Probing tectonic topography in the aftermath of continental convergence in central Europe



Continental topography is at the interface of processes taking place at depth in the Earth, at its surface, and above it. Topography influences society, not only in terms of slow processes of landscape change and earthquakes, but also in terms of how it affects climate. The Pannonian Basin-Carpathian Orogen System in Central and Eastern Europe represents a key natural laboratory for the development of a new generation of models for ongoing orogeny and its effect on continental topography development (Figure l). This system comprises some of the best documented sedimentary basins in the world, located within the Alpine orogenic belt, at the transition between the western European lithosphere and the East European Craton. It includes one of the most active seismic zones in Europe, with intermediate depth (50–220 km) mantle earthquakes of significant magnitude occurring in a geographically restricted area in theVrancea zone of southeastern Romania.