The present day collage of various Silurian basin fragments in Central and Eastern Europe is the result of several orogenic and rifting/drifting episodes. The proper paleogeographic reconstruction of a single, very large Silurian foredeep basin in the context of regional geology has a major impact on the ongoing unconventional shale gas exploration efforts in the broader region.

The distal segments of a large Silurian foredeep basin, as the result of Caledonian orogeny, can be reasonably followed along strike from NW to SE, from Poland to Ukraine and Moldavia, all the way to the Black Sea coast. The foredeep basin sequence is onlapping to the NE on top of various Lower Paleozoic and basement units. The flexural origin of the basin, besides the typical subsidence curves, is also supported by the distribution of lithofacies such as deepwater shales in the center, neritic carbonates on the foreland perimeter and clastic turbidites on the southwestern flank.

The proximal parts of the Silurian basin are much harder to reconstruct. Two major opening episodes are critical for restoring the Silurian paleogeography. One of them is the reconstruction of the conjugate Bohemian (Austria, Czechia, Slovakia and Poland) and Moesian (Romania and Bulgaria) passive margins prior to the opening of the Jurassic Magura Ocean. The other important step for any regional-scale Silurian reconstruction is the closing of the Cretaceous western Black Sea Basin between the conjugate margins of Moldavia/Romania/Bulgaria and Turkey.

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