IGCP projects with project leader from Slovakia:
1. IGCP Project No. 25 – STRATIGRAPHIC CORRELATION OF THE TETHYS-PARATETHYS NEOGENE
Project leader: Ján Seneš, Slovak Academy of Science, Bratislava (SK)
The programme of the project comprised stratigraphic analysis and age correlation of development of almost 400 Neogene sedimentary regions between Atlantic and Indian oceans completed by 310 scientists from 27 European, African and Asian countries. Revision of biozones, radiometric and paleomagnetic data from each Neogene basin done in cooperation with the Regional Committee of Mediterranean Neogene Stratigraphy (RCMNS), resulted in precision of the Neogene chronostratigraphy.
Stratigraphic and paleogeographic correlation.
Sedimentary records coming from different (temperate, subtropical and tropical) zones have been compared. The result of re-evaluation and correlation of litho- and biostratigraphic units have been published in two Final Reports. The solution of problems related to twelve first-order topics has been compiled in 540 stratigraphic correlation tables. More detailed information comprising all paleobiologic, radiometric, paleomagnetic, volcanologic, and geodynamic characteristic accessible, including the demonstration of lithostratigraphic development with a separate description of each sedimentary area has been presented in more than 700 publications. Moreover, nine special monographic volumes have been published in Academia Editorial House. The principles of the International Stratigraphic Code have been widely applied in revision of older data. This was especially complicated task due to different level of terminology “old fashioned” stratigraphic concepts in various publications and countries.
Sedimentation rate and dynamics of Neogene Tethys and Paratethys basins.
Data obtained during stratigraphic correlation were compared with sedimentation rates of recent seas and the assumption was confirmed that predominant part of the Neogene formations originated in geomorphologically differentiated areas affected by young orogene tectonics. It was considered to evaluate time and space migration of orogene zones including uplift of newly formed mountains. Generally, the uplift, subsidence a sedimentation rates in Neogene basins compared were extraordinary high and deserve more precise analyses.
A special attention has been focused on Neogene evaporate deposits in an extensive intercontinental area between the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific provinces, which provide valuable information for paleogeographic, paleoclimatic and geodynamic reconstructions not only of the Messinian Stage.
Standard, regional and local stages.
Disintegration of former large sedimentary basins and origin of numerous local barriers caused by tectonic and paleogeographic changes during neo-Alpine orogeny caused heavy problems in global stratigraphic correlation of Neogene stages. Therefore, new regional stages for west, central and eastern Paratethys have been introduced and stabilized in individual areas.
2. IGCP Project No. 198 – EVOLUTION OF NORTHERN MARGIN OF THE TETHYS
Project leaders: Miloslav Rakús, State Geological Institute of Dionýz Štúr, Bratislava (SK), Jean Dercourt (F), A.E.M. Nairn (USA)
After formal approval, the project leader concentrated effort upon disseminating information as widely as possible. Responses were received from 72 specialists spread over 12 countries. Plenary meeting was organized in Bratislava, Slovakia; workshops were in Veszprem, Hungary 1985; Zűrich, Switzerland 1986; and Tbilisi, Georgia 1987. The final meeting was held at Pezinská Baba, Slovakia. Within the framework of IGCP Project 198, European geologists were seeking a better understanding of the evolution along northern margin of the Tethys since Triassic until Early Paleogene times, which must obviously have been quite different from that of the southern margin. Five thematic groups were erected:
Several important problems concerning with paleobiology of ancient Tethyan fauna and flora have been discussed. This was exemplified by admirable presented studies of Mesozoic brachiopods, or Jurassic ammonoids.
On the European continent in the north, the intracontinental Jura Basin and parts of Swiss Plateau were slowly subsiding since Triassic to Late Jurassic time. However, as no extensional features are known in this basin, subsidence was most probably controlled by post-Hercynian thermal relaxation, though it was not yet satisfactorily proven by paleogeothermic data. To the end of the Plateau, the Helvetic Realm, which represented a 60 km wide European shelf of the Tethys, subsided by moderate crustal stretching since E. Jurassic until E Cretaceous time, Late Cretaceous to Early Paleogene sedimentation was controlled by global sea-level changes and terrigeneous sediment input. Strong extensional tectonics with subsidence are indicated.
