Upper Cretaceous contourites from northwestern Poland in the vicinity of the Szamotuły salt diapir

Aleksandra Stachowska, Piotr Krzywiec


This paper presents the results of seismostratigraphic interpretation of the Upper Cretaceous sedimentary succession preserved within two synclines flanking the Szamotuły diapir in northwestern Poland. This succession is characterized by a complex Santonian–Campanian internal geometry characteristic of contourites – that is, deposits formed by contour (bottom) currents. The aim of the present paper is to document these contourites using 2D seismic reflection profiles calibrated by the Obrzycko 1 well. The contourite drifts in the immediate vicinity of the Szamotuły structure exhibit elongated mounded shapes, with adjacent concave moats. At greater distances from the diapir, gradual aggradational patterns are observed. The formation of these Santonian–Campanian contourites was associated with growth of the Szamotuły diapir during regional compression and Polish Basin inversion. These contour currents and associated contourites formed an integral part of a regional axial depositional system developed within the flanks of the Mid-Polish Anticlinorium. Furthermore, this paper discusses the potential role of contourites as palaeomorphological indicators of palaeoslopes in varied geodynamics settings, such as inverting sedimentary basins, as opposed to the passive margins upon which they have been most commonly documented.


Contourites; Late Cretaceous; Polish Basin; Inversion; Salt tectonics

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