rss_2.0Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences Journal of Earth Sciences Feed Fischbach Alps: A Geomorphological Record of late Neogene Uplift at the Eastern Margin of the European Alps<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Low-relief surfaces at high elevations are peculiar features of the Eastern Alps that are best explained as relicts of morphological base levels that escaped erosive decay during uplift. To expand our knowledge of such surfaces in the Eastern Alps, the Fischbach Alps at the eastern end of the range are investigated. There, a large number of these elevated low-relief surfaces have been known for some time, but modern mapping is absent and their genesis is not well understood. A combined approach of field mapping, morphometric analysis of a digital elevation model and downstream projection of geomorphic equilibrium sections in river profiles was employed to: (i) create a geomorphological map of the region and (ii) to extract quantitative data from river profiles to infer the amount of uplift and incision. Six discrete levels of low-relief surfaces and relict landscapes are recognized at elevations between ~500 m and ~1600 m. Some of the lower levels are interpreted to relate to the well-known <italic>Trahutten, Landscha</italic> and <italic>Stadelberg</italic> levels, known from other parts of Styria, respectively. Mapped low-relief surface levels follow the northward directed topographic gradient in the mountainous region of the Fischbach Alps. The formation of elevated low-relief surfaces is consistent with a Piedmonttreppen model, where successive phases of tectonic uplift and tectonic quiescence led to a succession of incised landscapes and low-relief surfaces. However, the entire region south of the Murztal was also then tilted towards the Styrian Basin by about ~1–2°. Swath profile analysis for the Raab and Weizbach Klamm suggests a minimum of ~400–450 m incision since the formation of the so called <italic>Hubenhalt</italic> level. This implies that the geomorphic response to tectonic uplift after the formation of the higher <italic>Wolscheneck</italic> and <italic>Koralm</italic> relict landscapes led to an estimated incision of up to 1000 m (868±101 m), relative to the base level of today’s Styrian Basin at ~380 m. By comparing published age data to the presented mapping results, the onset for much of the uplift at the eastern end of the Alps is suggested to lie between ~4–7 Ma, before the formation of the <italic>Hubenhalt</italic> and <italic>Trahutten</italic> levels. Because the mapped levels correlate well with those in many other regions at similar elevations, a growing body of work now suggests that the underlying uplift event has a large wavelength.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Spectroscopy of carbonaceous material thermometry in the Carnic Alps (Austria, Italy)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Carnic Alps (eastern Southern Alps) provide a classical area to study polyphase very-low- to low-grade metamorphism within the Variscan belt of Europe. Temperature indicators collected during the past three decades map the general metamorphic structure of a mountain chain affected by three major tectonic events (Variscan and Alpine thrusting, Oligocene transpression). Thermometric data obtained by Raman Spectroscopy of carbonaceous material (RSCM) described in this study extend the already published database, provide a map of metamorphic isotherms, and are interpreted in the view of current tectonic concepts. The RSCM temperatures of this study describe a gradient between ca. 460 °C in the tectonically deepest segments, bordered by the Periadriatic Fault System, and temperatures of ca. 200 °C in Permian- Triassic boundary strata of the Gartnerkofel-1 core. Mapped isotherms indicate three domains with different thermal histories, characterized by Variscan imbrication of an accretionary wedge, Permo-Mesozoic burial, and Oligocene contact metamorphism.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue NaCu(SO)∙HO from the Lavrion Mining District – a brief characterisation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Recently, samples of natrochalcite, NaCu<sub>2</sub>(SO<sub>4</sub>)<sub>2</sub>∙H<sub>3</sub>O<sub>2</sub>, were discovered from the Esperanza Mine, Lavrion Mining District, Greece. In the present study this material is characterized by single crystal X-ray diffraction at ambient and LT conditions. Natrochalcite is monoclinic, space group <italic>C</italic>2/<italic>m</italic>, with <italic>a</italic> = 8.809(2), <italic>b</italic> = 6.196(1), <italic>c</italic> = 7.504(2) Å, <italic>β</italic> = 118.56(3)°, <italic>V</italic> = 359.7(1) Å<sup>3</sup>, <italic>Z</italic> = 2, <italic>R</italic>1 = 0.0195 at room temperature. No symmetry change was observed down to 100K.