Topography of the Magura floor thrust and morphotectonics of the Outer West Carpathians in Poland

Witold Zuchiewicz, Nestor Oszczypko


Neotectonic (Pliocene-Quaternary) elevations and depressions detected on maps of subenvelope surfaces of the topography of the Outer West Carpathians of Poland are, to a certain extent, portrayed on the map showing topography of the Magura floor thrust, particularly in the western segment of the study area. The floor thrust of the Magura Nappe is highly uneven, its position changing from 725 m a.s.l. to more than 7,000 m b.s.l. The most prominent depression is located in the medial (S of Dunajec and Poprad confluence) segment of the Polish Outer Carpathians (2-7 km b.s.l.), and its axis trends NW-SE from the eastern margin of the Mszana Dolna tectonic window to the Poprad River valley. Another, much more shallower, Jordanów depression (2 km b.s.l.) is to be found NW of the Mszana Dolna tectonic window, shortly north of the Skawa River valley. Elevated structures, in turn, include the Mszana Dolna tectonic window, Sól-Skomielna (on the west), and Limanowa (on the east) elevations of subparallel orientation. Still farther to the east, a longitudinal elevation extending between the Klęczany-Pisarzowa and Świątkowa tectonic windows is to be seen some 10-15 km south of the Magura frontal thrust. South of this area, the Magura floor thrust slopes steeply down to more than 4 km b.s.l. A comparison between the pattern of elevated and subsided structures of the Magura floor thrust and subenvelope surfaces of different orders shows that in the western part of the Polish Outer Carpathians the highest-elevated neotectonic structures (in the southern portion of that area) coincide with depressions of the Magura thrust, whereas farther north a reverse pattern becomes dominant: neotectonic elevations coincide either with the Magura frontal thrust or with elevations of its surface. This is particularly true for an area comprised between 20° and 20°30’E meridians. The origin of such relationships is difficult to explain. We infer that one of possible factors could be Pliocene-Quaternary reactivation of faults cutting the Magura floor thrust, and particularly that one, which appears to separate the western-medial segment of the Outer Carpathians from their more eastern portion.

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