European northern margin of Tethys was during Cenozoic buried under Alpine and Carpathian Mountains belt. The western part of this margin was covered by numerous geophysical measurements – not only by reflection seismology, but also by refraction seismics, magnetotelurics and magneto variational surveys, which have yielded many gravity and magnetometric maps, heat flow maps, etc. They served as a base for geodynamic interpretation of the region. The entire area is still active. There is a continental collision regime – the contact zone between the Alps and Carpathians passing in transtension into SW Western Carpathians, and in transpression into western part of the Western Carpathians. The important role of the position and development of the Pannonian Basin during Neogene development of the Alps ansd Carpathians has been also discussed.
Structural and tectonic history.
Two main problems have arisen here: what is the most coherent palinspastic reconstruction of the former paleogeographic realm obtainable by restoring of the Alpine tectonic history; and which mechanism of basic subsidence predominated – extensional tectonics, post-Hercynian thermal relaxation, or strike-slip tectonics.
Crustal stretching in the Penninic was discontinuous, with areas of almost normal crustal thickness (mid-Penninic structural highs) and strong extensional tectonics in the Penninic basin. Continental margin formation was quite different from the simple stretching model as published for several Atlantic margins and S margin of the Alpine Tethys. This may be due to sinistral strike-slip movements linked to the opening of the Tethys, corresponding to a larger scale strike-slip between the African and European continents.
Volcanology and magmatism.
The Mesozoic magmatic assemblages reflected a diversity of paleogeographic environments. They are indicative of Pacific-type oceanic basins in which Andean-type continental arc developed. Rift zones with alkaline basaltic volcanism occurred on active margins and on passive blocks. The volcanics in Western Carpathians were of alkaline character. The volcanics in Outer Carpathians underwent intensive and widespread processes of fractional crystallization and assimilation. Their character indicates sub continental type crust which has underlain these sedimentary basins. On the other hand, substratum of Central Western Carpathian basins was most probably of thin crust-type. Tholeiitic character of rocks in Inner Western Carpathians points to assumption on remnants of oceanic crust developed during maximum spreading in the Meliaticum.
This was the most important part of the project, resulting in synthesis of paleogeographic maps set (Dercourt et al.), which represented a new step in Tethyan Mesozoic and Cenozoic paleogeography. The aim of IGCP Project 198 was to correlate plate and microplate motions, indicated by global tectonics and by paleomagnetic data.
3. IGCP Project No. 356 – CARPATHIAN – BALCAN PLATE TECTONICS AND METALLOGENY
Project leaders: E. Veto-Ákos (Hungary), Jaroslav Lexa, Slovak Academy of Science Bratislava (SK), S. N. Vlad (Romania)
Duration: 1993-1997-1998 (O.E.T)
The mission of IGCP Project 356 was to synthesize plate tectonic events related with mineralization in the Alpine –Carpathian – Balkan region (Cretaceous to Recent) as well as to analyze single deposits, elaborate deposit models and to find interrelationship between deposits of different type. Extensive drilling exploration during last decades and a large volume of core material available have made possible further investigations without huge investments. Another aim, besides the scientific cooperation, was to bring attention of industry to ore deposits in the region where precious metals have been known and mined since before the Roman Period, however, its potential for further discoveries has not been fully explored by modern methods.
Short history of the Project.
Inauguration meeting took place jointly with the UNESCO Deposit modeling workshop in May 1993 in Budapest and Mátraháza, Hungary, with fieldtrips in northern Hungary, central Slovakia and western Ukraine. Subsequent workshops were held in Bucharest, Romania (1994) with fieldtrips in the Baia Mare and Apuseni regions, Athens, Greece (1995) with fieldtrip at the Milos Island, Sofia, Bulgaria (1996) with fieldtrip in Rhodope Mts. and Glasgow, Scotland (1997). About 60 scientists from 12 countries took active role in the project implementation.