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Lower Ordovician orthogneiss within the Ostrong Nappe System – The Laimbach Orthogneiss (Bohemian Massif, Lower Austria)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the 1980s, large parts of the Bohemian Massif in Austria were explored for the occurrence of raw materials (Göd, 1988), and a trace content of topaz was discovered in channels draining the eastern slope of the Ostrong (Lower Austria). Orthogneiss bodies in the Ostrong Nappe System are shown to be the source of these topaz occurrences, and Raman spectroscopy indicates that topaz is fluorine rich. So far, this is the only occurrence of topaz-bearing orthogneiss within the entire Moldanubian Superunit. The orthogneiss shows a tectonic overprint and exhibits a weak to well-developed foliation, as well as local folding. Samples taken near the tectonic boundary of the Ostrong to the Drosendorf Nappe Systems show stronger shear deformation with a pronounced mylonitic foliation and stretching lineation. Detailed geo-chemical investigations of the major and trace elements indicate a classification as S-type granite with a high degree of differentiation and a peraluminous character. The orthogneiss has a high SiO<sub>2</sub> content of 72.8–77.3 wt%, as well as a noteworthy high fluorine content of up to 2760 ppm. Mineral compositions show zoned plagioclase with an albite component of about 87–99 mol%, increasing towards the grain margin. Garnet occurs rarely, but consistently in those samples near the tectonic boundary of the Ostrong- to the Drosendorf Nappe Systems. Garnet is almandine-dominated, shows no zoning and is single-phased. Sillimanite is common and samples near the tectonic boundary also contain kyanite. To determine the previously unknown protolith age of the orthogneiss, U-Pb zircon dating was applied. Three zircon fractions from two samples yield concordia ages of 475.3 ± 1.0 Ma, 474.8 ± 2.9 Ma, and 473.5 ± 1.5 Ma, identical in assigned uncertainties, reflecting magmatic zircon growth. Furthermore, the short prismatic habit of zircon grains indicates a plutonic rather than volcanic origin of the protolith. Dating results also provide a minimum sedimentation age for the rocks of the Ostrong Nappe System within Austria. In comparison with other metagranitoids and orthogneisses of the Moldanubian Nappes, the investigated orthogneiss shows strong similarities with the Gföhl Gneiss and the Moldanubian Granulite. The orthogneiss therefore is considered as a more fractionated equivalent of the Gföhl Gneiss. In conclusion we suggest to name the studied orthogneiss <italic>Laimbach Orthogneiss</italic> in the rank of a lithodeme (NACSN, 2005), after the locality Laimbach am Ostrong (48°19′01″N; 15°07′19″E), which is located centrally with respect to the occurrences of this gneiss.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue thermo-mechanical model of the thermal evolution and incorporation of metamorphic soles in Tethyan ophiolites: a case study from Oman<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Ophiolites are remnants of oceanic crust and mantle, now typically found within continental mountain ranges like the Alps. Particularly in areas once part of the Tethys Ocean, ophiolites are often accompanied by narrow stripes of metamorphic rocks, commonly referred to as metamorphic soles. These metamorphic soles typically exhibit peak metamorphic conditions characteristic of either granulite or amphibolite facies. Geochronological studies of Tethyan ophiolites indicate that the development of these metamorphic soles occurred almost simultaneously with the crystallization of the ophiolite’s crustal sequence. Geological evidence also suggests that the metamorphism of the sole rocks took place concurrently with deformation, likely at the same time as the ophiolite’s obduction. In our research, we explore the metamorphic effects of shearing in an ophiolite sequence overlying a crustal sequence. Our findings reveal that strong lithologies like ophiolites can produce additional heat through the dissipation of mechanical energy, which can potentially explain the high temperatures found in metamorphic-sole rocks. In addition, heating-driven softening of the footwall rocks eventually leads to the migration of the active shear zone from the mantle sequence into the upper crustal domain. This migration may be responsible for the metamorphic sole incorporation at the base of the ophiolite. Finally, we demonstrate that stopping the shearing process rapidly cools these rocks, corresponding with the findings from thermochronological studies from Oman ophiolite.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue assemblages from a bathyal environment spanning the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in Austria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Extensive bulk-sampling of the continuous Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary section at Gams (Styria, Austria) allows for the first time the description of the elasmobranch communities inhabiting the bathyal environment of this well-known section. The sampled succession comprises six horizons from the uppermost Maastrichtian (upper part of <italic>Nephrolites frequens</italic> Zone CC26) and five horizons from the lowermost Danian (Zone NP1), which yielded a total of 1852 elasmobranch teeth. Although the majority of the teeth are not well preserved, this study enabled the description of at least 16 taxa of the orders Hexanchiformes, Squaliformes, Orectolobiformes, Lamniformes and Carcharhiniformes, providing a rare snapshot of elasmobranch diversity of this specific environmental setting. Beside minor diversity fluctuations between the assemblages, the extensive bulk-sampling of this section did not reveal a marked diversity decline related to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event. However, a noteworthy correlation between the deepening upward trend of the section with the appearance of frilled and goblin sharks points to changes in palaeobathymetry, which is also reflected in the increase of the total proportion of squaliform teeth in the uppermost sampled horizon. Furthermore, teeth of the extinct triakid <italic>Palaeogaleus</italic> were recovered exclusively from the Danian deeper deposits, expanding the palaeoecological range of the genus down to fairly deep marine environments. In addition, this study provides the first record of the lamniform <italic>Cretolamna</italic> ex gr. <italic>borealis</italic> from the Danian of the Tethyan Realm expanding the palaeogeographic distribution of this group.