Commune: Wieliczka (pow. wielicki, woj. małopolskie)

Framework element or context represented:
Miocene litho/biostratigraphy in Parathetys of Carpathian depressions.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
Miocene salt deposits of the historical mine.

Comparative assessment justification:
In the history of salt mining the mine in Wieliczka, placed on the first list of World Heritage UNESCO, has a unique value. Saliferous deposits in Wieliczka differ in sequences of chemical sediments of the belt along Northern Carpathian Foredeep.

Protection status and accessibility:
Network of 40 accessible documentary sites are protected at 1997 within historical Salt Mine Wieliczka - UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1978) and National Monument of History (1994). Touristic and educational trails join these outcrops.

Character of site: Subterranean outcrops.

Area: 20-600 m long (of walls).

Altitude: 117 - 200 m a.s.l.

Lithology: sandstones, conglomerates, breccias, gypsum (anhydrites), other evaporite rocks, silts, clays

Discipline: Stratigraphy of Phanerozoic, Geology of mineral deposits

Process Age: *all periods

Bedrock Age: Neogene, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
In Central Europe the chemical sediments of the Middle Miocene (Badenian) occur of both sites of the Carpathians arc in tectonic depressions. The Wieliczka salt deposit is situated at the front of the Carpathian trust. The Miocene saliferous complex in the mine according to the stratigraphic code is distinguished as the Wieliczka Formation (Fm). In the biostratigraphic scheme od the Badenian based on foraminifera assemblages it belongs to the Wielician substage. The rich collections of fossils (foraminifera, remains of flora) originated from this formation are preserved in Salt-Works Museum. A complex of the Miocene deposits exposed in the mine is bipartite. It consists of stratiform member (thickness about 50 m) overlain by megabreccias (about 150 m). The stratiform part composed of sandstones, silts with gypsum and anhydrite and various types of salt. These deposits form three folds strongly tectonically distorted. They covered with megabreccias represented by argillic-marly sediments called “zuber” with fragments and huge blocks of different types of salt as well as rocks of the Carpathians. The protected network of geosites document most important outcrops of all saliferous deposits accessible on levels I-III of the mine. As impressive for visitors they give an instructive view on the geology and history of salt mining.


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