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Mining and Geology Structural Geology
Date: 10/17/2017
Structural Geology

Tectonic structure of Kosovo
Tectonic structure of Kosovo

Structurally, Kosovo is geologically divided into two roughly equal-sized halves (the Vardar Zone to the east and the Drina – Ivanjica/ Korabi – Pelagonian Zone to the west) by the NNW-SSE trending suture between the Serbo-Macedonian Geological Belt in Kosovo and the Dinaric Geological Belt of Albania. The Mesozoic transform fault zone, the so-called Shkoder-Peje lineament, divides the Drina and the Korabi into two separate, but contiguous zones. The Vardar Zone is economically important as it hosts the Trepca lead-zinc-silver deposits. These deposits vary from carbonate-hosted skarns and karst fillings to vein deposits. The Mesozoic limestone platforms have been fractured by several generations of faults oriented in different directions. The limestones are reactive rocks capable of absorbing minerals-rich heated brines, and the metals came out of solution in these favourable horizons. The Vardar Zone may have originated either in the Early Palaeozoic, as part of the Palaeo-Tethys that separated Gondwanaland to the south from Eurasia in the north, or in the Triassic, similar to the present-day Red Sea oceanic basin. Final closure of the Vardar Ocean is unclear and may have occurred in either the Cretaceous or Early Tertiary. The formation of the ophiolites via ocean closure and thrusting is important in that the ultrabasic units host chrome, and these serpentinised rocks break down under tropical to sub-tropical weathering over time to produce accumulations of bauxite and lateritic nickel. The bauxite deposits in west central Kosovo are hosted in karst limestone and represent the remnants of these weathered ultrabasics.

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