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue metabasites from the Texel Unit (Austroalpine nappe stack): markers of Cretaceous intracontinental subduction and subsequent collision<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Eclogites in the Texel Unit (Austroalpine nappe stack; Eastern Alps, South Tyrol, Italy) represent the westernmost out-crops of the E-W striking Eoalpine High-Pressure Belt (EHB). East of the Tauern Window, the EHB forms part of a Cretaceous intracontinental south-dipping subduction/collision zone. The impetus of this contribution is to extend the geothermo-barometric data of the eclogites from the EHB using conventional geothermobarometry and multi-equilibrium calculations as well as Zr-in-rutile/titanite geothermometry and to put the <italic>P</italic>-<italic>T</italic> results of eclogites and amphibolites from the Texel Unit into the geodynamic framework. The investigated samples of this study are from the Spronser- and the Saltaus valleys (S-Tyrol) in the Austroalpine Texel Unit. The Texel Unit is composed mainly of paragneisses with minor intercalations of micaschists, orthogneisses, amphibolites and subordinately eclogites. The amphibolites from the Spronser valley contain the mineral assemblage amphibole + plagioclase + garnet + clinozoisite/epidote + quartz + titanite ± ilmenite ± rutile ± apatite ± calcite. Chemical zoning in plagioclase and amphibole shows two main growth stages: an older <italic>P</italic>-dominated stage (e.g. albite and barroisite cores) and a younger amphibolite-facies stage. The core of the amphiboles shows barroisite composition, the rim can be chemically classified as hornblende, edenite, tschermakite and pargasite. Geothermobarometric calculations with multi-equilibrium geothermobarometry (THERMOCALC v.3.21) yield temperatures of 600–654°C and pressures of 0.98–1.17 GPa for the same samples. The eclogites from the Saltaus valley contain the peak mineral assemblage omphacite + amphibole + garnet + clinozoisite/epidote + muscovite + quartz + titanite ± ilmenite ± rutile. Thermobarometric calculations, were performed in the system CaO-FeO-MgO-Na<sub>2</sub>O-Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>-FeO-SiO<sub>2</sub>-H<sub>2</sub>O with the assemblage clinopyroxene + garnet + amphibole + clinozoisite/epidote + muscovite + quartz ± H<sub>2</sub>O. The calculations involved an H<sub>2</sub>O-absent invariant point (mode-1 calculation) as well as two types of <italic>average P</italic>-<italic>T</italic> mode-2 calculations. The obtained <italic>average P</italic>-<italic>T</italic> H<sub>2</sub>O-absent mode 1 <italic>P</italic>-<italic>T</italic> conditions are 1.89 ± 0.18 GPa and 578 ± 60°C. Using the <italic>average P</italic>-<italic>T</italic> mode-2 two types of calculations were done: (1) calculations without amphiboles but with H<sub>2</sub>O present, which yield mean <italic>P</italic>-<italic>T</italic> conditions of 1.95 ± 0.28 GPa and 601 ± 55°C and (2) calculations with amphiboles but without H<sub>2</sub>O, which yield mean <italic>P</italic>-<italic>T</italic> conditions of 1.95 ± 0.26 GPa and 666 ± 77°C. Calculations using THERMOCALC v.3.33 yield similar results with slightly higher pressures of 0.3 GPa. Based on the present geothermobarometric data in conjunction with available mineral ages the eclogites represent the Eoalpine intracontinental subduction stage whereas the amphibolites reflect the subsequent, P-accentuated stage of decompression associated with the subsequent Eoalpine collisional stage.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Levels in the Dachstein Massif (Eastern Alps)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper investigates the vertical distribution of horizontal and subhorizontal cave passages in the Dachstein Massif of Austria. Cave passages that are confined to vertical ranges, so-called cave levels, can be correlated with former valley floors and thus reflect tectonically and climatically stable periods. Previous studies analyzed significant karst Massifs (or parts of them) in the Northern Calcareous Alps but have excluded the Dachstein massif so far. The Dachstein is the second largest massif in the area, contains many extensive caves, and plays a key role in reconstruction of landscape evolution (“Dachstein surface”). In contrast to some previous works, we aimed to analyze only passages that formed (or are forming) under phreatic or epiphreatic conditions (i.e. permanently or episodically water-filled). This genetic classification is based on field observations, cave maps, 3D survey shots and descriptions. For this study, 789 caves with a total length of 279 km were considered, but data were only available for 599 caves (276 km). Only 25% of all caves in the Dachstein Massif are at least partly of (epi)phreatic origin, but the total length of phreatic passages is 204 km. Altitudes of the phreatic sections of each cave were grouped in 25-m increments and plotted according to their phreatic passage length. It turned out that there are five vertical accumulations of caves in the Dachstein Massif. Despite some previous studies that also considered morphological, hydrological, and sedimentological characteristics, our correlation with the “classical” supra-regional cave levels in other karst massifs was based only on elevation. The following elevations for the cave levels were determined: Spring Cave Level: 475-775 m a.s.l., Berger Cave Level: 825-1075 m, Giant Cave Level (with the highest peak): 1125-1550 m, Ruin Cave Level: 1600-2050 m, and a formerly unknown level at 2525-2750 m, for which we propose the name Voodoo Cave Level. According to this study the two longest cave systems, the Hirlatzhöhle (114 km long and 1560 m deep) and the Dachstein-Mammuthöhle (68 km, 1207 m) are most relevant for the result. The local vertical distribution of caves within the Dachstein was compared with the regional northward tilt of cave levels in the Northern Calcareous Alps, however the heterogeneous distribution of the known cave obscures local effects in the Dachstein Massif.