The Antalya Unit, one of the allochthonous units of the Tauride belt, is of critical, regional tectonic importance because of the presence of rifting remnants related to the break-up of the northern margin of Gondwana during Triassic time. Paleozoic–Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the Antalya Unit consist mainly of calcite, dolomite, quartz, feldspar, and phyllosilicate (illite-smectite, smectite, kaolinite, chlorite, illite, chlorite-smectite, and chlorite-vermiculite) minerals. Illite-smectite (I-S) was found in all of the sequences from Cambrian to Cretaceous, but smectite was only identified in Late Triassic-Cretaceous sediments. R0 I-S occurs exclusively in early-diagenetic Triassic–Cretaceous units of the Alakırçay Nappe (rift sediments), whereas R3 I-S is present in late-diagenetic to low-anchimetamorphic Cambrian–Early Triassic units of the Tahtalıdağ Nappe (pre-rift sediments). Kübler Index (KI) values and the illite content of I-S reflect increasing diagenetic grades along with increasing depth. Major-element, trace-element, rare-earth-element (REE), and stable-isotope (O and H) compositions were investigated in dioctahedral and trioctahedral smectites and I-S samples from the pre-rift and rift-related formations. Both total layer charge and interlayer K increase, whereas tetrahedral Si and interlayer Ca decrease from smectite to R3 I-S. Trace-element and REE concentrations of the I-S are greater in pre-rift sediments than in rift sediments, except for P, Eu, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Bi. On the basis of North American Shale Composite (NASC)-normalized values, the REE patterns of I-S in the pre-rift and rift sediments are clearly separate and distinct. Oxygen (δ18O) and hydrogen (δD) values relative to SMOW (Standard Mean Oceanic Water) of smectite and I-S reflect supergene conditions, with decreasing δ18O but increasing δD values with increasing diagenetic grade. Lower δD values for these I-S samples are characteristic of rift sediments, and pre-rift sediments have greater values. On the basis of isotopic data from these I-S samples, the diagenesis of the Antalya Unit possibly occurred under a high geothermal gradient (>35°C/km), perhaps originating under typical extensional-basin conditions with high heat flow. The geochemical findings from I-S and smectites were controlled by diagenetic grade and can be used as an additional tool for understanding the basin maturity along with mineralogical data.

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