Structure of a diffuse suture between Fennoscandia and Sarmatia in SE Poland based on interpretation of regional reflection seismic profiles supported by unsupervised clustering
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The Paleoproterozoic suture between Sarmatia and Fennoscandia (SFS), two major components of the East European Craton, extends SW-ward from Russia through Belarus to SE Poland. The exact character of this suture remains speculative, despite the results of the wide-angle reflection and refraction (WARR) soundings. Here, we show results of newly reprocessed deep reflection seismic data of the PolandSPAN™ survey, portraying the whole crust and uppermost mantle in SE Poland. Their interpretation is supported by the unsupervised clustering of seismic reflectivity patterns. From the integration of PolandSPAN™ data with both magnetic and WARR data, we conclude that the SFS cannot be interpreted as a localised lithospheric discontinuity coincident with the Minsk Fault. Instead, we observe a so-called diffuse cryptic suture zone, c. 150 km wide, where materials from two colliding plates are mixed over large distances to form a unified continental crust. The suture-related reflections are interpreted as a thrust-wedge rooted at the lower-middle crust interface underneath the Ivanowo-Borisov zone. We support Bogdanova et al. (2015) view that the Okołowo-Holeszów Belt and Belarus-Podlasie Granulite Belt have affinities to the NW margin of Sarmatia. We interpret both units as belonging to the diffuse SFS.