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue new guideline for geological maps with QGIS<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Being able to create digital geological maps has become a basic requirement for the skillset of today’s geologists. QGIS is a geographical information system that receives increasing popularity due to its user-friendliness and the fact that it is an open access software. This contribution provides an update and extension to a previously published software guideline that gives a stepwise explanation on how to create a geological map with QGIS. The article serves as a brief overview of the guideline through an illustrated example. The guideline itself is published as a supplement to this paper. Within six sections, the guideline explains how to create a geological map with QGIS: 1. Introduction, 2. Download and installation, 3. Basemaps, 4. Map drawing, 5. Plugins, 6. Layouts. The aim is to instruct geologists who are completely inexperienced with digital map creation as well as provide specific information for more advanced users. In general, providing software guidelines for the geological community is an important step towards increasing geologists’ digital proficiency and to keep up with today’s fast paced developments in digitalization.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue analysis of karst springs in Lower Austria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Karst springs play a central role in Austria’s water supply. This paper aims to provide an overview of the karst springs of Lower Austria, analysing statistical correlations of spatial distribution, discharge, electrical conductivity (EC), and temperature. As part of a project with the provincial government of Lower Austria, older data from numerous studies have been combined with the self-generated data in a GIS database. This database contains data on 2056 karst springs. Most of the recorded springs are located in the Northern Calcareous Alps, although karst springs also occur in the Central Alpine Permomesozoic, the Waschberg zone and the Bohemian Massif, some of which are also of regional importance for drinking water supply. Chemical analyses show that limestone, dolomite and mixed springs are widespread in Lower Austria and occur with similar frequency. Gypsum springs, which are characterised by a significantly higher total mineral-isation, are also of regional importance. The statistical analysis shows that spring water temperatures correlate well with the mean annual air temperature at the mean catchment elevation. The temperature decrease with increasing elevation corresponds to the air temperature gradient in the Eastern Alps (0.47 °C/100 m). In addition, the springs show a negative correlation of the EC with the mean catchment elevation, which can be explained by a decrease in soil cover and thus reduced CO<sub>2</sub> uptake of the water, as well as dilution by rainwater. This leads to less carbonate dissolution, which is also reflected in less HCO<sub>3</sub><sup>−</sup> contents. Corrected for the elevation effect, the investigated dolomite springs, have on average a 2.7% higher EC than limestone springs. A difference was also found between the Hauptdolomit and the Wettersteindolomit rock types, which are widespread in Lower Austria, with the latter displaying higher values on average by 2.2%. This indicates longer residence times of the spring water due to less karstification of the Wettersteindolomit.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Lower - Middle Miocene transition (Karpatian – Badenian) in the Krems Embayment (Central Paratethys, Lower Austria): a multistrati-graphic approach and the role of the Diendorf-Boskovice Fault System.<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Krems Embayment contains the westernmost fully marine depositional environments of the Karpatian and Bade-nian transgressions in the Central Paratethys. Four drill cores were investigated to analyse the bio- and lithostratigraphic, and tectonic relations. The investigated core sections cover the Karpatian Laa Formation (bio-zones M4, NN4) and the Badenian Gaindorf Formation (M5b-M6, NN4-NN5). Important biostratigraphic indicators identified are <italic>Praeorbulina glomerosa glomerosa, Praeorbulina glomerosa circularis</italic> and <italic>Orbulina suturalis</italic> for the Gaindorf Formation. The Laa Formation is indicated by the absence of <italic>Praeorbulina</italic>, <italic>Orbulina</italic> and <italic>Globigerina falconensis</italic>, low numbers of <italic>Globorotalia bykovae</italic>, and a prominent peak in <italic>Helicosphaera ampliaperta</italic> abundance at the end of the Karpatian. <italic>Cibicidoides lopjanicus</italic> and <italic>Cassigerinella</italic> spp. occur with high percentages in Badenian samples and show much longer stratigraphic ranges than known from literature data. The depositional gap at the Karpatian-Badenian boundary has a minimum duration of 0.41 My in the Krems Embayment. The combination of bio- and lithostratigraphic data allows the correlation across major faults. The Diendorf-Boskovice Fault System played an important role during basin formation and was identified as very active during the early to middle Badenian Stage. The results of this study show the complex interaction of sedimentation, tectonic activity and paleobiological developments in this peripheral part of a marginal sea.