About Hungary

The Geology of Hungary
A Brief History – The Birth of the Hungarian Kingdom
Kölcsey Ferenc Grammar School Zalaegerszeg
Music of Hungary
Ferenc Kölcsey: National Anthem
National Parks in Hungary
Customs and Traditions
Hungarian Cuisine


Comenius - European Cooperation on School Education

The Geology of Hungary

Hungary is situated in the Northern and Eastern Hemisphere, almost in the middle of Europe with a humid-continental climate.The whole area of Hungary is divided into 3 larger parts:

Most of Hungary’s surface is lowland (about 68%), 30% is covered by hills between 200 and 400 m-s and only 2% of the country rises above 400 metres.There is a tectonic line called Zágráb-Hernád vonal (line), which divides the country into two geological parts. It is a straight line from Zagreb to the Zemplén Mountains. South of the line the ground of the Hungarian basin was created on the northern shoreline of the Thetys Ocean and the edge of the Eurasian plate.North of the Zágráb-Hernád line the ground of the basin was created on the southern shoreline of the Thetys and the edge of the African plate.A great part north of the Zagráb-Hernád line is a part of the African plate, which was pushed into present-day Hungary during the creation of the Eurasian Mountain System.This process was followed by high volcanic activities and many scientists believe that the mass of andesitic rock erupting from these volcanoes caused the unusual thinness of the crust (26-27 km) under Hungary. This would explain why Hungary has a higher geothermal gradient than any other country on the European mainland (except for Italy).

The geology of Hungary can be summarized into 3 main statements:

Hungary has a great diversity of rocks. The oldest surface rocks can be found in the Zemplén Mts. (about 900 million years old), but there are parts under the surface which were are dating back 1.1 billion years ago.The most important mountains made of granite were formed in the Carboniferous period of the Earth’s history. These are the Soproni Mts., the Velencei Mts. and a stripe of granite under the Alföld (lowland).In the Triassic period mainly mountains composed of limestone were formed. We can see large limestone and dolomite surfaces in the Dunántúli-középhegység, parts of the Mecsek Mountains, the Villányi Mts. and the Bükk Mts.Limestone of economic importance can be found in the Bakony Mts. and in the Gerecse Mts.. It was deposited in the Jurassic period.There is a volcanic chain under the sediment of the Alföld, which is the remain of strong geological activities in the area during the formation of the European members of the Eurasian mountain system. These volcanoes are about 130 million years old.During the Miocene period the mountains of the Carpathians were rising, while the Carpathian Basin was sinking. On the margin of these two different regions, strong volcanic activity began, which resulted in the formation of a ring of volcanoes in the Carpathian Mts., stretching from the Visegrád Mts. to Hargita (Transylvania). The post-volcanic activities of this period caused the hydrothermal ore-production (copper, led, zinc) of the Börzsöny, Mátra and Zempléni Mts.

Written by Dani