Abstract

Eastern Anatolia is the site of lithospheric thinning, plateau uplift, heating, and synconvergent extension. Using numerical geodynamic experiments, we test the hypothesis that these tectonic anomalies are all related and the consequence of delamination of the mantle lithosphere. Our findings indicate that delamination during plate convergence results in ~2-km-high plateau uplift. The removal of mantle lithosphere induces distinct regions of contraction and thickening, as well as extension and thinning of the crust. The latter occurs even within a regime of plate shortening, although it is muted with increasing plate convergence. Detachment of the delaminating slab results in minor surface topographic perturbation, but only above the delamination hinge. The plateau uplift and pattern of surface contraction and/or extension are consistent with a topographic profile at 42°E and geologically interpreted zone of synconvergent extension at eastern Anatolia.

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