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue role of the proto-Alpine Cenerian Orogen in the Avalonian- Cadomian belt<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The proto-Alpine Cenerian orogen (Ediacaran-Ordovician) and the Cadomian orogen (Ediacaran-Cambrian), remnants of which are exposed in the central European Variscides, should be defined as two distinct and spatially separated coastal orogens within the Avalonian-Cadomian belt. The Cadomian orogen originally lay in front of the Sahara metacraton. It underwent a change from an active to a passive margin setting during the Cambrian. The Cenerian orogen, represented by intra-Alpine rocks, was located farther east near the Arabian Nubian Shield, from where it inherited a characteristic Tonian/Stenian detrital zircon signal. Subduction persisted in the Cenerian Orogen until the Ordovician. The Cadomian orogen was akin to Andean type whereas the Cenerian orogen was more akin to Alaskan type. This paper explores why the two orogens have such different characteristics and tectonic evolutions despite their probable proximity in the Avalonian-Cadomian belt. One explanation could be that they were at nearly right-angles to each other due to a strong concave bending of the northern Gondwana margin ahead of the Arabian-Nubian Shield.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue orogen – young topography: Evidence for relief rejuvenation in the Bohemian Massif<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Bohemian Massif is the relic of a major Paleozoic mountain range that is known to have exhumed and its surface levelled in the Permian, but its Neogene landscape evolution is largely unconstrained. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills and extended planation surfaces above an elevation of about 500 m. However, at lower elevations deeply incised gorges confined by steep hillslopes are abundant and contrast impressively with the low relief landscapes above. Rivers with a bimodal morphology (i.e. steep at lower elevations and gentle at higher elevations) drain either to the north into the Vltava (Moldau) River or to the south into the Danube River. Hence, a continental drainage divide runs through the Bohemian Massif. Here, we quantify spatial characteristics of the Bohemian Massif landforms by computing landscape metrics like steepness index or geophysical relief derived from digital elevation models. From this we infer temporal change of the landscape in the past and predict them for the future evolution of the region.</p> <p>We show that the landscape is characterized by out-of-equilibrium river profiles with knickpoints abundantly at elevations between 450 m and 550 m separating steep channel segments at lower elevations from less steep channels at higher elevations. Hypsometric maxima at or close above knickpoint elevations, along with high and low values in geophysical relief as indicator for the degree of fluvial landscape dissection downstream and upstream of major knickpoints, support the idea of landscape bimodality. Furthermore, we find a distinct drainage divide asymmetry, which causes the reorganization of the drainage network of the region. Across-divide gradients in channel steepness predict the northward migration of the Danube-Vltava drainage divide including growth and shrinkage of tributary catchments, thus controlling changes in the Central European drainage pattern.</p> <p>All aspects suggest that the region experienced relief rejuvenation during the last few million years. We suggest that this relief rejuvenation is related to the inversion of the Molasse basin with a long wavelength rock uplift pattern and low uplift rates. Vertical motion of crustal blocks at discrete faults may locally affect the uplift pattern. However, the contrasting bedrock properties between the sedimentary cover (Molasse sediments) and the crystalline basement (Bohemian Massif) cause substantial differences in erosion rate and are thus the superior control on the topographic variations of the entire region.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue temporal evolution of seismicity and variability of b-values along the Vienna Basin Transfer Fault System<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Vienna Basin Transfer Fault System (VBTFS) is the most active fault system in the region between the Eastern Alps, the western Carpathians and the Pannonian Basin. The spatial and temporal distribution of earthquakes along the fault system shows a heterogeneous pattern including a long-time decay of seismicity at the northern part of the VBTFS, which was interpreted to result from a long aftershock sequence subsequent to the 1906 Dobrá Voda earthquake (M=5.7). In this paper we investigate if other segments of the VBTFS display similar long-term declines of seismicity that might indicate long aftershock sequences following strong, yet unrecorded, earthquakes in historical times.