Late Cretaceous–Cenozoic subduction–collision history of the Southern Neotethys: new evidence from the Çağlayancerit area, SE Turkey

Ahmet Can Akıncı*, Alastair H F Robertson, Ulvi Can Ünlügenç

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Evidence of the subduction–collision history of the S Neotethys is well exposed in the frontal part of the SE Anatolian thrust belt and the adjacent Arabian continental margin. The foreland succession in the study area begins with Eocene shelf carbonates, ranging from shallow marine to deeper marine, without sedimentary input from the Tauride continent to the north. After a regional hiatus (Oligocene), sedimentation resumed during the Early Miocene with terrigenous gravity-flow deposition in the north (Lice Formation) and shallow-marine carbonates further south. Clastic detritus was derived from the Tauride continent and oceanic accretionary material. The base of the overriding Tauride allochthon comprises ophiolite-derived debris flows, ophiolite-related mélange and dismembered ophiolitic rocks. Above this, the regional-scale Bulgurkaya sedimentary mélange (an olistostrome) includes blocks and dismembered thrust sheets of metamorphic rocks, limestone and sandstone, which include Late Cretaceous and Eocene foraminifera. The matrix is mainly strongly deformed Eocene–Oligocene mudrocks, hemipelagic marl and sandstone turbidites. The thrust stack is topped by a regionally extensive thrust sheet (Malatya metamorphic unit), which includes greenschist facies marble, calcschist, schist and phyllite, representing Tauride continental crust. Beginning during the Late Mesozoic, the S Neotethys subducted northwards beneath a backstop represented by the Tauride microcontinent (Malatya metamorphic unit). Ophiolites formed within the S Neotethys and accreted to the Tauride active margin. Large-scale sedimentary mélange developed along the Tauride active margin during Eocene–Oligocene. On the Arabian margin, a sedimentary hiatus and tilting (Oligocene) is interpreted to record initial continental collision. The Early Miocene terrigenous gravity flows represent a collision-related flexural foreland basin. Southward overthrusting of the Tauride allochthon took place during Early-Middle Miocene. Associated regional uplift triggered large-scale alluvial deposition. The foreland folded and faulted in response to suture zone tightening (Late Miocene). Left-lateral strike slip characterised the Plio-Pleistocene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-337
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume105
Issue number1
Early online date11 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Arabian foreland
  • Cenozoic
  • Collision
  • Late Cretaceous
  • Melange
  • Subduction
  • Tauride continent

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