Mesozoic Strike-Slip Back-Arc Basins of the Western Black Sea Region
Chris J. Banks, Andrew G. Robinson, 1997. "Mesozoic Strike-Slip Back-Arc Basins of the Western Black Sea Region", Regional and Petroleum Geology of the Black Sea and Surrounding Region, A. G. Robinson
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This chapter presents schematic reconstructions of the Black Sea region in Triassic to Cretaceous time. The tectonic evolution of the region during this time was controlled by the northward subduction of the Tethys oceanic plate. The ocean is now closed at a suture extending from Romania to the Aegean and through the whole length of northern Turkey to Iran. The overriding European plate was alternately subjected to extensional and compressive deformation and arc magmatism, resulting in a zone of considerable structural and Stratigraphie complexity The present Western Black Sea opened in the mid-Cretaceous as the microplate comprising what is now the Western and Central Pontides separated from the Moesian and Scythian platforms and moved southeast to leave an oceanic back-arc basin behind it. We identify two regional strike-slip transfer fault zones that constrained the movement of the Pontide microplate. Our restoration enables us to recognize the Peceneaga-Camena fault and its extensions as a key tectonic feature—another major transfer fault—in the earlier Triassic and Jurassic events. We suggest that its displacement was sinistral in the Late Triassic–Early Jurassic, with Moesia moving southeast, leaving an oceanic embayment now occupied by the Pannonian Basin. This phase was generally transtensional, opening a string of back-arc basins in the Black Sea area, which then closed in the Middle–Late Jurassic Cimmeride orogeny.
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Regional and Petroleum Geology of the Black Sea and Surrounding Region
In 1967 and 1969, two oceanographic cruises were made in the Black Sea under the guidance of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute: The cruises included scientists from many countries and disciplines. Their aims were to determine the recent geological and geochemical evolution of the Black Sea, to map the shallow structure of the basin, and to study the interaction between the oxidized surface waters and the anoxic waters beneath them. The results were published 23 years ago, as AAPG Memoir 20 (Ross and Degens, 1974). During the 1969 cruise, the vessel Atlantis II collected 40 piston cores, which formed the basis of most of the subsequent geological studies that were restricted to very recent sedimentation. Speculations concerning the origin of the basin and the relationship of the geology offshore to that exposed around the margins of the Black Sea were rooted in pre-plate tectonic concepts of basin formation and were in any case hampered by a lack of relevant data (Brinkmann, 1974).
In 1976, the Glomar Challenger visited the Black Sea on Leg 42B of the Deep Sea Drilling Project and drilled and cored three deep-water sites (379, 380, and 381). Well 381 north of the Bosporus encountered sediments as old as Miocene, including some apparently deposited in shallow water (Ross, 1978).
The next major volume in Western literature to deal with the Black Sea was published a decade later, collecting papers presented two years earlier at a conference in Yalta. In this volume, a number of seismic reflection lines