Tectonic evolution of the South Tethyan ocean: evidence from the Eastern Taurus Mountains (Elazığ region, SE Turkey)
Published:January 01, 2007
A. H. F. Robertson, O. Parlak, T. Rízaoğlu, Ü. Ünlügenç, N. İnan, K. Tasli, T. Ustaömer, 2007. "Tectonic evolution of the South Tethyan ocean: evidence from the Eastern Taurus Mountains (Elazığ region, SE Turkey)", Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward, A. C. Ries, R. W. H. Butler, R. H. Graham
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Geological information from the Eastern Taurus Mountains, part of the Tethyan (South Neotethyan) suture zone exposed in the Elazığ region, is used here to test existing tectonic hypotheses and to develop a new tectonic model. Five main tectonic stages are identified: (1) Mid-Late Triassic rifting-spreading of Southern Neotethys; (2) Late Cretaceous northward subduction-accretion of ophiolites and arc-related units; (3) Mid-Eocene subduction-related extension; (4) Early-Mid-Miocene collision and southward thrusting over the Arabian Foreland; (6) Plio-Quaternary, post-collisional left-lateral tectonic escape. During the Late Cretaceous (c. 90 Ma) northward intra-oceanic subduction generated regionally extensive oceanic lithosphere as the İspendere, Kömürhan, Guleman and Killan ophiolites of supra-subduction zone type. A northward-dipping subduction zone was activated along the northern margin of the ocean basin (Keban Platform), followed by accretion of Upper Cretaceous ophiolites in latest Cretaceous time. As subduction continued the accreted ophiolites and overriding northern margin (Keban Platform) were intruded by calc-alkaline plutons, still during latest Cretaceous time. The northern margin was covered by shallow-marine mixed clastic-carbonate sediments in latest Cretaceous-Early Palaeogene time. Northward subduction during the Mid-Eocene was accompanied by extension of the northern continental margin, generating large fault-bounded, extensio nal basins that were infilled with shallow- to deep-water sediments and subduction-influenced volcanic rocks (Maden Group). Thick debris flows (‘olistostromes’) accumulated along the oceanward edge of the active margin. The partly assembled allochthon finally collided with the Arabian continental margin to the south during Early-Mid-Miocene time in response to oblique convergence; the entire thrust stack was then emplaced southwards over the downflexed Arabian Foreland. Left-lateral strike-slip (tectonic escape) along the East Anatolian Fault Zone ensued.
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Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward
This Special Publication, in memory and celebration of the work of Professor Mike Coward, is about the deformation of the continental lithosphere. The collected papers discuss geometry, structural principles, processes and problems in a wide range of tectonic settings and thereby reflect the breadth of Coward's interests. They encompass the evolution of Precambrian basement gneiss terrains, the geometry and evolution of thrust systems, basement involvement and structural inheritance in basins, syn-orogenic extension, salt tectonics, the implication of structural evolution on hydrocarbon prospectivity and structural controls on mineralization. Examples are drawn from the Lewisian and Moine Thrust Belt of NW Scotland, the Italian Apennines, NW Himalayas, the Cyclades, Oman, Zagros Mountains, Colombian Cordillera, Carpathians, North Sea, offshore Brazil, regional studies of the Irumide Belt (central Africa), Taurus Mountains (Turkey), greater South America, and from the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa and the Antler Orogeny of SW USA.