Pliocene-Pleistocene sedimentary-tectonic development of the Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin in an incipient, diachronous collisional setting: facies evidence from the north of Cyprus

Romesh N. Palamakumbura,, Alastair Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin exemplifies multi-stage basin development within a regional setting of diachronous continental collision. The Plio-Pleistocene represented a period of major sediment accumulation between two topographic highs, the Kyrenia Range in the north and the Troodos Massif in the south. During the Pliocene, openmarine marls and chalks of the Nicosia (Lefkosa) Formation accumulated in a shelf setting. The Early Pleistocene was characterised by a relative fall in sea level and a change to shallower-water bioclastic deposition of the Athalassa (Gürpınar) Formation. The northern margin of the basin was approximately delineated by the EW neotectonic Ovgos (Dar Dere) fault zone. A carbonate ramp system formed directly to the south of this structural feature. During the Early Pleistocene, the basin evolved from an open-marine shelf, to semi-enclosed lagoons with deltaic deposits, and finally to a non-marine aeolian setting, flanked by the rising Kyrenia Range to the north. Synthesis of geological evidence from the Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin as a whole, including outcrop and borehole evidence from the south, adjacent to the Troodos Massif, indicates that the Pliocene-Early Pleistocene represented a relatively quiescent period. This intervened between Late Miocene-earliest Pleistocene southward thrusting-folding of the Kyrenia Range and Pleistocene intense surface uplift of both the Kyrenia Range and the Troodos Massif. The basin development
reflects flexurally controlled collapse during the Late Miocene-earliest Pliocene
related to southward thrusting, followed by strike-slip during westward tectonic
escape of Anatolia, and finally regional uplift controlled by under-thrusting of
continental crust from the south, as collision progressed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeological Magazine
Early online date21 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2016

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