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Mining and Geology Regional Geological Position
Date: 04/25/2014
Regional Geological Position

Geotectonic units of Balkan
Geotectonic units of Balkan



Tectonic units of Kosovo
Tectonic units of Kosovo


From the geological point of view, Kosovo is located in a very interesting territory. The area of Kosovo is characterised by a variety of geological formations. Among these are rocks ranging from old crystalline Proterozoic to Quaternary age comprising sedimentary and magmatic types together with rather less frequent metamorphic rocks.

Tectonically, Kosovo belongs to a very difficult to define zone between the Dinarides (s.s.) and the Hellenides. The Dinarides (Inner and Outer Dinarides) are the southern branch of the Alpidic folding belt. The Dinarides (s.l.), which have been described before by SÜSS, extend South of the southern Alps along the East coast of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea and through the Aegean Sea towards the Taurides, building up the Dinaro-Tauric Arc. KOBER described the subdivision of the Dinarides (s.l.) by the Shkodra-Peja transverse structure into two parts: the Dinarides (s.s.) and the Hellenides. The geological structure of these two major units is quite different. The differences have been described by KOBER.

The Balkan area can be divided into different geotectonic units. However, in the report at hand, the authors used their own structural distinction scheme, which has been developed based on available literature. From Northeast to Southwest it is subdivided into:

  • Carpatho-Balkan Arc with Moesian Platform, Circum-Rhodope Belt (Sredna Gora, Rhodope, Geticum, Danubicum) and Serbo-Macedonian Massif,
  • Vardar Zone (with Eastern Ophiolite Belt),
  • Drinsko-Ivanjički zone, belonging to Dinarides (s.s.),
  • Pelagonian zone,
  • Ophiolite Belt (Western Ophiolite Belt, Mirdita-Ophiolite, Eastern Ophiolite Belt),
  • Pindos zone,
  • Durmitor and Highkarst zone,
  • Dalmatian-Herzegovinian zone,
  • Ionian zone.

These elements of the Dinarides and Hellenides are lined parallel to the coast line of the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea. It is characteristic, that the morphological traits of the Balkan are determined by the geological background.

Especially for Kosovo, the following geotectonic units have been established by the authors:

  • Dardana Massif (DM - term used for the Kosovo part of the Serbo-Macedonian Massif (SMM)):
    Short characterisation SMM
    • Neoproterozoic to Lower Palaeozoic,
    • Synkinematic S-type granites of Vlanja, Bujanovc/Bujanovac etc. (intrusion age: Upper Ordovician),
    • Medium to high grade metamorphism (micaschists, gneisses, migmatites, granulitic rocks, amphibolites, quartzites, marbles etc.),
    • Local metamorphic basement covered by Permian and Mesozoic,
    • Collision and compression tectonics with strong deformation,
    • Oligocene to Pliocene magmatism of I-type granites and andesitic-dacitic-latitic volcanism,
    • Eocene molasse basins, Miocene and Pliocene lacustrine sediments.

  • Vardar zone (VZ) with the Internal Vardar subzone (IVZ), the Central Vardar subzone (CVZ) and the External Vardar subzone (EVZ):
    Short characterisation IVZ
    • Neoproterozoic to Lower Palaeozoic basement of the SMM,
    • Oligocene to Miocene-Pliocene sedimentary basins (Kamenicë basin),
    • Andesitic-dacitic-latitic and pyroclastic volcanism (Volcanic complex of Braine-Carefc).

    Short characterisation CVZ
    • Low to medium grade metamorphic rocks – Palaeozoic basement,
    • Upper Jurassic ophiolite complexes,
    • 800 to 1,000 m thick Cretaceous flysch,
    • Intensive compression tectonics,
    • Oligocene to Miocene-Pliocene sedimentary basins (e.g. Podujevë basin),
    • Andesitic-dacitic-latitic and pyroclastic volcanism in south-eastern part of Kosovo (Volcanic complex of Nosale-Kllokot).

    Short characterisation EVZ
    • Low grade metamorphic rocks – Palaeozoic basement,
    • Low grade metamorphic Triassic, Upper Jurassic ophiolite complexes,
    • Cretaceous flysch,
    • Oligocene to Miocene-Pliocene sedimentary basins (Kosovo basin),
    • Intensive andesitic-dacitic-latitic and pyroclastic volcanism in the northern part of Kosovo (Volcanic complexes of Mitrovicë-Samadrexhë),

  • Drinsko-Ivanjiči Zone (DIZ):
    Short characterisation:
    • Clastic sediments, basic lavas and tuffs – Palaeozoic basement (?Cambrian to ?Upper Carboniferous),
    • Strong deformation and low grade metamorphism of Carboniferous to ?Permian,
    • Triassic carbonate platform,
    • Cretaceous flysch,
    • Miocene-Pliocene sedimentary basins (Gllogovc basin).

  • Pejë zone (PZ with elements of the Dinarides Ophiolite Belt (= Western Ophiolite Belt), Durmitor and Highkarst zone):
    Short characterisation
    • Low grade metamorphic rocks (clastic and carbonate rocks) – Palaeozoic basement (Middle Devonian to Permian),
    • Lower to Upper Triassic carbonate platform with chert-diabase formation in the Middle Triassic,
    • Relicts of Jurassic ophiolite.

  • Deçan zone (DZ with elements of the Albanian Gashi zone):
    Short characterisation
    • Low to medium grade metamorphic rocks (clastic and carbonate rocks) – Palaeozoic to Triassic,
    • Metasedimentary-volcanogene formations in Permian and Triassic.

  • Gjakovë Zone (GZ with elements of the Mirdita zone including ophiolites):
    Short characterisation
    • Ophiolite complexes of Upper Jurassic (harzburgite type of ultrabasite, overlain by dunite, peridotite, pyroxenite and sheeted dyke, basalts in Albania),
    • Subduction-obduction during Cretaceous.

  • Shar-Korabi zone (SKZ with elements of the Pelagonian Massif):
    Short characterisation
    • Low to medium grade metamorphic rocks (clastic and carbonate rocks) – Ordovician to Devonian (in Albania),
    • Strong tectonic deformations,
    • Unconformable overlain by Permian pelagic and Triassic-Jurassic deposits, represented by terrigenous turbidites, and by thin bedded limestone with cherts,
    • Jurassic volcanogene-sedimentary rocks.

For the presented geotectonic units in Kosovo, geological sub-units have been established, also. These are characterised by formation features. For example, it can be noted: metamorphic Palaeozoic and Mesozoic units; sedimentary units of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous; units of the Neogene basins and Neogene volcanic complexes.

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