lakes. On the other hand, the alpine environment is also influenced by glacial processes and lakes might be related to glacial erosion and deposition. For these glacial lakes, the share of groundwater inflow and outflow is regarded as subordinate even within high permeable karst lithologies. Here we compare two alpine lakes of potentially different origin in the NCA in Salzburg with the aim to provide a basis for an aerial survey of the numerous small alpine lakes in the NCA region and their characterization using the guiding parameters elaborated here. We consider (a) the lake geometry, (b) potential inflow and outflow systems, and (c) physicochemical parameters and hydrochemistry of the Filblingsee and the Eibensee, both located in the Fuschlsee region. Filblingsee was initially considered as a typical karst lake and Eibensee as a moraine-dammed glacial lake. Some clear differences arise in lake geometry, which in the karst lake shows a nearly round surface and concentric depth profile, while the glacial lake is elongated in the direction of glacier flow and has the deepest areas just upstream of the moraine dam. Both lakes show very little to no surficial inflow. Inflow and outflow occur in groundwater in both cases but are not directly tied to a highly permeable karst system. The depth profiles of the field parameters of the two lakes differ only slightly and show a dominant groundwater inflow in mid-depth regions but no flow through at the lake bottom. Water chemistry in both lakes and their potential outflows correspond to the respective aquifer in terms of solution load. Filblingsee can be characterized as a hanging lake in a secondarily sealed doline, Eibensee lies in a glacially excavated depression sealed by glacial sediments. While the inflow and outflow conditions and the hydrochemistry of both lakes are very similar, the lake geometry is a clear distinguishing feature that can be attributed to the different genesis of the two lakes. This can therefore be used as a guiding parameter for the classification of the numerous small alpine lakes in the NCA.

Keywords

  • alpine lake
  • Northern Calcareous Alps
  • hydrogeology
  • lake classification
  • karst
0 Articles
Open Access

Cretaceous biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy of the Glinzendorf Syncline based on well Gänserndorf UeT3 (Vienna Basin, Austria)

Published Online: 04 Feb 2022
Page range: 1 - 14

Abstract

Abstract

The 2200 m thick Cretaceous units of well Gänserndorf UeT3 have been biostratigraphically analyzed based on cuttings from 3210 m to 5140 m. The deposits from the Tirolic Glinzendorf Syncline (a part of the buried Northern Calcareous Alps) can be largely correlated with the Lower Gosau Subgroup of the Grünbach Syncline. An exception is the basal unit, which has no equivalent in the Grünbach Syncline. This lower unit is subdivided into a non-marine lower and a largely marine upper part. No age constraints are available for the lower part, whereas the upper part has a possible age range from middle Turonian to Coniacian. For this unit, which is documented for the first time from the Glinzendorf Syncline, we propose Glinzendorf Formation as new lithostratigraphic term.

The Glinzendorf Fm. is overlain by the Grünbach Fm., which is intercalated by a thick unit of conglomerates. These are interpreted as equivalents of the Dreistetten Conglomerate Mb. The calcareous nannofossils of these units suggest a latest Santonian to early Campanian age. Non-marine conditions prevailed during deposition of the Grünbach Fm., but marine incursions are indicated for parts of the Dreistetten Conglomerate Mb. The top of the Grünbach Fm. is formed by an about 50-m-thick unit of coal, rich in Characeae oogonia, which, together with the Dreistetten conglomerates serve as marker layer for correlation with the outcrops in the Grünbach Syncline. The Grünbach Fm. is overlain by marls and silty shales of the Piesting Fm. for which a late Campanian and Maastrichtian age is documented. Marine conditions predominated during this interval. The topmost unit in well Gänserndorf UeT3 is overthrusted on the Maastrichtian Piesting Fm. and represents Campanian sandstones and conglomerates of the Grünbach Fm. This Gänserndorf Thrust is detected and biostratigraphically constrained for the first time.

