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Volume 101 Supplement 1

Orogenic processes in the Alpine collision zone

Fault slip analysis in the Koralm Massif (Eastern Alps) and consequences for the final uplift of “cold spots” in Miocene times


The Paleogene and Neogene evolution of Austroalpine basement units east of the Tauern Window is characterised by the formation of two major sets of faults: (1) ESE–WNW- to E–W-trending faults, associated with ENE- and NNW-trending conjugate structures and (2) N–S to NNE-SSW striking structures, mainly acting as high-angle normal faults, often associated with E-dipping low-angle normal faults along the western margin of the Styrian Basin.

Together with the stratigraphic evolution of the Styrian and Lavanttal Basins and the related subsidence histories a tectonic evolution may be reconstructed for this part of the Eastern Alps. In the southern part of the Koralm Massif, WNW-trending fractures were activated as dextral strike-slip faults, associated with the evolution of WNW-trending troughs filled up with coarse block debris. W- to WNW-trending fractures were reactivated as normal faults, indicating N–S extension. It is assumed that these phases resulted in subsidence and block debris sedimentation in Karpatian and Badenian times (ca. 17–13 Ma).

In the Western Styrian Basin no Sarmatian (13–11.5 Ma) sediments are observed; Pannonian (11.5 to 7.1 Ma) sediments are restricted to the Eastern Styrian Basin. This indicates, that the Koralm basement and the Western Styrian Basin were affected by post-Sarmatian uplift, coinciding with a re-activation of N-trending normal faults along the eastern margin of the Koralm Massif. Therefore, we suggest that the final uplift of the Koralm Complex, partly together with the Western Styrian Basin, occurred during the early Pannonian (at approximately 10 Ma). The elevation of clastic deposits indicates that the Koralm Complex was elevated by approximately 800 m during this phase, associated with an additional phase of E–W-directed extension accommodated by N–S striking normal faults.

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Correspondence to Walter Kurz.

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Manuscript received 5 November, 2007, Revision accepted 21 July, 2008

Editorial Handling: Stefan Schmid, Stefan Bucher

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Pischinger, G., Kurz, W., Übleis, M. et al. Fault slip analysis in the Koralm Massif (Eastern Alps) and consequences for the final uplift of “cold spots” in Miocene times. Swiss J. Geosci. 101 (Suppl 1), 235–254 (2008).

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