Neogene uplift and erosion in the Alpine Foreland Basin (Upper Austria and Salzburg)

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Neogene uplift and erosion in the Alpine Foreland Basin (Upper Austria and Salzburg)

In the present paper we apply a multi-technique approach (shale compaction data, seismic stratigraphy, isopach maps, moisture content of lignite, fission track data) to assess timing and amount of uplift and erosion of the Alpine Foreland Basin. The combination of the different techniques allows us to discriminate the effects of two different erosion events during the Neogene: (1) Seismic stratigraphy and isopach maps indicate a Karpatian (Early Miocene) regional tilting of the basin to the west (slope of about 0.5 %) and a minor erosion phase. (2) Moisture content of lignite combined with fission track data provides evidence for extensive regional uplift after deposition of Late Miocene fluvial deposits. It is estimated that sediments, 500 to 900 m thick, have been eroded. Shale compaction data derived from sonic logs indicates additional uplift of the eastern part of the basin (near the river Enns). Here, 300 to 1000 m of sediments were additionally eroded (giving a total erosion of about 1000 to 1900 m!), with a general increase of erosion thickness towards the northeast. While the regional uplift is probably related to isostatic rebound of the Alps after termination of thrusting, the local uplift in the east could be affected by Late Neogene E-W compressional events within the Alpine-Pannonian system. Both, tilting and erosion influence the hydrocarbon habitat in the Molasse Basin (tilting of oil-water contacts, PVT conditions, biodegradation).

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