Abstract

Permian-Triassic and Late Cretaceous accretionary complexes, ascribed to the consumption of two distinct oceans, the Paleo- and Neo-Tethys, are exposed over extensive areas in the Eastern Mediterranean region. However, a separating continental ribbon, the so-called Cimmeride continent, between the Paleo- and Neo-Tethys during early Mesozoic time cannot be defined. Here we report a previously unknown Early Jurassic metamorphic oceanic accretionary complex and ophiolite from northeast Turkey, bounded by oceanic accretionary complexes of Permian-Triassic and Late Cretaceous age to the north and the south, respectively, without a continental domain in between. This special tectonic position and widespread coexistence of Permian-Triassic and Late Cretaceous accretionary complexes alongside the Izmir-Ankara-Erzincan suture imply that (1) the southern margin of Laurasia in the eastern Mediterranean region grew by episodic accretionary processes from late Paleozoic to end-Mesozoic time without involvement of a Cimmerian continental ribbon, and (2) the Paleo-Tethys and northern branch of the Neo-Tethys were not distinct oceans in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

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