</p> <p>In order to analyse the distribution of seismicity, the VBTFS is divided into arbitrary segments of about 50 km length each. The segments are chosen to overlap each other to avoid missing information from neighbouring segments due to arbitrarily selected segment boundaries. For each segment we analyse the temporal evolution of seismicity and calculate the parameters of the corresponding Gutenberg-Richter (GR) relation.</p> <p>The temporal seismicity patterns revealed from the segments covering the Dobrá Voda area confirm the protracted aftershock sequence following the 1906 earthquake. All but one of the other segments do not show temporal changes of seismicity comparable to the long-term Dobrá Voda aftershock sequence. Seismicity patterns, however, include short-term Omori-type aftershocks following moderate earthquakes such as the 2000 Ebreichsdorf earthquake (M=4.8). The segment covering the SW tip of the VBTFS revealed a 200 years long gradual decrease of the largest observed magnitudes starting with the 1794 Leoben (M=4.7) earthquake. The 1794 event is the oldest earthquake listed in the catalogue for the region under consideration. It therefore remains open if the recorded decay of seismicity results from the 1794 event, or a stronger earthquake before that time. The latter is corroborated by the low magnitude of the 1794 earthquake which would typically not be considered to cause long aftershock sequences.</p> <p>GR a- and b-values, calculated for the individual segments, vary significantly along the VBTFS. Values range from 0.47 to 0.86 (b-values) and 0.81 to 2.54 (a-values), respectively. Data show a significant positive correlation of a- and b-values and a coincidence of the lowest b-values with fault segments with large seismic slip deficits and very low seismicity in the last approximately 300 years. These parts of the VBTFS were previously interpreted as “locked” fault segments, which have a significant potential to release future strong earthquakes, in spite of the fact that historical and instrumentally recorded seismicity is very low. We find this interpretation corroborated by the low b-values that suggest high differential stresses for these fault segments.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue geochemistry and petrography of Miocene ombrotrophic coals in the tropical Asem-Asem Basin (Kalimantan, Indonesia): Comparison to coeval subtropical coals in the Eastern Alps<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The middle Miocene Warukin Formation in the Asem-Asem Basin (Kalimantan) contains a 20-m-thick coal seam (BL1) that is mined at the Jumbang mine. The seam, formed in a tropical peat, was studied to reconstruct the peat-forming environment and to compare its characteristics with those of similarly aged tropical coals from the Tutupan mine in the Barito Basin (Kalimantan) and similarly aged (<sup>~</sup>15 Ma) subtropical coal from the Leoben Basin in the Eastern Alps (Austria). Although all coals were formed in ombrotrophic peatlands, the comparison reveals differences in biomarker and maceral composition due to the different climate and flora.</p> <p>The study is based on 22 coal and three non–coal samples, each representing a stratigraphic interval of 0.2 to 1.0 m. The samples were analyzed for ash yield, carbon and sulphur contents, and maceral composition. Organic geochemical parameters were obtained on eight coal samples to obtain information on the peat-forming vegetation. The low-ash, low-sulphur BL1 seam was deposited in an ombrotrophic basinal (coastal) mire. Locally increased sulphur contents in the lower coal bench BL1L demonstrate brackish influence and a near-shore environment. The vegetation was dominated by angiosperms including abundant dammar resin producing <italic>Dipterocarpaceae</italic>, while the contribution of gymnosperms was negligible.</p> <p>The Tutupan seams T110 and T210, which were formed in kerapah (inland) ombrotrophic mires, have similar ash yields and sulphur contents but contain higher, although still low, concentrations of gymnosperm-derived diterpenoids. In addition, lower amounts of cadinane-type biomarkers and resinite suggest that <italic>Dipterocarpaceae</italic> were less dominant in kerapah peats. While differences between tropical coals from Kalimantan are minor, major differences exist between the tropical coals and the subtropical ombrotrophic Leoben coal. These include significantly higher concentrations of gymnosperm-derived biomarkers in subtropical peat, lower amounts of resinite due to the absence of <italic>Dipterocarpaceae</italic>, as wells as lower amounts of leaf- and rootlet-derived macerals. Apparently, fungal activity was also reduced in the sub-tropical Leoben peat. Surprisingly, the average amount of oxidized plant remains is also lower in the subtropical peat.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue remote sensing prospection of Miocene limestone quarries in the hinterland of Roman Carnuntum and Vindobona (Vienna Basin, Austria)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We have documented quarries in Miocene limestone in the Vienna Basin (Austria), Hundsheim Mountains, Leitha Mountains and Rust Hills in high-resolution airborne laser scanning data and orthophotos aiming for a diachronic quarry inventory since the Roman period. The study region was divided into 6 quarry regions and the quarries of the whole study area as well as each separate region were analyzed concerning different rock types, mean, minimum and maximum quarry area and development in the different maps. Age information have been sought from historical maps, historical photography and paintings as well as quarry face graffiti. In total, 658 quarries, possible quarries and shallow quarries have been outlined in the detailed digital terrain models, which were compared with 453 quarries indicated in four generations of historical maps between the years 1754 to 1872. The numbers of quarries are generally low in the Walter map (1754–1756), the First Military Survey (1773–1785) and Second Military Survey (1809–1846) but increase tremendously in the maps of the Third Military Survey (1872–1873).