Authors:Tibor Zelenka, Endre Balázs, Kadosa Balogh, János Kiss, and at. al.
Surface Neogene volcanics in Hungary are abundantly documented in the literature, but buried volcanic structures are little known. Early burial of the volcanic centers beneath latest Miocene to Pliocene sediments preserved much of their original relief, permitting their classification into genetic types. More than two-thirds of Hungary is covered by thick Neogene and Quaternary sediments, below which buried volcanic eruptive centers and the extent of their products may only be recognized by complex geologic-geophysical methods. Our study is based on the data of several thousand wells, more than 60,000 km of seismic sections, as well as airborne and surface geophysical (gravimetric, magnetic, electromagnetic, radiometric) data. Results of chemical, mineralogical studies and K/Ar dating of deep cores were also included. The data were evaluated in terms of the regional deep structure of the Carpathian-Balkan region, the Miocene evolution of which was determined by the position, movement and welding of individual microplates. Integration of all available data reveals that the Miocene volcanic centers are concentrated near microplate boundaries. In the volcanic centers the lavas and pyroclastic deposits far exceed 50 m in thickness. The data show that the buried volcanic rocks below the Transdanubian region (Little Hungarian Plain and Somogy-Baranya Hills), the Danube-Tisza Interfluve and the Great Hungarian Plain extend over a much larger area than do the outcropping volcanoes in Northern Hungary (from the Visegrád to the Tokaj Mts). In the southern part of Transdanubia (W. Hungary) a major calcalkaline, rhyolitic, ignimbritic event took place early, in Eggenburgian and Ottnangian (Early Miocene) times. The centers and tuff sheets of this volcanic event can be traced from the Mecsek Mts to the Salgótarján Basin, the southwestern Bükk Basin and the central part of the Great Hungarian Plain. This event was followed by andesitic volcanism. The rhyolite and dacite volcanic centers of Karpatian age are predominantly situated in Transdanubia, whereas the Badenian (Mid-Miocene) andesite and dacite series of large stratovolcanoes are buried below southern Transdanubia, the Danube-Tisza Interfluve and the Great Hungarian Plain. In Sarmatian and early Pannonian (Late Miocene) times, pyroclastic sheets several thousand meters thick and lava domes were formed; they are predominantly rhyolitic, subordinately andesitic and dacitic, and are situated in the eastern part of the Great Hungarian Plain (Nyírség). With the end of microplate motion, as the plate consolidated in the late Miocene, thick but areally restricted alkali-trachite (Little Hungarian Plain) and alkali-basalt lava domes and tuff craters formed in the Little Hungarian Plain, Transdanubia and the Danube-Tisza Interfluve.