Alpine geotectonic settings include subduction, collision, post-collision and rifting. Each period has characteristic magmatic rocks associated with hydrothermal systems which produced different types of mineralization and host rock alterations. The predominant host rocks are calc-alkaline magmatites of andesitic to rhyolitic composition related to subduction, collision and post-collision settings. Ore deposits occurring in the region include epithermal gold bearing quartz, hot spring, low and high sulphidation epithermal base metal and Au-Cu, porphyry Mo-Cu, skarn and metasomatic replacement type mineralizations. The recent progress of our knowledge regarding the plate tectonics and the elaboration of the different deposit models has enabled a regional correlation within a plate tectonic framework. Multidisciplinary working groups dealt with the tectonic and metallogenic evolution in four mineralized arcs of different ages: Miocene-Pliocene (Carpathians), Eocene-Oligocene (Southwest Carpathians), Late Cretaceous (Banat, Rhodopes) and Late Paleogene-Recent (Dinarides – Hellenides – Rhodopes). The results allowed us to reinterpret more exactly timing of the mineralizations, their interrelationships and to set an agenda for future exploration in the Carpathian – Balkan Region. Participation of industry at the project workshops opened a road to recent discoveries.
4. IGCP Project No. 362 – TETHYAN AND BOREAL CRETACEOUS
Project leaders: Jozef Michalík, Slovak Academy of Science Bratislava (SK), Han Leereveld, Utrecht (NL)
Duration: 1993-1997-1998 (O.E.T.)
The Cretaceous period always attracted attention of geoscientists due to its climatic turnovers including greenhouse and sudden cold conditions, important paleogeographic changes, life climax development, powerful volcanism, orogenetic processes and impact symptoms. Paleogeographic reconstructions of oceans and epicontinental seas, which represent one of key problems of Cretaceous geology, were investigated.
The IGCP Project 362 was oriented to interregional correlation of Cretaceous sedimentary sequences in Mediterranean countries with the region which belonged to more northerly situated basins known as the Boreal Realm. Several items formed the main goals, namely:
The definition of both the Tethyan and Boreal realms.
Tethyan and Boreal paleogeographic data were compiled and paleobiogeographical ties between these realms including seaways and oceanic current system were interpreted. Great attention has been paid to the definition of both facies- and biotic realms and to the differentiation of major faunal provinces. The applicability of the traditional “Tethys”, or “Boreal” terms was discussed.
The interpretation of Tethyan/Boreal paleoclimates and paleoceanographic systems.
Cretaceous oceans were characterized by current systems, climatic gradients, regional and vertical distribution of temperatures, evaporation, biological production, oxygen balance, nutrification of waters, etc. The Atlantic opening was followed by important paleoceanographic changes, evoked by re-orientation of Early Cretaceous longitudinal systems into Late Cretaceous meridional ones.
The comparison of Tethyan and Boreal Cretaceous stratigraphic scales and divisions.
Compilation of para-stratigraphic scales based on the time distribution of several ancient animal groups was oriented to obtain a powerful chronostratigraphic tool. These goals should be achieved by an identification of the nature and attitude of worldwide Cretaceous events, by documentation of processes playing the major role in the coupled nature of paleoceanographic systems and by modeling of global paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental changes. Establishment of a model for the relationships of the Middle Cretaceous state of the Earth, third-order sea fluctuations and widespread occurrence of anoxia based on correlation of coeval events in Italy, France, Spain and Slovakia was another important task.
The history and development of the most important seaways between the Tethyan and Boreal basins, the development of basinal infillings, the definition of faunal migration routes.
