The Neoproterozoic–Paleozoic basement in the Alpidic Supragetic/Kučaj units of eastern Serbia: a continuation of the Rheic Ocean?

Darko Spahić, Tivadar Gaudenyi, Bojan Glavaš-Trbić


This paper attempts to allocate a segment of the Paleozoic Ocean situated in what is now Southeastern Europe (SEE) into a regional geological and paleotectonic synthesis connecting the sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous records associated with the ocean’s cycle. The Supragetic basement (external section of the Carpatho-Balkan arch) represents a tectonically reworked basement vestige of the Neoproterozoic–Lower Paleozoic oceanic floor system recrystallized under regional low temperature greenschist-facies conditions. The regional geological constraints associated with this low-grade basement are integrated with information from the overlying Silurian, Devonian and Lower Carboniferous cap-rocks of the “Kučaj Unit” to demonstrate the presence of a major Paleozoic ocean crossing this segment of SEE. In connection with the Lower Paleozoic north Gondwanan Pan-African processes, the low-grade Supragetic basement (including its Devonian cover) is in a complex relationship with the occasionally anchimetamorphic Silurian, Devonian, and Lower Carboniferous deep-water record of the polymetamorphic “Kučaj Unit”. The Upper Devonian–Lower Carboniferous flysch and molasse of the “Kučaj Unit” are interposed with the Neoproterozic–Lower Paleozoic oceanic vestige or with the Supragetic basement with the corresponding Devonian Balkan-Carpathian back-arc ophiolite-bearing lithosphere and its carrier (Danubian Unit). This regional-scale synthesis demonstrates that a segment of the Rheic Ocean referred to as the Saxo-Thuringian seaway and its suture lay to the east, underneath the Permian red-bed overstepping sequence and to the west of the Danubian aggregation. Unlike many of the high-pressure rocks characterizing the segment of the Rheic suture in the Central European Variscides, the SEE zone described here has only a mild overprint.


Supragetic/”Kučaj Unit”; Carpatho-Balkanides; Rheic Ocean/seaways; Rheic suture

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