A systematic record of sense-of-shear criteria associated with peak conditions of amphibolite facies metamorphism from the Central Rhodope massif, Bulgaria, gives evidence for superposition of two distinct terranes. The lower terrane is characterized by south-vergent, flat-lying thrusting that involved eclogites. The upper terrane is characterized by east-vergent, flat-lying shearing possibly associated with crustal extension. We suggest that both regional metamorphism and deformation may be Cretaceous in age. There was erosion prior to emplacement of several crystalline sheets at shallow depths during the early Cenozoic. This was followed by Oligocene extension and rhyolitic volcanism. The Rhodope massif can no longer be regarded as a stable Paleozoic or older microcontinent.

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