Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Poznań-Oleśnica Fault Zone, central-western Poland

Marek Widera, Wojciech Ćwikliński, Robert Karman


The Poznań-Oleśnica Fault Zone (P-OFZ) of central-west Poland is an over 150 km long, up to 10 km wide, and up to 200 m deep graben that developed during Early Oligocene to Pliocene times on the flank of the NE-dipping Fore-Sudetic Homocline. Fault systems of this extensional structure appear to reach pre-Zechstein basement in the area of the Fore-Sudetic Homocline that forms an integral part of the Bohemian Massif. The P-OFZ was affected by several stages of subsidence, separated by periods of inversion and/or tectonic quiescence between theTriassic and Cenozoic. Structurally, this dislocation zone can be linked with the Variscan faults, reactivated at that time. During the second half of the last century, the northern parts of the P-OFZ graben were intensively explored by cored boreholes because of their lignite content. Conventional back-stripping methods could not be applied to the tectonic analysis of the POFZ due to the limited thickness of the graben fill, its poor dating and the presence of relatively thick lignite seams. Therefore, phases of accelerated subsidence were determined by comparing the thickness of individual lithostratigraphic units within the graben and on its flanks. The total subsidence of the different graben segments was quantified by determining the aggradation coefficient (AC) and by taking the consolidation coefficient (CC) of lignite seams into consideration. Subsidence analyses indicate that the initial Early Oligocene extensional phase of the P-OFZwas followed by an Early–Middle Miocene extensional subsidence phase and a probably latest Miocene–Pliocene final extensional phase.


Poznań-Oleśnica Fault Zone, Tectonic subsidence, Tectonic phases, Lignite, Cenozoic

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.