Keywords

  • Glinzendorf Syncline
  • Cretaceous
  • Gosau Group
  • Gänserndorf Thrust
  • Glinzendorf Formation
Open Access

Petrological and geochronological investigations on the individual nappes of the Meran-Mauls nappe stack (Austroalpine unit/South Tyrol, Italy)

Published Online: 23 Feb 2022
Page range: 15 - 40

Abstract

Abstract

The Meran-Mauls nappe stack is part of the Austroalpine unit in South Tyrol (Italy). There it holds a special position directly in front of the Southalpine Dolomites indenter and west of the Tauern Window. It is situated in the hanging wall of the Southalpine unit, above a NW dipping segment of the Periadriatic fault system, namely the Meran-Mauls fault. Also all other sides are defined by Oligocene-Miocene strike-slip and normal faults. Based on recent mapping the Meran-Mauls nappe stack consists of three nappes separated by NW to NNW dipping shear zones. The lowermost nappe in the southwest is represented by the Schenna (Scena) unit. It is overlain along the Masul shear zone by a nappe consisting of the Hirzer (Punta Cervina) unit and the Pens (Pennes) unit including Triassic (meta)sediments. Separated by the Fartleis fault the St. Leonhard (San Leonardo) unit forms the uppermost nappe. The aim of this study is to describe the individual units and the separating structural elements more properly, based on new structural, petrological, geothermobarometric and geochronological data and to compare these units to other Austroalpine elements in the vicinity. Sillimanite-bearing paragneiss, minor amphibolite and quartzite as well as a distinct marble layer close to its base characterise the Schenna unit. Further, it contains pegmatite dikes, presumably Permian in age. Amphibolite-facies P-T conditions of c. 0.55 ± 0.15 GPa and 600 ± 100°C are thus correlated with a Permian metamorphic imprint. The Masul shear zone mostly consists of mylonitic paragneiss of the Hirzer unit. It is pre-Alpine in age and probably formed during the Jurassic. For the paragneiss of the Hirzer unit upper greenschist- to amphibolite-facies metamorphic conditions of 0.4-0.50 ± 0.15 GPa and 550 ± 70°C are attributed to the Variscan tectonometamorphic imprint. The whole Pens unit represents a shear zone. Due to the occurrence of Permotriassic (meta)-sediments within this shear zone, it is an Alpine structure, as well as the bordering Fartleis fault. Rb/Sr biotite ages yield sometimes partly reset pre-Alpine age values in the whole Meran-Mauls nappe stack, indicating a pervasive anchizonal to lowermost greenschist-facies metamorphic overprint during the Eoalpine tectonometamorphic event. Tectonostratigraphically the Meran-Mauls nappe stack can be attributed to the Drauzug-Gurktal nappe system. The latter forms the uppermost structural element of the Austroalpine nappe stack and thus only shows a weak Eoalpine metamorphic overprint. With respect to its special lithologic composition the Schenna unit can be correlated with the Tonale unit in the southwest and the Strieden-Komplex in the east.

Keywords

  • Eastern Alps
  • Austroalpine Unit
  • Meran-Mauls nappe stack
  • metamorphic evolution
  • geochronology
Open Access

From shallow into deep sea: Sedimentary facies and U-Pb zircon ages in the early Paleozoic Noric Group at Veitsch (Eastern Greywacke Zone, Austria)

