Significant geomanifestations along the contact of South Pannonian Basin and Dinaride Ophiolite Zone in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fig. 1. Mineral, thermal and thermomineral waters at the contact of South Pannonian Basin and Dinaride Ophiolite Zone in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The numbers in the map correspond to the numbers in the text.

In the present structure of the Dinarides an important role have the South Pannonian Basin. The South Pannonian Basin is located in the northern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Spreča-Kozara deep fault represents the northern boundary of the Dinaride Ophiolite Zone, and is often as well taken as the limit of the South Panonian Basin margin.

Along this fault, a vertical displacement of up to 2000 m was registered (Hrvatović, 2006). The Spreča-Kozara fault zone is one of the most important tectonic zones in South-eastern Europe with regard to finding mineral, thermal and thermomineral waters what is proven by numerous drillholes (Fig. 1).

On the Spreča-Kozara fault or smaller faults that intercept it, starting from Mlječanica and Lješljani in the north-west to Zvornik in the southeast, the following hydrogeothermal geomanifestations are appearing:

  • Thermomineral hyperalkaline water with hydrocarbons in Lješani (1),
  • Mineral H2S waters of Jelovac (2) and Mječanica (3),
  • Thermal water of Laktaši (4)
  • Thermomineral water with CO2 in Banjaluka (Slatina) – (5)
  • Thermal hyperalkaline waters of Kokori and Kulaši (7)
  • Thermomineral CO2 waters of Boljanić (8), Ćelahuša (9), Kakmuž (9)
  • Natural seepage of CO2 (moffete) in Sočkovac (Pasje jame = Dog holes) – (9),
  • Mineral CO2 waters in Kiseljak (10), Ljubače (13) and Živinice (14)
  • Hypothermal hyperalkaline water of Kiseljak (10), Šerići (11) and Poljice (12)
  • Thermal water of Toplica (15).

All previous isotopic analysing of these waters show atmospheric origin, while gas isotopes indicate different ways of generating of gasses. For example, methane in the most hyperalkaline-water aquifers of the Dinaride Ophiolite Zone in B&H has an abiotic origin which derives from continental serpentinization, while two springs have biotic origins of methane (Etiope et al., 2017).

The most interesting are the thermomineral hyperalkaline waters of the Lješljani deposit (Novi Grad municipality), because they are rare in the world. Lješljani aquifer has the highest CH4 concentration (2706 mM) and pH (12.8) ever reported so far in peridotite-hosted hyperalkaline waters (Etiope at al., 2017). The water of this deposit occurs on two springs and a drillhole SB-1 (672 m) with a total yield about Q≈7 l/s. This water is characterized by Cl-OH-Na type, high conductivity EC=3,98 – 5,18 mS/cm and pH=12,0 – 12,8, as well as CH4 (with its higher homologues) and N2 free gasses composition. Waters issue from outcrops of tectonized greywacke sandstones of volcanic sedimentary (diabase-chert) formation rocks (Miošić and Sofilj, 1989).

Fig. 2. Geological cross section at Lješljani (Etiope et al., 2017). Legend: 1. Carboniferous clastic basement; 2. Late Permian clastics and evaporites; 3. Triassic carbonates and siliciclastics; 4. Jurassic ophiolite melange, including ultramafic rocks; 5. Jurassic ultramafic formations; 6. Late Paleogene flysch; 7. Neogene sediments; SB-1: Lešljani well.

In the well SB-1 shales and greywacke sandstones of volcanic sedimentary formation were encountered to 80 m depth, and to the final depth of 672 m serpentinized and tectonised peridotite (Miošić and Glavaš, 1991). It is assumed that the primary aquifers of these waters are Devonian and Late Permian – Early Triassic carbonates, secondary Middle – Late Triassic carbonates and transient aquifers ophiolite rocks (Fig. 2).

Investigation of gases and isotopes in hyperalkaline waters of B&H in 2016, conducted by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology of Italy in cooperation with the Federal Geological Survey-Sarajevo has shown that the methane in Lješljani deposit is produced in the serpentinization processes of peridotites (Etiope et al., 2017).

The Dinaride Ophiolite Zone, which dominantly contains the basic and ultrabasic intrusives, effusives and metamorphites of Triassic-Jurassic, lies as a roof barrier over the Middle and Upper Triassic carbonate aquifers in several areas in B&H (Papeš,1976 and Papeš et al., 2012). In such structurally-lithostratigraphic relations, Triassic carbonate aquifers represent very rich water-bearing accumulations of thermal and thermomineral waters in B&H. Examples of these accumulations in the Spreča-Kozara fault zone are Laktaši (4), Ćelahuša-Kakmuž (9) and Toplica (15).

In addition to the mineral, thermal and thermomineral waters and gases, the Spreča-Kozara fault is characterized by different types of mineralization (Cu, Pb, pyrite and others), numerous deposits of drinking groundwater as well as seismic active zones from which is the well-known Banjaluka region.


Natalija Samardžić, Hazim Hrvatović, Neven Miošić
Geological Survey of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FZZG)



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