Aleksander Guterch, Institute of Geophysics PAS (Poland)
Marek Grad, Institute of Geophysics PAS (Poland)
G. Randy Keller , School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma (United States)
Celebration 2000 Polonaise'97, Institute of Geophysics PAS (Poland)
Sudetes 2003 Working ALP 2002, Institute of Geophysics PAS (Poland)
The European portion of the Eurasian plate formed as a result of a complex series of tectonic events that included the Caledonian, Variscan and Carpathian orogenies. These orogenic events occurred along the western margin of the East European craton (a portion of the paleocontinent Baltica). In recognition of the complexity of the rifting that formed this margin in the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian and the subsequent tectonic events along it, the region adjacent to this margin has been called the Trans-European suture zone. In order to understand the processes at work during these tectonic events, a series of large integrated geophysical and geological investigations built around large seismic refraction-experiments (POLONAISE'97, CELEBRATION 2000, ALP 2002, and SUDETES 2003) were conducted between 1997 and 2003.
Acronime of these experiments are POLONAISE'97 -Polish Lithospheric Onsets - An Seismic Experiment, 1997; CELEBRATION 2000 - Central European Lithospheric Experiment Based on Refraction, 2000; ALP 2002 - Eastern Alps and adjacent regions; SUDETES 2003 - Sudetes Mountains and adjacent regions, 2003. The total length of all the profile recorded is ∼ 20 000 km, and during these four experiments, a total of 295 large explosions provided the seismic sources. The scientific goals of this effort included attaining a better understanding of the formation of continental Europe in the Paleozoic and the Variscan and Caledonian orogenies, as well as the subsequent formation of the Alps-Carpathian mountain chain and the Pannonian basin. Apart from producing two-dimensional (2-D) models along the many seismic profiles recorded, the ultimate goal was to construct a three-dimensional model of the lithospheric structure in the area and provide the structural background for other geophysical modeling (e.g., potential fields, heat flow). Finally, these 3-D models should be a starting point to evaluate and develop new geodynamic models for the tectonic evolution of the whole region. The tectonic evolution of this region is certainly of global importance to studies in terrane tectonics and continental evolution.