Published Online: 12 Mar 2022
Page range: 41 - 73

Abstract

Abstract

The low-grade metamorphic early Paleozoic basement of the Veitsch area presents a wide variety of sedimentary facies domains. The first domain consists of thick metadacites of Middle Ordovician age (Blasseneck Porphyroid), overlain by fine-grained metaclastics of the Rad Formation (Late Ordovician to Silurian) and Devonian limestones and calcitic marbles (Kaiserstein and Kaskögerl Formation, respectively). Rhyolitic to dacitic magmatism initiated at ca. 479 Ma (LAMC-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon data) and lasted until ca. 444 Ma. The second domain comprises metaclastics of the Stocker Formation (Early Ordovician to Silurian), characterized by thin volcanics and volcaniclastics of andesitic and rhyolitic composition. U-Pb zircon data give Middle Ordovician age (463 Ma – 468 Ma). The third domain, exposed northwest of Veitsch, consists of thick metadacites (Blasseneck Porphyroid, ca. 478 Ma), followed by (siliceous) phyllites which grade into turbiditic metasediments (Sommerauer Formation, Late Ordovician to Devonian?). Clastic sediments of the Stocker and Sommerauer Formations were sourced from northern Gondwana showing a prominent Pan-African detrital zircon peak at ca. 640 Ma. Middle to Upper Ordovician volcanics (ca. 462 Ma – 448 Ma) represent the second source. Tectonic reconstruction leads us to the arrangement of three facies domains. A shallow marine shelf facies is located in the present days southwest. A marginal basin with volcanic islands on a sloping continent, and a deep-water environment containing turbidites are situated further to the northwest. The present arrangement of these facies domains is explained by eo-Alpine and Variscan thrust tectonics.

Keywords

  • Eastern Alps
  • Eastern Greywacke Zone
  • U/Pb zircon data
  • sedimentary facies
  • tectonics
Open Access

Stratigraphic architecture of a mixed clastic-carbonate succession and 87Sr/86Sr-based chronostratigraphy along the margin of a synorogenic extensional basin (Hochmoos Formation, upper Santonian, Northern Calcareous Alps)

Published Online: 21 Jun 2022
Page range: 74 - 99

Abstract

Abstract

The Gosau Group (Turonian to Ypresian) of the Eastern Alps is a synorogenic wedge-top succession that accumulated in active depocenters in an oblique-convergent plate tectonic setting. Due to high morphological differentiation of depocenters by tectonism, the Gosau Group displays a wide range of facies as well as marked facies heteropy and thickness variations over short lateral distances. In the area of the locations Gosau and Russbach, the Hochmoos Formation along the SE basin margin near Gosauschmied comprises coastal to shallow-marine deposits and small rudist bioconstructions and was investigated by way of field mapping, profile descriptions, microfacies analysis, isotope measurements and assessment of fossil content.

Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) from 0.707485 (oldest) to 0.707549 (youngest) indicate a latest Santonian age, with the youngest parts of the Hochmoos Formation possibly extending into the Campanian. On the west side of the study area, the succession of lithologies and fossil content record transgression of a fan-delta to marginal-marine environment (lowstand to transgressive systems tract), followed by shallow neritic deposition (part of the transgressive systems tract) and, finally, by progradational stacking of limestone beds in the highstand systems tract, culminating in growth of rudist thickets in an inner shelf and partially protected ‘lagoonal’ milieu. Eventually, at the inception of the following falling stage systems tract, input of large clasts of Dachstein Limestone, quartz and chert record a recurrence of the subaqueous part of a fan-delta. On the east side of the study area, a preponderance of rudist-clastic limestones over a few rudist biostromes preserved in situ indicate a normal-marine environment punctuated by high-energy events, such as storms or tsunami. The scarcity of benthic foraminifera and the presence of only isolated specimens of colonial corals underscore a habitat with a calcarenitic substrate frequently shifted by currents. Several lines of evidence indicate that the western part of the study area was more proximal relative to the eastern one. With a maximum thickness of 68 m, the Hochmoos Formation at Gosauschmied is slightly thicker and more distal than outcrops located nearer to the basin margin and farther towards the SE (Schmiedsippl, Katzhofgraben), but significantly thinner than the nearly 300 m at Gosau Pass-Gschütt, or the thickness of 170 m observed in the area of Rigaus-Abtenau farther in the West. These thickness variations are interpreted as a result of extensional syndepositional tectonism. At Gosauschmied, the vertical arrangement of facies records a cycle of relative sea-level change that may have been tectonically enhanced.