Working teams evaluating both abiotic and biotic development along the major Tethyan / Boreal ancient sea domains connections finalized their syntheses. Seven of these junctions of the Mediterranean Tethys with the Boreal basins (Portuguese, Pyrenean, Anglo-Paris, Brabant-Bohemian, Danian-Polish, south Russian, Turgay seaways) have been discussed more precisely and their paleobiogeographic and paleotectonic framework has been elucidated.
The correlation of litho- and bioevents with the global eustatic changes and with local tectonic development of partial sedimentary basins.
The role of global factors responsible for major environmental changes has been discussed. Sequence stratigraphic concepts have been applied in interpretation of anoxic events, OAE- events, evolution and distribution of organisms and paleobiogeographical evolution of individual basins and Tethyan-Boreal junctions. Importance of global eustasy was well illustrated on example of floral/faunal exchange events of Tethyan fauna (and vice-versa) into the Boreal Russian Basin, or into the German Basin via temporal seaways.
5. IGCP Project No. 384 – IMPACT AND EXTRATERRESTRIAL SPHERULES
Project leaders: C.H.Detre (H), A.Beven (Australia), B.P.Glass (US), Katarína Jakabská (SK), Z. Ouyang (China), E.Papp (Australia), Raukas (Estonia), G. Udubasa (RO)
New physical and isotope-geochemical methods and improvement of old classical methods have considerably enlarged our knowledge not only of the physical age of the deposits but also of the paleogeographic situation in the past.
During the last hundred years, microscopic glassy and ferrous spheroids of different origin have often been found in various geological formations. In 1996, IGCP project 384 “Impact and Extraterrestrial Spherules: New Tools for Global Correlation” with a duration of five years (1996–2000) was launched.
During last years, extraterrestrial spherules have been found in many countries of the world in several stratigraphical levels. E.g., Estonia with its two well-known astroblems (Kärdla, Neugrund) and three groups of Holocene craters (Kaali, Ilumetsa, Tsôôrikmäe) serves as a key region for this kind of studies. The concentration of magnetite-silicate microimpactites in certain layers of peat in the surroundings of the Kaali and Ilumetsa craters suggests that the Holocene impact events can be precisely dated on the basis of 14C dates and pollen evidence, and serve as good regional chronostratigraphic markers. Very popular and perfectly preserved spherules have been found at the K/T boundary not only in Caribbean region, but practically worldwide. Their investigation deserves a special attention.
6. IGCP Project No. 442 – RAW MATERIALS OF NEOLITHIC ARTEFACTS
Project leader: Dušan Hovorka, Bratislava (UK)
The main goal was to carry out interdisciplinary studies to establish the source and characteristics of Neolithic stone artifacts (tools, weapons, etc.) in order to define communication paths of raw materials in the given time-period on the European continent. The methodology proposed for studying the artifacts was those typical of the mineralogy and petrology (thin sections, abundance of trace elements, isotopes, etc.) and has taken into account archaeological studies i.e., recent knowledge of migration paths, Mines Neolithic settlement distribution etc. The evaluation and conclusions falled in the field of European archaeology, and has been used to bound artifacts to defined (known) geological bodies. The project contributed to the understanding of technical and cultural interaction in Europe. Furthermore, it was encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation of geology and archaeology and contributed to knowledge of the migration of European cultures.
Metabasic rocks, particularly greenschists, were very popular raw materials for making polished stone tools by prehistoric man in the Carpathian Basin. The major and trace element compositions of these objects are very helpful in determining the place of origin of the rocks. On the other hand, destruction of the complete object is usually not allowed during the analysis. In this paper we show an application of Prompt Gamma Activation Analyses (PGAA), a relatively new, non-destructive method for investigation of Neolithic stone tools. Twenty-four samples (in the form of greenschist and blueschist polished stone tools from Hungarian Neolithic collections and also greenschists and blueschist from outcrops) were investigated. The aim of this work was to establish a method for distinguishing the different types of greenschists occurring in the Carpathian Basin. PGAA gives reliable data for major and some trace elements of geochemical interest. According to our results, it is possible to distinguish blueschist from macroscopically similar greenschist polished stone tools by PGAA. Three macroscopically different types of greenschist samples form only two groups according to chemical composition, which implies only two different sources of greenschist raw material. We were able to identify one of them as rock from the outcrop of Felsöcsatár (Penninic Unit of the Alps in western Hungary). The second source is not yet determined; it requires the study of samples from more outcrops. The investigation of ancient stone tools is only one example of the applicability of PGAA. The advantages of this method can also be exploited in other geochemical research areas.
