Geodynamics of collision and collapse at the Africa–Arabia–Eurasia subduction zone – an introduction
Published:January 01, 2009
Douwe J. J. Van Hinsbergen, Michael A. Edwards, Rob Govers, 2009. "Geodynamics of collision and collapse at the Africa–Arabia–Eurasia subduction zone – an introduction", Collision and Collapse at the Africa–Arabia–Eurasia Subduction Zone, D. J. J. Van Hinsbergen, M. A. Edwards, R. Govers
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Shortly after the recognition of plate-tectonics, Wilson (1966) proposed his now famous cycle describing the creation and demise of ocean basins. His original four stages still form the basis for plate-tectonic discussions today: (1) rifting of a continent; (2) continental drift, sea-floor spreading and formation of ocean basins; (3) subduction initiation and progressive closure of ocean basins by subduction of oceanic lithosphere; and (4) continent–continent collision and final closure of an ocean basin. The Mediterranean basin constitutes the westernmost extremity of the Tethyan domain (e.g. Stampfli & Borel 2002). Here, the last remains of this former oceanic basin have nearly disappeared, thus representing stage (4). This final closure phase is associated with rifting and drifting in the Western Mediterranean (Dercourt et al. 1986), and with initiation of the Tyrrhenian–Calabrian and Alboran subduction zones, i.e. all of Wilson's phases are occurring concurrently.
Imprints of previous Wilson stages are preserved in the geological record. Detailed geochemical and metamorphic-petrological study of ophiolites – on-land relics of oceanic crust in mountain belts – (Spadea & D'Antonio 2006; Barth et al. 2008), paleogeographic reconstructions (Hall & Spakman 2003), as well as numerical and analogue modeling experiments
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Collision and Collapse at the Africa–Arabia–Eurasia Subduction Zone
The Mediterranean and northern Arabian regions provide a unique natural laboratory to constrain geodynamics associated with arc–continent and continent–continent collision and subsequent orogenic collapse by analysing regional and temporal distributions of the various elements in the geological archive. This book combines thirteen new contributions that highlight timing and distribution of the Cretaceous to Recent evolution of the Calabrian, Carpathian, Aegean and Anatolian segments of the Africa–Arabia–Eurasia subduction zone. These are subdivided into five papers documenting the timing and kinematics of Cretaceous arc–continent collision, and Eocene and Miocene continent–continent collision in Anatolia, with westward extrusion of Anatolia as a result. Eight papers provide an overview and new data from stratigraphy, structure, metamorphism and magmatism, covering the geological consequences of the largely Neogene collapse that characterizes the segments of interest, in response to late stage reorganization of the subduction zone, and the roll-back and break-off of (segments of) the subducting slab.