Regional Tectonics, Sedimentation and Chronology of the Molasse Basin in Eastern Austria (OMV Molasse Project)

03/2014-02/2016: Funded by OMV Exploration and Production AG

Principal Investigators:
Michael Wagreich

OMV Project Leader:
Philipp Strauss

Clay Mineralogy:
Maria Meszar
Susanne Gier

Markus Palzer-Khomenko

Master Student:
Wolfgang Knierzinger


The Molasse project focuses on Lower Miocene reservoir sands in the eastern Molasse Basin of Lower Austria: the Eggenburgian sands (Eggenburg Group; Eggenburgian stage, Early Miocene) and the Oncophora beds (Traisen Formation, late Ottnangian, Early Miocene).
Integrated methods will be used including sedimentology, stratigraphy, sedimentary petrology, seismic interpretation and structural geology.

Three main results are expected:

  • Facies Analysis:
    Lithostratigraphy, chemostratigraphy and facies analysis as well as biostratigraphy methods such as dinoflagellates on existing cores, well cuttings and outcrops will be used to identify and correlate facies and sand packages. Chemostratigraphy will be used in Oncophora beds which are largely barren in microfossils and carbonate-free.

  • Sand Provenance:
    Sediment petrography such as heavy mineral assemblages and heavy mineral grain chemistry from the sands help to identify sources and sand transport paths for these massive reservoir sands. Sandstone geochemistry and clay mineralogy will be also interpreted in regards of hinterland evolution.

  • Structural and Depositional Models:
    Key surfaces and individual lithofacies and biofacies will be identified. Depositional models will be reconstructed in their chronological time evolution. The tectonic and paleogeographic evolution during (synsedimentary) and after the deposition of the Eggenburgian-Ottnangian will be analysed and modelled for several time slices.