Towards stratigraphic-thermo-mechanical numerical modelling: Integrated analysis of asymmetric extensional basins

Attila Balázs, Liviu Matenco, Didier Granjeon, Katharina Alms, Thomas Francois, Orsolya Sztanó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Subsidence and uplift patterns and thermal history of sedimentary basins are controlled by tectonics, mantle dynamics and surface processes, such as erosion, sediment transport and deposition and their links to climatic variations. We use combined thermo-mechanical and stratigraphic numerical modelling techniques to quantify the links between tectonic and surface processes. We aim to assess the thermal evolution and subsidence rates of asymmetric extensional basins during the syn- and post-rift times by simulating different erosion and sedimentation rates. We analyse the 3D sedimentary architecture and facies distribution of the depocenters. Model results are validated by observations in the Pannonian Basin of Central Europe. Extensional reactivation of inherited suture zones creates asymmetric basin systems controlled by large-scale detachments or low-angle normal faults, where crustal and lithospheric mantle thinning are often rheologically decoupled. Subsidence rates and basement heat flow in the depocenters show large variabilities during asymmetric extension and post-rift evolution controlled by their initial position from the suture zone and migration of deformation. Transient heat flow anomalies mirror crustal exhumation of footwalls, sediment blanketing and erosion effects in the basins. Enhanced erosion and sedimentation facilitate lower crustal deformation and elastic flexure of the weak, extended lithosphere leading to accentuated differential uplift and subsidence during the syn- and post-rift basin evolution. Tectonics, climate and autogenic processes control transgressive-regressive cycles at different timescales together with the overall sedimentary facies distribution. In our models assuming wet climate the high subsidence rate often outpaces moments of eustatic water-level fall preventing relative base-level fall and enhances the effects of autogenic processes, such as lobe switching processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103386
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Asymmetric extension
  • Depositional systems
  • Heat flow evolution
  • Pannonian Basin
  • Sedimentation
  • Subsidence history


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