A Miocene anastomosing river system in the area of Konin Lignite Mine, central Poland

Marek Widera, Emilia Kowalska, Mateusz Fortuna


This sedimentological study of the Wielkopolska Member of the Miocene Poznań Formation in the Jóźwin IIB opencast lignite-mining field, central Poland, reveals a late mid-Miocene anastomosing fluvial system with ribbon-shaped channels filled mainly by sandy and muddy deposits. The fluvial system, extending across the eastern flank of the post-Mesozoic Kleczew Graben, was tributive in its eastern upper reaches, but was increasingly distributive and northwards deflected in its lower reaches near the graben axis. Lithofacies analysis of a representative palaeochannel indicates that the river discharge significantly fluctuated and that the channels were filled with mud-bearing stratified fine-grained sand by low-density tractional turbulent flow during the high and low water stages and with a massive mud or sandy mud by a high-density flow during the rising and falling stages. The spatial pattern of fluvial channels and deformation channel-fill sandbodies were controlled by the graben topography and the differential compaction of peat substrate, with possible influence of bedrock faults. The fluvial system is thought to have drained to an endorheic ‘terminal’ basin to the north, rather than into the hypothetical Baltic River and further westwards to the distant North Sea basin, as postulated by some previous authors. The present case study contributes to the known spectrum of anastomosing river systems as a sand- to mud-dominated end-member.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14241/asgp.2017.012