Keywords

  • Stratigraphy
  • Gosau Group
  • Hochmoos Formation
  • carbonate rocks
  • Late Cretaceous
  • Santonian
Open Access

The Rigelj Formation, a new lithostratigraphic unit of the Lower Permian in the Karavanke Mountains (Slovenia/Austria)

Published Online: 07 Jul 2022
Page range: 100 - 123

Abstract

Abstract

The Rigelj Formation is a new lithostratigraphic unit of the Lower Permian Rattendorf Group in the Karavanke Mountains. The Formation is up to 105 m thick and mainly composed of siliciclastic and fossiliferous carbonate sediments that are entirely of shallow-marine setting. Conglomerates are interpreted as shoreface deposits, sandstones as deposits of the upper to lower shoreface, and fossiliferous siltstones as offshore deposits. Fossiliferous limestones were deposited in a shallow, open-marine shelf environment of moderate to low energy (wackestone, floatstone) and strong water turbulence (packstone, rudstone). The siliciclastic and carbonate lithotypes form some well-developed backstepping cycles starting with conglomerates, overlain by sandstones, siltstones and fossiliferous limestones that formed in an open shelf environment without siliciclastic influx. Similar sedimentary cycles are developed in the Grenzland Formation of the Carnic Alps.

The fusulinid fauna indicates that the Rigelj Formation ranges in age from the late Asselian to the middle Sakmarian. In the western Karavanke Mountains and near Trögern, the Lower Permian lithostratigraphic succession is very similar to the succession in the Carnic Alps with Tarvis Breccia resting on the Trogkofel Limestone and the Goggau Limestone. Unlike this, in the central part of the Karavanke Mountains (Dovžanova Soteska–Mt. Pleschiwetz/Plešivec area) the Rigelj Formation is erosively overlain by the Tarvis Breccia. The stronger diversification of the sedimentary environments within the Karavanke-Carnic Alps in the Lower Permian after the uniform sedimentation in the Upper Carboniferous can be attributed to block-faulting.

Keywords

  • Lower Permian
  • Southern Alps
  • Dovžanova Soteska
  • Mt. Pleschiwetz/Plešivec
  • Clastic Trogkofel Beds
  • fusulinid biostratigraphy
Open Access

A regional scale Cretaceous transform fault zone at the northern Austroalpine margin: Geology of the western Ammergau Alps, Bavaria

Published Online: 28 Jul 2022
Page range: 124 - 145

Abstract

Abstract

We reinvestigated parts of the northern Austroalpine margin and provided structural and kinematic field data in order to interpret the kinematic relationship between the Cenoman-Randschuppe (CRS) marginal slice, Falkensteinzug (FSZ), Tannheim- and Karwendel thrust sheets occurring in a narrow strip at the northern front of the northwestern Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA). As a consequence, we propose a revised model for the tectonic evolution of the northern Austroalpine margin. As thrusting propagates from SSE to NNW (Cretaceous orogeny), the Karwendel thrust sheet (including its frontal part, the FSZ) was emplaced onto the Tannheim thrust sheet in the Albian, deduced from (i) upper-footwall deposits, the youngest sediments below the Karwendel thrust (Tannheim- and Losenstein Fms.), and (ii) thrust-sheet-top deposits unconformably overlying the deeply eroded northern Karwendel thrust sheet (Branderfleck Fm.). The future CRS marginal slice was, at that time, part of the foreland of this Early Cretaceous Alpine orogenic wedge. Pervasive overprint by sinistral shear within the CRS marginal slice and northern Tannheim thrust sheet suggests sinistral W-E striking transform faults cutting across this foreland, decoupling CRS marginal slice and FSZ from the main body of the NCA and enabling an independent evolution of the CRS marginal slice from the Early Cretaceous onwards. Subsequent Late Cretaceous and younger shortening leads to successive incorporation of Arosa zone, Rhenodanubian Flysch (RDF) and Helvetic units into the Alpine nappe stack; the Tannheim thrust representing the basal thrust of the NCA. Growth strata within thrust-sheet-top deposits (Branderfleck-Fm.) give evidence for refolding of thrust sheet boundaries. In a typical thin-skinned fold-and-thrust belt, deformation should cease towards the thrust front, whereas within the NCA it increases. An Austroalpine thrust front controlled by E-trending transform faults could cause an increase in deformation towards the most external NCA and explain the absence of the Arosa zone between Allgäu and Vienna. Such faults would most probably also cut out Lower Austroalpine units. Therefore, RDF and CRS marginal slice are juxtaposed; the latter found in the tectonic position of the Arosa zone. The presence of transform faults underlines the strong imprint of the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean on the depositional setting and tectonic evolution of the NCA.

