Late Paleozoic Volcanism in Central Europe

The late phase of the Variscan orogeny at the Carboniferous-Permian transition in Central Europe was characterized by transtensional and transpressional tectonics. As a consequence, numerous basins evolved in the decaying orogen and beyond its northern margin. Extended volcanic centres developed in these basins and on elevated blocks nearby. Since 1995, research is being carried out on the physical geology and chronostratigraphy of these basin systems and volcanic centres. The Halle Volcanic Complex in the Saale Basin and the Southern Permian Basin in northern Germany and Poland are key areas of our research.

In eastern Germany, apart from numerous natural outcrops and quarries, thousands of exploration drillings (for hydrocarbons, coal and uranium) provide exposure of basic lavas and sills, of rhyolitic laccolith complexes and different types of pyroclastic deposits. In Saxony and in neighboring Czech and Polish regions, inter-montane basins are under joint investigation in the VENTS project. The volcanosedimentary evolution of the Collio Basin in northern Italy is being investigated in cooperation with the University of Pavia.

Apart from classic qualitative description of outcrops and drill cores we apply SHRIMP U/Pb zircon age dating, geochemistry and quantitative granulometry including image analysis and CSD methods. GOCAD aided geometric modeling is being used to visualize the 3D geometry and volumes of volcanic and subvolcanic bodies and its relation to neighboring units.
See publications No. 35 ff.