Abstract

Sedimentary geology and planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy have shed light on the geological development of the northern, active continental margin of the Southern Neotethys in the Kyrenia Range. Following regional Triassic rifting, a carbonate platform developed during Jurassic–Cretaceous time, followed by its regional burial, deformation and greenschist-facies metamorphism. The platform was exhumed by Late Maastrichtian time and unconformably overlain by locally derived carbonate breccias, passing upwards into Upper Maastrichtian pelagic carbonates. In places, the pelagic carbonates are interbedded with sandstone turbidites derived from mixed continental, basic volcanic, neritic carbonate and pelagic lithologies. In addition, two contrasting volcanogenic sequences are exposed in the western-central Kyrenia Range, separated by a low-angle tectonic contact. The first is a thickening-upward sequence of Campanian–Lower Maastrichtian(?) pelagic carbonates, silicic tuffs, silicic lava debris flows and thick-bedded to massive rhyolitic lava flows. The second sequence comprises two intervals of basaltic extrusive rocks interbedded with pelagic carbonates. The basaltic rocks unconformably overlie the metamorphosed carbonate platform whereas no base to the silicic volcanic rocks is exposed. Additional basaltic lavas are exposed throughout the Kyrenia Range where they are dated as Late Maastrichtian and Late Paleocene–Middle Eocene in age. In our proposed tectonic model, related to northward subduction of the Southern Neotethys, the Kyrenia platform was thrust beneath a larger Tauride microcontinental unit to the north and then was rapidly exhumed prior to Late Maastrichtian time. Pelagic carbonates and sandstone turbidites of mixed, largely continental provenance then accumulated along a deeply submerged continental borderland during Late Maastrichtian time. The silicic and basaltic volcanogenic rocks erupted in adjacent areas and were later tectonically juxtaposed. The Campanian–Early Maastrichtian(?) silicic volcanism reflects continental margin-type arc magmatism. In contrast, the Upper Maastrichtian and Paleocene–Middle Eocene basaltic volcanic rocks erupted in an extensional (or transtensional) setting likely to relate to the anticlockwise rotation of the Troodos microplate.

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