</p> <p>Most old quarries were quarried also in subsequent periods, commonly destroying virtually all pre-existing traces. According to our results two types of quarries represent highly interesting targets for more detailed studies in the search for Roman quarries: (i) areas in historical maps with suspicious uneven terrain, which have never been outlined as quarries and areas that have been mapped as “old quarries” – especially in the Third Military Survey; examples represent areas northwest and west of Pfaffenberg in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg (Lower Austria), “<italic>Gruibert</italic>” in Winden am See (Burgenland) and “<italic>Hoher Berg</italic>” in Stotzing (Burgenland); (ii) Shallow quarries, which neither appear in historical maps nor in the mining archive of the Geological Survey of Austria like the one from the saddle between Pfaffenberg and Hundsheimer Berg.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue regional scale Cretaceous transform fault zone at the northern Austroalpine margin: Geology of the western Ammergau Alps, Bavaria<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We reinvestigated parts of the northern Austroalpine margin and provided structural and kinematic field data in order to interpret the kinematic relationship between the Cenoman-Randschuppe (CRS) marginal slice, Falkensteinzug (FSZ), Tannheim- and Karwendel thrust sheets occurring in a narrow strip at the northern front of the northwestern Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA). As a consequence, we propose a revised model for the tectonic evolution of the northern Austroalpine margin. As thrusting propagates from SSE to NNW (Cretaceous orogeny), the Karwendel thrust sheet (including its frontal part, the FSZ) was emplaced onto the Tannheim thrust sheet in the Albian, deduced from (i) upper-footwall deposits, the youngest sediments below the Karwendel thrust (Tannheim- and Losenstein Fms.), and (ii) thrust-sheet-top deposits unconformably overlying the deeply eroded northern Karwendel thrust sheet (Branderfleck Fm.). The future CRS marginal slice was, at that time, part of the foreland of this Early Cretaceous Alpine orogenic wedge. Pervasive overprint by sinistral shear within the CRS marginal slice and northern Tannheim thrust sheet suggests sinistral W-E striking transform faults cutting across this foreland, decoupling CRS marginal slice and FSZ from the main body of the NCA and enabling an independent evolution of the CRS marginal slice from the Early Cretaceous onwards. Subsequent Late Cretaceous and younger shortening leads to successive incorporation of Arosa zone, Rhenodanubian Flysch (RDF) and Helvetic units into the Alpine nappe stack; the Tannheim thrust representing the basal thrust of the NCA. Growth strata within thrust-sheet-top deposits (Branderfleck-Fm.) give evidence for refolding of thrust sheet boundaries. In a typical thin-skinned fold-and-thrust belt, deformation should cease towards the thrust front, whereas within the NCA it increases. An Austroalpine thrust front controlled by E-trending transform faults could cause an increase in deformation towards the most external NCA and explain the absence of the Arosa zone between Allgäu and Vienna. Such faults would most probably also cut out Lower Austroalpine units. Therefore, RDF and CRS marginal slice are juxtaposed; the latter found in the tectonic position of the Arosa zone. The presence of transform faults underlines the strong imprint of the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean on the depositional setting and tectonic evolution of the NCA.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue architecture of a mixed clastic-carbonate succession and Sr/Sr-based chronostratigraphy along the margin of a synorogenic extensional basin (Hochmoos Formation, upper Santonian, Northern Calcareous Alps)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Gosau Group (Turonian to Ypresian) of the Eastern Alps is a synorogenic wedge-top succession that accumulated in active depocenters in an oblique-convergent plate tectonic setting. Due to high morphological differentiation of depocenters by tectonism, the Gosau Group displays a wide range of facies as well as marked facies heteropy and thickness variations over short lateral distances. In the area of the locations Gosau and Russbach, the Hochmoos Formation along the SE basin margin near Gosauschmied comprises coastal to shallow-marine deposits and small rudist bioconstructions and was investigated by way of field mapping, profile descriptions, microfacies analysis, isotope measurements and assessment of fossil content.