7. IGCP Project No. 443 – MAGNESITE AND TALC – GEOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CORRELATIONS
Project leaders: Martin Radvanec, State Geological Institute of Dionýz Štúr, Spišská NováVes (SK), Walter Prochaska (A), A.C.Gondim (Brazil), Cai Kequin (China)
Magnesite is regarded as the „raw of the future“ not only in Slovakia. The demand for them is constantly increasing, which brings with it the need to seek new fields, and then solve the problems of their genesis, geological structure, technology, extraction and treatment and assessment of their impact on the environment. Many of these problems are now solved internationally under the auspices of UNESCO.
In support of UNESCO projects in 2000, the International Geological Correlation Programme IGCP 443 „Magnesite and Talc – Geological and Environmental Correlations“ was approved. On his philosophy was built and a project dealing with the analysis and modeling of geological and economic parameters affecting extraction Slovak magnesite deposits. The main aim of ongoing correlation was upgrading of knowledge about magnesite and talc in four thematic groups:
- Geology and structure of magnesite and talk deposits
- Geochemistry, petrology and mineralogy
- Methods of exploration, investigation of raw materials and processing
- Geo-environmental models
The activities in the first thematic group were focused on recent interpretations of geological position of world resources of magnesite and talk. Second thematic group investigated the genesis of magnesite and talc mineralization and their mutual relations. Third thematic group aimed to reveal the waste less technology of elaboration of magnesite and talc from accompanying rocks, being in the past stored in mining dumps. The aim of the fourth thematic group was the estimation of environmental impact of exploitation and dressing of the raw material for life environment and the health of man.
IGCP projects with active working groups in Slovak Republic:
1. IGCP Project No. 506 – MARINE AND NON-MARINE JURASSIC: BOUNDARY EVENTS AND CORRELATIONS
Leader of the national working group: Ján Schlögl, Department of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava (SK)
Prof. Jingeng Sha (China)
Prof. Nicol Morton (France)
Prof. W. A.P. Wimbledon (United Kingdom)
Prof. Paul E. Olsen (USA)
Prof. Alberto C. Riccardi (Argentina)
Prof. Grzegorz (Gregory) Pienkowski (Poland)
Prof. Yongdong Wang(China)
Leader of the national working group:
Ján Schlögl (Department of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia)
Members of the national working group:
Jozef Michalík, Adam Tomašových, Roman Aubrecht, Daniela Reháková, Otília Lintnerová, Eva Halásová, Štefan Méres, Vladimír Šimo, Štefan Józsa
2. IGCP Project No. 575 – PENNSYLVANIAN TERRESTRIAL HABITAS AND BIOTAS OF SOUTHEASTERN EUROAMERICA AND NORTHERN ASIA MINOR AND THEIR RELATION TO TECTONICS AND CLIMATE
Leader of the national working group: Prof. Dr. Anna Vozárová, Department of Mineralogy and Petrology, Faculty of Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava (SK)
Dr. Christopher J. Cleal (United Kingdom)
Dr. Stanislav Opluštil (Czech Republic)
Dr. Isabel van Waveren (Netherlands)
Dr Mihai E. Popa (Romania)
Prof. Barry A. Thomas (United Kingdom)
Leader of the national working group:
Prof. Dr. Anna Vozárová (Comenius University Bratislava, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Mineralogy and Petrology, Bratislava, Slovak Republic)
Members of the national working group:
Jozef Vozár, Viliam Sitár, Ján Kobulský