Late Cretaceous to Late Eocene Hekimhan Basin (Central Eastern Turkey) as a supra-ophiolite sedimentary/magmatic basin related to the later stages of closure of Neotethys

Matthew G. Booth*, Alastair H.F. Robertson, Kemal Tasli, Nurdan Inan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Hekimhan Basin is here put forward as a type example of a globally important class of basin, known as a supra-ophiolite basin. Such basins form after the emplacement of ophiolitic (i.e. oceanic) rocks onto a passive continental margin, but long prior to continental collision. The Hekimhan Basin developed as part of the northern margin of the Tauride microcontinent during the collision and suturing of two Neotethyan oceans to the north, namely the Inner Tauride Ocean and the Izmir-Ankara-Erzincan ocean. The basin records two main stages of tectonic development, during latest Cretaceous to Late Eocene time. The first phase of basin development during the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) began with the erosion of emplaced ophiolitic rocks, resulting in non-marine clastic sedimentation. Subsequently, the basin rapidly subsided, in response to inferred regional crustal extension, resulting in the deposition of hemipelagic marls and local sapropelic mudstones. The axial parts of the basin experienced alkaline, within-plate-type, basaltic volcanism. The Late Maastrichtian culminated in deposition of shallow-marine carbonates. Overlying Paleocene sediments are restricted to thin, localised, marine evaporates, associated with a low-angle unconformity. The second stage of basin development began during the Early Eocene with deposition of shallow-marine carbonates, coupled with localised basaltic volcanism, again of extensional type. The basin emerged during the Mid-Late Eocene in a late-stage collisional to post-collisional setting. Compressional deformation largely reflects post-suture tightening. A short-lived marine transgression occurred during the Mid-Miocene. The basin was later deformed by both left-lateral and right-lateral strike-slip.Several different tectonic models are considered, notably extension related to the northward pull of a still-subducting oceanic slab, and back-arc extension related to northward subduction of Neotethys (to the south). The first alternative is consistent with the development of adjacent supra-ophiolite basins (e.g. Ülükişla and Darende Basins), and also with supra-ophiolite basins elsewhere (e.g. SE Turkey; Balkans; Oman).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-32
Number of pages27
Early online date6 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2014


  • Late Cretaceous-Late Eocene
  • Neotethys
  • Supra-ophiolite basin
  • Turkey


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