Evolution of ancient Lake Ohrid: a tectonic perspective
- 1Institute of Neotectonics and Natural Hazards, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
- 2Chair of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
Abstract. Lake Ohrid Basin is a graben structure situated in the Dinarides at the border of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania. It hosts one of the oldest lakes in Europe and is characterized by a basin and range-like geological setting together with the halfgraben basins of Korca, Erseka and Debar. The basin is surrounded by Paleozoic metamorphics in the northeast and north and Mesozoic ultramafic, carbonatic and magmatic rocks in the east, northwest, west and south. Paleocene to Pliocene units are present in the southwest. With the basin development, Neogene sediments from Pliocene to recent deposited in the lows. There are three major deformation phases: (A) NW–SE shortening from Late Cretaceous to Miocene; (B) uplift and diminishing compression during Messinian – Pliocene; (C) vertical uplift and (N)E–(S)W extension from Pliocene to recent led to the basin formation. Neotectonic activity of the study area concentrates on N–S trending normal faults that bound the Ohrid Basin eastwards and westwards. Seismic activity with moderate to strong events is documented during the last 2000 yrs; the seismic hazard level is among the highest in Albania and Macedonia. Activity of the youngest faults is evidenced by earthquake data and field observations. Morphotectonic features like fault scarps, a stepped series of active normal faults, deformed paleosols, a wind gap and fault-related hydrothermal activity are preserved around Lake Ohrid and allow delineating the tectonic history. It is shown that the Lake Ohrid Basin can be characterized as a seismogenic landscape. This paper presents a tectonic history of the Lake Ohrid Basin and describes tectonic features that are preserved in the recent landscape. The analysis of morphotectonic features is used to derive the deformation history. The stratigraphy of the area is summarized and concentrates on the main units.