Keywords

  • Northern Calcareous Alps
  • Cenoman-Randschuppe marginal slice
  • Falkensteinzug
  • strike-slip tectonics
  • thrust tectonics
  • Cretaceous synorogenic sediments
Open Access

Metamorphic tourmaline and its petrogenetic significance from the Maramureș Mountains (East Carpathians, Romania)

Published Online: 11 Oct 2022
Page range: 146 - 166

Abstract

Abstract

This study describes mineralogical and crystallochemical characteristics of metamorphic tourmalines from an Alpine shear zone in a Variscan metamorphic rock sequence from the Maramures region in the northern part of the East Carpathians. We use this mineral to unravel aspects of the evolution of the tourmaline bearing host rocks and compare the crystallo-chemical characteristics to other tourmalines from Alps. Petrographic and microstructural observations, as well as electron microprobe analyses on several zoned tourmalines and associated minerals (mica, feldspar) from mylonitic schist of the Rebra terrane (Maramureș Mountains), indicate that the pre-kinematic tourmalines belong to the alkali group (Na dominant), hydroxyl dominated on the crystallographic W-site and can be assigned to the species dravite and schorl. The tourmaline-bearing rocks have a metasedimentary protolith. The analysed porphyroblasts, rotated by simple shear, show corroded rim that are interpreted to have formed due to pressure release. Three main compositional zones were evidenced on a tourmaline porphyroblast: a core zone and two asymmetrically arranged inclusion-poor/free rims, all formed in pre-alpine prograde metamorphic conditions. Based on mineral microstructural relations and geothermobarometry (tourmaline–muscovite, tourmaline–plagioclase geothermometry and phengite geobarometry), the metamorphic peak conditions of the investigated Rebra terrane were evaluated to have been at a temperature of ca. 590 to 620 ± 22 °C and Pmin = 5.5 - 6.0 ± 0.5 kbar. By observing dynamically recrystallized microstructures in quartz and feldspar in the shear zone a temperature of 350 - 400 °C was estimated and the quartz paleopiezometry outlined a differential stress of about 1.5 kbar that implied only minor chemical change in tourmaline outer zone.

Keywords

  • Alpine shear zone
  • East Carpathians
  • metamorphic petrology
  • geothermobarometry
  • microprobe
  • schorl-dravite
Open Access

Deformation of the Dachstein Limestone in the Dachstein thrust sheet (Eastern Alps, Austria)

Published Online: 12 Dec 2022
Page range: 167 - 190

Abstract

Abstract

Deformation affecting the Upper Triassic Dachstein Limestone has been analyzed in the Dachstein thrust sheet, the uppermost thrust unit of the central Northern Calcareous Alps (Eastern Alps). Different scales of deformation are discussed, from kilometer-scale thrusting down to folds in the order of tens of meters to meters. Observations are based on both conventional outcrop observations and on digital fieldwork performed on drone-captured virtual outcrops and on GoogleMaps 3D terrain renderizations. The structures observed were formed at different times and document the following events: 1) Late Triassic syn-depositional instability and slumping; 2) Late Triassic syn-depositional growth of the Hallstatt diapir; 3) Late Triassic syn-depositional, salt-driven, extensional faulting; 4) Jurassic-age re-activation of extensional faults; 5) (presumably) Early Cretaceous shortening in both east-west and north-south directions; and 6) (presumably) Late Cretaceous extensional re-activation of faults. The structures and their origin have a bearing on the interpretation of the tectonic evolution of the Dachstein thrust sheet, highlighting the potential relevance of salt tectonics in controlling its structure.

