Dnieper-Donets Basin, Ukraine: Main observations from regional seismic reflection profiles

S Stovba, R Stephenson, E Dvorianin, Randell Stephenson

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15 Citations (Scopus)


In any transverse section of the Dnieper-Donets basin the rift, filled with pre-rift and syn-rift Devonian sequences, overlain with post-rift Carboniferous, Permian, Mesozoic, and Palaeogene fill, is explicitly expressed. Within the rift boundaries the crystalline basement is overlain with Devonian sediments, while the shoulders are overlain by Carboniferous strata. The structure of the rift is characterized by large-scale rotational fault blocks and half-grabens, carried by the basin-parallel to normal marginal faults or by major horst blocks. The rift is conjugated with its shoulders mainly along large-amplitude normal faults.

The main stage of Devonian rifting occurred during the Frasnian and Famennian. Post-rift basin development is characterized by the formation of a vast syncline, set on the rift and its shoulders, commencing in Tournaisian time (362.5 Ma). Carboniferous and Mesozoic sediments cover the rift flanks and increase in thickness towards the rift axis. Maximum thicknesses of the successions occur in the southern part of the axial zone of the basin and in the Donbas. The cumulative thickness of the Carboniferous sediments reaches 11 km, with the maximum depth of their base at about 15 km. The maximum thicknesses of sediments, accumulated during the whole Late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic history of the DD basin, constitute 2-6 km to the northwest and 15-19 km to southeast and in the Donbas. The axis of the maximum post-rift subsidence practically did not change its spatial position.

Major post-rift tectonic events took place between the Devonian and Carboniferous, at the end of the Early Visean, in the middle of the Serpukhovian, between Early and Middle Carboniferous, in Permian time, and between the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Tectonic reactivations during the entire Carboniferous, Early Permian and the end of Mesozoic time were most pronounced in the southeast part of the DD basin and in the Donbas, whereas they were least pronounced in the northwest part of the basin merging the Pripyat Trough where they are barely observed. The most active development of salt structures and stocks correspond with the periods of structural reactivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1110
Number of pages8
JournalComptes Rendus. Ge´oscience
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 1995


  • rifting
  • Dnieper-Donets Basin
  • Ukraine
  • seismic reflection profiles


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