Late Cretaceous palaeogeography of NE Bohemian Massif: diachronous sedimentary successions in the Wleń Graben and Krzeszów Brachysyncline (SW Poland)

Aleksander Kowalski


This paper provides a new sedimentological and palaeogeographic interpretation of the Late Cretaceous (late Cenomanian to early Coniacian) shallow-marine succession exposed in the Wleń Graben and in the Krzeszów Brachysyncline (NE Bohemian Massif, Sudetic Block). These two tectonic subunits are outliers of the North Sudetic and Intra-Sudetic synclinoriums, respectively, and contain relics of the diachronous sedimentary succession of a seaway linking the Boreal and Tethyan marine provinces during the Late Cretaceous. Results of sedimentological study and facies analysis show that the late Cenomanian sedimentation within this corridor was dominated by strong in situ reworking of the pre-Cretaceous bedrock driven by storm waves and possibly tidal currents. In the latest Cenomanian, siliciclastic sedimentation was followed by the deposition of offshore-transition to offshore muddy calcareous facies in the Krzeszów area, while the deposition of coarse-grained siliciclastic facies continued in the Wleń area. The nearshore clastic belt in the latter area changed into a wider strait dominated by offshore sedimentation in the early Turonian, whereby the interconnected Wleń and Krzeszów passages evolved into a uniform strait of fully-marine sedimentation. In the middle Turonian, the southern part of the strait became progressively filled with coarse-grained siliciclastic material supplied from the east. At the end of the late Turonian and in the early Coniacian, the strait funnelled bi-directional tidal currents along its axis. The youngest Cretaceous strata in the Wleń area comprise erosional relics of the early Coniacian shoreface to offshore-transition deposits. The younger Cretaceous deposits are unpreserved, probably eroded during the post-Santonian(?) tectonic inversion of the Wleń–Krzeszów strait. Despite the relatively small distance between the two relic parts of the strait, the shallow-marine succession reveals distinct diachroneity on a regional scale, reflecting an interplay of eustatic changes, differential tectonic subsidence and clastic sediment supply. This paper presents the first detailed sedimentological logs from the two study areas, with new findings of fossil fauna and flora, proposes a new palaeogeographic interpretation and discusses the influence and development of the source areas for the Cretaceous Sudetic Wleń–Krzeszów marine strait at the NE fringe of the Bohemian Massif.

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