Keywords

  • Dachstein Limestone
  • soft-sediment deformation
  • tectonic deformation
  • salt tectonics
  • Eo-Alpine
  • virtual outcrops
Open Access

The detachment mechanism of the rockslide causing the Chamoli February 7th, 2021 debris flow disaster

Published Online: 27 Dec 2022
Page range: 191 - 198

Abstract

Abstract

On February 7th, 2021, a rockslide of about 20 Mio m³ detached in a height of 5600 m asl. from the northern flank of Mount Ronti (Chamoli district, Uttarakhand state, India), turned into a rock mass fall and produced a debris flow. When the rock mass hit the Ronti Gad valley after a fall height of 1800 m the rock mass mixed with melting dead ice together with snow and ice avalanche material of previous debris flows. The debris flow destroyed hydroelectric infrastructure between 10 - 20 km down the valley killing 204 people either working at or visiting the power plants. By combining remote sensing, structural geology and kinematics/mechanical analysis of the rockslide, we demonstrate that a 600 m wide and almost 800 m long block of quartzite, bordered laterally by two joints and a newly formed tension crack on the top detached from an underlying layer of biotite-rich paragneisses. Assuming full hydrostatic heads in both joints and in the tension crack as well as 75% of the full hydrostatic head in the lower boundary surface between quartzites and paragneisses, the rock block analysis yields a friction angle of 32° for both joints, which is a plausible value of the friction angle of joints in quartzites. The detachment of the block has been the result of the widening of the tension crack on top, of a progressive propagation of the lateral joints together with a catastrophic failure of the detachment plane at the border between quartzites and paragneisses. At the time of the failure, all discontinuities must have been almost completely filled with water raising the question, if the frequency of rockslides in the Himalayas is increasing as temperatures rise and permafrost is thawing due to climate change.

Keywords

  • Chamoli disaster 2021
  • mechanics of rock failure
  • back analysis
  • natural hazard
Open Access

Hydrogeology of alpine lakes in the Northern Calcareous Alps: a comparative study on the role of groundwater in Filblingsee and Eibensee

Published Online: 31 Dec 2022
Page range: 199 - 212

Abstract

Abstract

In the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) there are countless small lakes with small orographic catchments that are often located only slightly below the respective summit regions. On the one hand, the lakes are located in karstable aquifers and their existence is likely to be related to karstification. Then, they are expected to be directly connected to the karst water body. These lakes are classified as karst lakes. On the other hand, the alpine environment is also influenced by glacial processes and lakes might be related to glacial erosion and deposition. For these glacial lakes, the share of groundwater inflow and outflow is regarded as subordinate even within high permeable karst lithologies. Here we compare two alpine lakes of potentially different origin in the NCA in Salzburg with the aim to provide a basis for an aerial survey of the numerous small alpine lakes in the NCA region and their characterization using the guiding parameters elaborated here. We consider (a) the lake geometry, (b) potential inflow and outflow systems, and (c) physicochemical parameters and hydrochemistry of the Filblingsee and the Eibensee, both located in the Fuschlsee region. Filblingsee was initially considered as a typical karst lake and Eibensee as a moraine-dammed glacial lake. Some clear differences arise in lake geometry, which in the karst lake shows a nearly round surface and concentric depth profile, while the glacial lake is elongated in the direction of glacier flow and has the deepest areas just upstream of the moraine dam. Both lakes show very little to no surficial inflow. Inflow and outflow occur in groundwater in both cases but are not directly tied to a highly permeable karst system. The depth profiles of the field parameters of the two lakes differ only slightly and show a dominant groundwater inflow in mid-depth regions but no flow through at the lake bottom. Water chemistry in both lakes and their potential outflows correspond to the respective aquifer in terms of solution load. Filblingsee can be characterized as a hanging lake in a secondarily sealed doline, Eibensee lies in a glacially excavated depression sealed by glacial sediments. While the inflow and outflow conditions and the hydrochemistry of both lakes are very similar, the lake geometry is a clear distinguishing feature that can be attributed to the different genesis of the two lakes. This can therefore be used as a guiding parameter for the classification of the numerous small alpine lakes in the NCA.

Keywords

  • alpine lake
  • Northern Calcareous Alps
  • hydrogeology
  • lake classification
  • karst