</p> <p>Strontium isotope ratios (<sup>87</sup>Sr/<sup>86</sup>Sr) from 0.707485 (oldest) to 0.707549 (youngest) indicate a latest Santonian age, with the youngest parts of the Hochmoos Formation possibly extending into the Campanian. On the west side of the study area, the succession of lithologies and fossil content record transgression of a fan-delta to marginal-marine environment (lowstand to transgressive systems tract), followed by shallow neritic deposition (part of the transgressive systems tract) and, finally, by progradational stacking of limestone beds in the highstand systems tract, culminating in growth of rudist thickets in an inner shelf and partially protected ‘lagoonal’ milieu. Eventually, at the inception of the following falling stage systems tract, input of large clasts of Dachstein Limestone, quartz and chert record a recurrence of the subaqueous part of a fan-delta. On the east side of the study area, a preponderance of rudist-clastic limestones over a few rudist biostromes preserved <italic>in situ</italic> indicate a normal-marine environment punctuated by high-energy events, such as storms or tsunami. The scarcity of benthic foraminifera and the presence of only isolated specimens of colonial corals underscore a habitat with a calcarenitic substrate frequently shifted by currents. Several lines of evidence indicate that the western part of the study area was more proximal relative to the eastern one. With a maximum thickness of 68 m, the Hochmoos Formation at Gosauschmied is slightly thicker and more distal than outcrops located nearer to the basin margin and farther towards the SE (Schmiedsippl, Katzhofgraben), but significantly thinner than the nearly 300 m at Gosau Pass-Gschütt, or the thickness of 170 m observed in the area of Rigaus-Abtenau farther in the West. These thickness variations are interpreted as a result of extensional syndepositional tectonism. At Gosauschmied, the vertical arrangement of facies records a cycle of relative sea-level change that may have been tectonically enhanced.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the Dachstein Limestone in the Dachstein thrust sheet (Eastern Alps, Austria)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Deformation affecting the Upper Triassic Dachstein Limestone has been analyzed in the Dachstein thrust sheet, the uppermost thrust unit of the central Northern Calcareous Alps (Eastern Alps). Different scales of deformation are discussed, from kilometer-scale thrusting down to folds in the order of tens of meters to meters. Observations are based on both conventional outcrop observations and on digital fieldwork performed on drone-captured virtual outcrops and on GoogleMaps 3D terrain renderizations. The structures observed were formed at different times and document the following events: 1) Late Triassic syn-depositional instability and slumping; 2) Late Triassic syn-depositional growth of the Hallstatt diapir; 3) Late Triassic syn-depositional, salt-driven, extensional faulting; 4) Jurassic-age re-activation of extensional faults; 5) (presumably) Early Cretaceous shortening in both east-west and north-south directions; and 6) (presumably) Late Cretaceous extensional re-activation of faults. The structures and their origin have a bearing on the interpretation of the tectonic evolution of the Dachstein thrust sheet, highlighting the potential relevance of salt tectonics in controlling its structure.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of alpine lakes in the Northern Calcareous Alps: a comparative study on the role of groundwater in Filblingsee and Eibensee<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) there are countless small lakes with small orographic catchments that are often located only slightly below the respective summit regions. On the one hand, the lakes are located in karstable aquifers and their existence is likely to be related to karstification. Then, they are expected to be directly connected to the karst water body. These lakes are classified as karst lakes. On the other hand, the alpine environment is also influenced by glacial processes and lakes might be related to glacial erosion and deposition. For these glacial lakes, the share of groundwater inflow and outflow is regarded as subordinate even within high permeable karst lithologies. Here we compare two alpine lakes of potentially different origin in the NCA in Salzburg with the aim to provide a basis for an aerial survey of the numerous small alpine lakes in the NCA region and their characterization using the guiding parameters elaborated here. We consider (a) the lake geometry, (b) potential inflow and outflow systems, and (c) physicochemical parameters and hydrochemistry of the Filblingsee and the Eibensee, both located in the Fuschlsee region. Filblingsee was initially considered as a typical karst lake and Eibensee as a moraine-dammed glacial lake. Some clear differences arise in lake geometry, which in the karst lake shows a nearly round surface and concentric depth profile, while the glacial lake is elongated in the direction of glacier flow and has the deepest areas just upstream of the moraine dam. Both lakes show very little to no surficial inflow. Inflow and outflow occur in groundwater in both cases but are not directly tied to a highly permeable karst system. The depth profiles of the field parameters of the two lakes differ only slightly and show a dominant groundwater inflow in mid-depth regions but no flow through at the lake bottom. Water chemistry in both lakes and their potential outflows correspond to the respective aquifer in terms of solution load. Filblingsee can be characterized as a hanging lake in a secondarily sealed doline, Eibensee lies in a glacially excavated depression sealed by glacial sediments. While the inflow and outflow conditions and the hydrochemistry of both lakes are very similar, the lake geometry is a clear distinguishing feature that can be attributed to the different genesis of the two lakes. This can therefore be used as a guiding parameter for the classification of the numerous small alpine lakes in the NCA.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue