Carbonate and siliceous rock horizons at the boundary of Eocene and Oligocene deposits in the Ukrainian Carpathians as geotourism sites

Keywords: Eocene, Oligocene, biotic crisis, cherts, Ukrainian Carpathians


The outcrops of carbonate and siliceous rock horizons at the boundary of Eocene and Oligocene deposits in the Ukrainian Carpathians represent potential sites for geotourism. They are located in the northern part of the Skyba zone, in settlements (Boryslav, Verkhne Synyovydne, Maydan, Skole) that can be reached by various vehicles. The sites are of interest not only due to the possibility to be shown for tourists in situbut also due to the possibility to tell them about sedimentological history of the Carpathians, the whole Tethys basin and theWorld Ocean being the reason fortheir formation. The article considers global and regional events at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, exemplified by deposits of the Sheshory horizon and lower siliceous horizon of the Lower Menilite Sub-Formation as well as sedimentologicaland lithogenetic aspects of chertsorigin.In sections of the Carpathian flysch the clay-calcareous and siliceous- clay rocks of the Sheshory (Eocene) and Rybnyk (Oligocene) horizons are overlaid by a pack of carbon-bearing cherts(mainly phthanites) of the Menilite Formationlower siliceous horizon. This was fixed as the «Eocene final event» (climatic cooling, mass extinction of some groups of marine organisms, including certain types of warm-water foraminifera), and had a global significance. At that time at the regional scale separation of the Paratethys Sea from the Tethys Ocean as well as sharp change in biogenic sedimentation (from carbonate to siliceous) in the Carpathian sedimentary basin occurred.At the Eocene and Oligocene boundary and then during the Oligocene the World Ocean demonstrated a series of events that ultimately led to the transformation of a global system of ocean waters circulation from the Cretaceous-Eocene, marked with uniformly warm climate throughout the planet, to contemporary with more contrast climate and distinct climatic zones.The change of warm-water plankton organisms for those who areaccustomed to live in cold seas can be illustrated by the results of study of calcareous and siliceous rocks of the Eocene-Oligocene deposits in the Ukrainian Carpathians.The Sheshory horizon marls are composed of cryptocrystalline clay- carbonate matter with numerous remains of warm-water forms of planctonic foraminifera from a group of globigerina (Globigerinida) sized up to 0.1 mm. The number and size of these organisms significantly reduced in the rocks of Rybnyk horizon. No Their traces are notfound in siliceous formations.Various researchers have justified biogenic, volcanogenic, or chemogenic origin of these cherts. Authors of the article believe that these rocks are the product of sedimentation of biogenic siliceous deposits and their post-sedimentary transformation.

Author Biographies

Ihor T. Popp
Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Combustible Minerals of NAS of Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine
Yuliya P. Haiyevska
Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Combustible Minerals of NAS of Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine
Ihor M. Bubniak
Institute of geodesy National University “Lviv Polytecnic”, Lviv, Ukraine


1. Afanasieva, I. M., 1983.Litogenez i geokhimiya flishevoy formatsii severnogo sklona Sovetskikh Karpat[The lithogenesis and the geochemistry of formation of flysch of northern slope of the Soviet Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka: Kyiv (In Russian).
2. Alekseiev, A. S., 2000. Tipizatsiya fanerozoyskikh sobytiy massovogo vymiraniya organizmov [The typification of Phanerozoic events of mass extinction of the organisms]. Viestnik Moskvskogo Universiteta [Viestnik of the Moscow University]. Series 4. Geology. 5: 6–14 (In Russian).
3. Andreeva-Grigorovich, A. S., 1987.Nanoplankton i dinotsisty pogranichnykh eotsen-oligotsenovykh otlozheniy Karpat [Nanoplankton and dinocysts of the boundary Eocene-Oligocene sediments of the Carpathians]. Paleontologicheskiy sbornik [Paleontogical review]. 24, 76–84(In Russian).
4. Armstrong McKay, D. I., Tyrrell T., Wilson, P. A., 2016. Global carbon cycle perturbation across the Eocene- Oligocene climate transition. Paleoceanography. 31, 311–329.
5. Barnosky, A. D., Matzke, N., Tomiya, S., Wogan, G. O. U., Swartz.B., Quental, T. B., Marshall, C., McGuire, J. L., Lindsey, E. L., Maguire, K. C., Mersey, B., Ferrer, E. A., 2011. Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived? Nature. 471, 51–57. nature09678.
6. Cornacchia, I., Brandanoa, M, Raffic, I., Tomassettia, L., Floresa, I., 2018. The Eocene–Oligocene transition in the C-isotope record of the carbonate successions in the Central Mediterranean. GlobalandPlanetaryChange. 167; 110‒122. gloplacha.2018.05.012.
7. Dabagyan, N. V., 1987. Globigerinidy iz zony Globigerina corpulenta (verkhniy eotsen) Ukrainskikh Karpat [Globigerinids from the Globigerina corpulenta zone (Upper Eocene) of the Ukrainian Carpathians]. Paleontologicheskiy sbornik [Paleontogical review]. 24,46–52 (In Russian).
8. Dercourt, J. et al., 1985. Atlas. Presentation de 10 cartes paleogeographique au 1/20 000 000e s’étendant de l’Atlantique au Pamir pour la période du Lias а l’Actuel. Bull. Soc. Geol. France, 8e serie. I (5), 637–652.
9. Elsworth, G., Galbraith, E., Halverson, G., Yang, S., 2017. Enhanced weathering and CO2 drawdown caused by latest Eocene strengthening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Nature Geoscience. 10(3), 213–216.
10. Fisher, A. G., 1984. The two Phanerozoic supercycles. The catastrophes and the earth history. New uniformism. Princeton University Press. Princeton, N.J., 129‒150.
11. Foster, R. J., 1974. Eocen echinoides and the Drake Passage, Nature. 240, 751.
12. Gabinet, M. P., 1985.Postsedimentatsionnyye preobrazovaniya flisha Ukrainskikh Karpat [Postsedimentary transformation of the flysch ofthe Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka: Kyiv (In Russian).
13. Gol’din, P., Zvonok, E., Krakhmalnaya, T., 2012.Novyye materialy «Eocetus» sp. (Mammalia: Cetacea) iz eotsena Ukrainy [News materials «Eocetus» sp. (Mammalia: Cetacea) from Eocen of Ukraine]. Heoloh Ukrayiny[Geologist of Ukraine]. 3, 104–113 (In Russian).
14. Gol’din, P., Zvonok, E., 2013. Basilotritus uheni, a New Cetacean (Cetacea, Basilosauridae) from the Late Middle Eocene. Journal of Paleontology. 87 (2), 254–268.–080R.1.
15. Gol’din, P., Zvonok, E., Rekovets, L., Kovalchuk, A., Krakhmalnaya, T., 2014. Basilotritus (Cetacea: Pelaiceti) from the Eocene of Nagomoye (Ukraine): New data on anatomy, ontogeny and feeding of early basilosauridus. Comptes Rendus Palevol. 13, 267‒276.https://doi. org/10.1016/j.crpv.2013.11.002.
16. Golonka, J., 2000. Cambrian-Neogene plate tectonic maps. Krakόw: Wyd-wo Un-ty Jagiellońskiego.
17. Gruzman, A. D., 1987. Foraminifery iz sloyev s Globigerina vialovi nizhnego oligotsena Ukrainskikh Karpat [Foraminifers from the Lower Oligocene layers with Globigerina vialovi ofthe Ukrainian Carpathians]. Paleontologicheskiy sbornik [Paleontogical review]. 24, 53‒59 (In Russian).
18. Hutchinson, D. K., Coxall, H. K., Lunt, D. J., Steinthorsdottir, M., de Boer, A. M., Baatsen, M., von der Heydt, A., Huber, M., Kennedy-Asser, A. T., Kunzmann, L., Ladant, J.-B., Lear, C. H., Moraweck, K., Pearson, P. N., Piga, E., Pound, M. J., Salzmann, U., Scher, H. D., Sijp, W. P., Śliwińska, K. K., Wilson, P. A., Zhang, Z., 2021. The Eocene–Oligocene transition: a review of marine and terrestrial proxy data, models and model– data comparisons, Clim. Past. 17, 269–315, https://doi. org/10.5194/cp-17–269–2021.
19. Ivany, L. C., Patterson, W. P., Lohmann, K. C., 2000. Cooler winters as a possible cause of mass extinctions at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary. Nature. 407, 887‒890.
20. Jankowski, L., Kopciowski, R., Rylko, W., 2007. Geological Map of the Outer Carpathians: Borderlands of Ukraine and Romania: 1:200 000.Państw. Inst. Geol., Warszawa.
21. Jenkins, D. G., 1974. The Initiation of the Protocirun- Antarctic Current. Nature, 252, 371‒373. https://doi. org/10.1038/252371a0.
22. Keller, G., 1986. The stepwie mase extinctions and impact events: Late Eocene to Early Oligocene. Mar. Micropaleontol. 10 (4), 267–293. https://doi. org/10.1016/0377–8398(86)90032–0.
23. Kennet, J. P., 1978. Development of Planktonic Biogeography in the Southern Ocean during the Cenozoic. Marine Micropaleontology. 3, 301–345. https://doi. org/10.1016/0377–8398(78)90017–8.
24. Kennet, J. P., 1982. Marine geology. Printice-Hall. Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
25. Kocsis, L., Ozsvárt, P., Becker, D., Ziegler, R., Scherler, L., Codrea, V., 2014. Orogeny forced terrestrial climate variation during the late Eocene – early Oligocene in Europe. Geology. 42 (8), 1–4. G35673.1.
26. Koltun, Yu. V., 1989. Sedimentatsiya i geokhimiya litogeneza otlozheniy menilitovoy svity oligotsena [Sedimentation and geochemistry of the lithogenesis of the sediments of the Menilite Formation]. Lviv. [Dissertation] (In Russian).
27. Kraeva, E. A., Maslun, N. V., 1987. Granitsa eotsena– oligotsena Ukrainy i sopredel’nykh teritoriy po foraminiferam [Eocene-Oligocene boundary of Ukraine and adjacent territories by foraminifera]. Paleontologicheskiy sbornik [Paleontogical review]. 24,84–94 (In Russian).
28. Lazarenko, E. K., Gabinet M. P., Slivko E. P., 1962. Mineralohiya osadochnykh utvorenʹ Prykarpattya[Mineralogy of the sedimentary formation of Precarpathian]. Wyd-wo Lviv Un-t: Lviv (In Ukrainian).
29. Liu, Z., Pagani, M., Zinniker, D., DeConto, R., Huber, M., Brinkhuis, H., Shah, S. R., Leckie, R. M., Pearson, A., 2009. Global cooling during the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition. Science 323, 1187‒1190. https://doi. org/10.1126/science.1166368.
30. Maievskij, B. Y., 1994. Heoloho-heokhimichni faktory formuvannya rodovyshch nafty v rehionakh poshyrennya kremenystykh bituminoznykh tovshch [Geological and geochemical factors of oil field formation in the regions of distribution of siliceous bituminous strata]. Lviv. [Dissertation] (In Ukrainian).
31. Nyerges, A., Kocsis, Á. T., Pálfy J., 2021. Changes in calcareous nannoplankton assemblages around the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition in the Hungarian Palaeogene Basin (Central Paratethys). Historical Biology. 33:9, 1443–1456. 912963.2019.1705295.
32. Olszewska, B., Szydło, A., 2017. Environmental stress in the northern Tethys during the Paleogene: a review of foraminiferal and geochemical records from the Polish Outer Carpathians. Geological Quarterly. 61 (3), 682‒695.
33. Oszczypko, N., Uchman, A., Malata, E., 2006. Rozwój paleotektoniczny basenów Karpat Zewnętrznych i pienińskiego pasa skałkowego [Palaeotectonic development of the Outer Carpathian basins and the Pieniny rock belt]. Kraków: Instytut Nauk Geologicznych UJ (In Polish).
34. Pearson, P. N., McMillan, I. K., Wade, B. S., Jones, T. D, Coxall, H. K., Bown, P. R., 2008. Extinction and environmental change across the Eocene-Oligocene boundary in Tanzania. Geology. 36 (2), 179–182.
35. Pearson P. N., Foster G. L., Bridget S. Wade B. S., 2009. Atmospheric carbon dioxide through the Eocene– Oligocene climate transition. Nature. 461,1110‒1113.
36. Popov, S. V., Akhmetiev, M. A., Lopatin, A. V., Bugrova, E. M., Sytchevskaya, E. K., Scherba, L. G., Andreyeva-Grigorovich, A. S., Zaporozhec, N. I., Nikolaeva, I. A., Kopp, M. L., 2009. Paleogeografiya i biogeografiya basseynov Paratetisa. Chast’ 1. Pozdniy eotsen – ranniy miotsen [Paleogeographyandbiogeog raphyofParathetisbasins. Part 1. Late Eocene – early Miocene]. Nauchnyy mir: Moskva (In Russian).
37. Popp, I. T., 1995. Sylitsyty Ukrayinsʹkykh Karpat [The cherts of the Ukrainian Carpathians]. Lviv. [Dissertation] (In Ukrainian).
38. Popp, I. T., Senkovsky, Yu. M., 1996. Postsedymentatsiyni peretvorennya biohennykh sylitsytiv Ukrayinsʹkykh Karpat [The postsedimentary transformation of the biogenic cherts of the Ukrainian Carpathians]. Heolohiya i heokhimiya horyuchykh kopalyn [Geology and Geochemistry of Combustible Minerals]. 96–97, 3–4, 40–51(In Ukrainian).
39. Popp, I. T., Senkovsky, Yu. M., 2003. Biohenni vuhletsʹvmisni sylitsyty barrem-alʹbu i olihotsenu Ukrayinsʹkykh Karpat – svidchennya okeanichnykh bezkysnevykh podiy. Chastyna 1. Petrohrafiya i stadiyni peretvorennya [The biogenic carbon-containing cherts of Barremian- Albian and Oligocene of the Ukrainian Carpathians – the evidence of oceanic anoxic events. Part 1. The petrography and the stage of transformations]. Heolohiya i heokhimiya horyuchykh kopalyn [Geology and Geochemistry of Combustible Minerals]. 3–4, 65–82 (In Ukrainian).
40. Popp, I. T., Senkovsky, Yu. M., GayevskaYu. P., 2004a. Biohenni vuhletsʹvmisni sylitsyty barrem-alʹbu i olihotsenu Ukrayinsʹkykh Karpat – svidchennya okeanichnykh bezkysnevykh podiy. Chastyna 2.Paleookeanohrafichni umovy kremnenahromadzhennya [The biogenic carbon-containing silicites of Barremian- Albian and Oligocene of the Ukrainian Carpathians – the evidence of oceanic anoxic events. Part 2. The paleooceanographic reasons of silica accumulation]. Heolohiya i heokhimiya horyuchykh kopalyn [Geology and Geochemistry of Combustible Minerals]. 2, 95–107 (In Ukrainian).
41. Popp, I. T., SenkovskyYu. M., GayevskaYu. P., Semenyuk M. V., 2004b. Heoloho-paleookeanohrafichni i heokhimichni aspekty litohenezu eotsen-olihotsenovykh vidkladivUkrayinsʹkykh Karpat (u konteksti problemy»oceanic anoxic events») [The geological- paleooceanographic and geochemical aspects of lithogenesis of Eocene-Oligocene sediments of the Ukrainian Carpathians (in the context of the «oceanic anoxic events» problem)]. Heolohiya i heokhimiya horyuchykh kopalyn [Geology and Geochemistry of Combustible Minerals].1, 40–55 (In Ukrainian).
42. Rafman, L. M., 1971. Litologicheskiye osobennosti i usloviya formirovaniya oligotsenovykh otlozheniy Ukrainskikh Karpat [Lithological peculiarities and the conditions of formation of Oligocene sediments of the Ukrainian Carpathians]. Lviv. [Dissertation] (In Russian).
43. Rafman, L. M., 1980. Kremnistyye porody i vulkanizm karpatskogo flisha [Siliceous rocks and volcanism of the flysch of the Carpathians]. Osadochnyye porody i rudy [Sedimentary rocks and ores]. Naukova Dumka: Kyiv: 191–199 (In Russian).
44. Senkovsky, Yu., Grigorchuk, K., Gnidets, V., Koltun, Yu., 2004. Heolohichna paleookeanohrafiya okeanu Tetis Ocean (Karpato-Chornomorsʹkyy sehment) [Geological Paleooceanography of the Thetis (Carpathian-Black sea segment)]. Naukova Dumka: Kyiv (In Ukrainian).
45. Senkovsky, Yu. M., Popp, I. T., 2010. Heokhimichni aspekty mineralohenezu sylitsytiv Karpato-Podilʹsʹkoho sehmenta kontynentalʹnoyi okrayiny Tetisa (kreyda, paleohen) [Geochemical aspects of mineralogenesis of cherts of Tethys Carpathian-Podillia segment of continentale margin (Cretaceous, Palaeogene)]. Heolohichnyy zhurnal [Geological Journal]. 4, 25–35 (In Ukrainian).
46. Senkovsky, Yu. M., Koltun, Yu. V., Grigorchuk, K. G., Gnidets, V. P., Popp, I. T., Radkovets, N. Y., 2012. Bezkysnevi podiyi okeanu Tetis (Karpato- Chornomorsʹkyy sehment) [Anoxic events of the Thetis (Carpathian-Black sea segment)]. Naukova Dumka: Kyiv (In Ukrainian).
47. Senkovsky, Yu. M., Grigorchuk, K. G., Koltun, Yu. V., Gnidets, V. P., Radkovets, N. Y., Popp, I. T., Moroz, M. V., Moroz, P. V., Rever, A. O., Gavrishkiv, G. Y., Gaevska, Y. P., Kokhan, O. M., Koshil L. B., 2018. Litohenez osadovykh kompleksiv okeanu Tetis(Karpato-Chornomorsʹkyy sehment) [Lithogenesis of sedimentary complexes of the Tethys Ocean (Carpathian-Black sea segment)]. Naukova Dumka: Kyiv (In Ukrainian).
48. Sheldon, N. D., Retallack, G. J., Tanaka, S., 2002. Geochemical Climofunctions from North American Soils and Application to Paleosols across the Eocene- Oligocene Boundary in Oregon. The Journal of Geology. 110, 687–696.
49. Silva, I. P., Jenkins, D. G., 1993. Decision on the Eocene- Oligocene boundary stratotype. Episodes. 16, 379‒382.
50. Tkachuk, L. G., 1955. O litologicheskom sostave porod menilitovoy serii Sovetskikh Karpat [The lithological composition of the deposits of the the Menilite Formation of the Soviet Carpathians]. Nauchnye zapiski Lvovskogo politehnicheskogo instituta. Seria neftianaya [Scientific notes of the Lviv Polytechnic Institute. Oil series]28, 5, 64–69(In Russian).
51. Ushakov, S. A., Yasamanov, N. A., 1984. Dreyf materikov i klimaty Zemli [The continental drift and the climates of the Earth]. Mysl: Moskva. (In Russian).
52. Varenschov, I. M., 2007. Krupneyshiye margantsevyye mestorozhdeniya Paratetisa: sledstviya geodinamicheskikh i impaktnykh sobytiy na rubezhe eotsen/oligotsen?[The great manganese deposits of the Parathetis: result of geodinamic and impact events at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary?] 2, 98–106(In Russian).
53. de Vries, D., Heritage, S., Borths, M. R., Sallam, H. M., Seiffert, E. R., 2021. Widerspread loss of mammalian lineage and dietary diversity in the early Oligocene of Afro-Arabia. Communications Biology. 4, Article number 1172.–021– 02707–9.
54. Vyalov, O. S., Andreeva-Grigorovich, A. S, Gavura, S. P., Gruzman, A. D., Dabagyan, N. V., Danysh, V. V., Kulchytsky, Y. O., Lozynyak, P. Yu., Ponomarieva, L. D., Romaniv, A. M., Smirnov, S. E., 1987.Granitsa eotsena i oligotsena v Ukrainskikh Karpatakh[The Eocene and the Oligocene boundary in the Ukrainian Carpathians]. Paleontologicheskiy sbornik [Paleontogical review]. 24, 6–12 (In Russian).
55. Vyalov, O. S., Gavura, S. P., Danysh, V. V., Lemishko, O. D., Leschuh, R. I., Ponomarieva, L. D., Romaniv, A. M., Smirnov, S. E., Smolinskaya, N. I., Scharnenko, P. N., 1988.Stratotipy melovykh i paleogenovykh otlozheniy Ukrainskikh Karpat [The stratotype of the sediments of Cretaceous and Palaeogene of the Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka: Kyiv (In Russian).
56. Zanazzi, A., Kohn, M. J., MacFadden, B. J., Terry, Jr D. O., 2007. Large temperature drop across the Eocene– Oligocene transition in central North America. Nature. 445.
57. Zonnenshin, L. P., Dercoor, J., Kazmin, V. G., Ricoo, L.-E., Knipper, A. L., LePishon, K., Sborschikov, I. M., Grandjake, S., Pecherskij, L. M., Jassan, J., Lepvrier, S., Savostin, L. A., Sorohtin, O. G., Boolen, J., Sibooe, J.-K., Bajenov, M. L., Vestphal, M.V., Laoer, J. P., Bijoo- Duval, B., 1987. Evolyutsiya Tetisa [Evolution of the Thetis].Istoriya okeana Tetis [History of the Tethys ocean]. Moskva. 104‒115 (In Russian).
How to Cite
Popp, I., Haiyevska, Y., & Bubniak, I. (2022). Carbonate and siliceous rock horizons at the boundary of Eocene and Oligocene deposits in the Ukrainian Carpathians as geotourism sites. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 31(2), 363-379.