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Saxothuringian zone in Germany and Poland: differences and common features

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The classical correlation by kossmat (1927) of the Saxothuringian belt of Germany with the West Sudetes of Poland is re-evaluated with special reference to the crystalline massifs of Munchberg and the Góry Sowie and the surrounding areas. Important common features are: Cambro-Ordovician magmatism and sedimentation; Silurian to Devonian radiolarian cherts in the low grade to unmetamorphosed units; Early Devonian (and older?) pressure-dominated metamorphism followed by rapid uplift; the incorporation of high pressure and mantle rocks; and Early Carboniferous mass flow deposits with ‘Saxothuringian’ clasts.

Differing features in the West Sudetes are: tectonic contacts in and around the Góry Sowie are mostly subvertical and mainly (semi-)brittle (in contrast with subhorizontal and ductile contracts in the Münchberg); the Góry Sowie has undergone late re-equilibration of the earlier tectonic fabrics; an ophiolite juxtaposed with the Góry Sowie crystallized in (?) Devonian time and became only statically metamorphosed, as opposed to the regionally metamorphosed Cambro-Ordovician mafic rocks of the Saxothuringian belt; localized depocenters with Upper Devonian to Lower Permian elastic rocks relating to north-west trending strike-slip faults instead of the north-east trending cylindroidal foreland basin in the Saxothuringian. It is possible that the West Sudetes originated as an easterly continuation of the Saxothuringian belt, but then became involved, from the Late Devonian onwards, in a strike-slip system parallel with the margin of the East European Platform.

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Correspondence to W Franke.

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Franke, W., Żelázniewicz, A., Porćebski, S.J. et al. Saxothuringian zone in Germany and Poland: differences and common features. Geol Rundsch 82, 583–599 (1993).

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Key words

  • Saxothuringian zone
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Tectonometamorphism