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Estonian Journal of Earth Sciences
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The Leba Ridge–Riga–Pskov Fault Zone – a major East European Craton interior dislocation zone and its role in the early Palaeozoic development of the platform cover; pp. 161–189

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Igor Tuuling


Analysis of data published on basement faulting in the Baltic region makes it possible to distinguish the >700 km long East European Craton (EEC) interior fault zone extending from the Leba Ridge in the southern Baltic Sea across the Latvian cities of Liepaja and Riga to Pskov in Russia (LeRPFZ). The complex geometry and pattern of its faults, with different styles and flower structures, suggests that the LeRPFZ includes a significant horizontal component. Exceptionally high fault amplitudes with signs of pulsative activities reveal that the LeRPFZ has been acting as an early Palaeozoic tectonic hinge-line, accommodating bulk of the far-field stresses and dividing thus the NW EEC interior into NW and SW halves. The LeRPFZ has been playing a vital role in the evolution of the Baltic Ordovician–Silurian Basin, as a deep-facies protrusion of this basin (Livonian Tongue) extending into the remote NW EEC interior adheres to this fault zone. The Avalonia–Baltica collision record suggests that transpression with high shear stress, forcing the SE blocks in the LeRPFZ to move obliquely to the NE, reigned in the Ordovician. In the Silurian, the LeRPFZ with surrounding areas became increasingly affected by Laurentia–Baltica interaction and compression from the NW, while the orogenic load by Avalonia–Baltica collision flexed the foreland basin along the NW margin of the EEC. As a highly mobile basement flaw liable to differentiated tectonic movements, the LeRPFZ has experienced tectonic inversion in accordance with the stress-field changes induced by Avalonia–Baltica–Laurentia interaction. Being an axial area of the Livonian Tongue in Ordovician–early Silurian time, by the Devonian, due to the progressing Caledonian Orogeny and growing compression from the NW, the LeRPFZ became the most uplifted and intensively eroded zone in the NW EEC interior.


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