The late Cretaceous accretionary complex along the İzmir–Ankara–Erzincan suture zone, northern Turkey, includes various types of metamorphic rock together with radiolarite, sandstone, mudstone, serpentinite, basalt and limestone. Meta-plagiogranite blocks (up to 5 m in diameter) and a meta-gabbro slice (800 × 500 m) cross-cut by meta-plagiogranite are observed in a matrix of serpentinite, mudstone and radiolarian chert. These meta-gabbros and meta-plagiogranites show subduction-related geochemical characteristics. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry U–Pb dating of zircons from two meta-plagiogranites yielded 222.3 ± 1.5 and 227.2 ± 1.6 Ma crystallization ages. This study shows that the meta-gabbro and meta-plagiogranite from the accretionary complex are remnants of the metamorphosed equivalents of the late Triassic lower crustal rocks of the subducted Tethyan oceanic crust. They are the oldest lower crustal rocks observed in the İzmir–Ankara–Erzincan suture zone. Both the meta-gabbros and meta-plagiogranites have Na–Ca amphiboles, indicating blueschist facies metamorphism. However, phengites from a blueschist facies rock yielded an 40Ar/39Ar age of 104.3 ± 0.7 Ma, indicating that blueschist metamorphism occurred during the Albian. All these data suggest that the oceanic crust formed during the Norian, metamorphosed during the Jurassic to early Cretaceous and then dismembered during accretionary complex formation in the late Cretaceous.

Supplementary material: A complete description of the analytical methods (electron microprobe, LA-ICP-MS zircon U–Pb and 40Ar/39Ar age analyses, pseudo-section modelling and THERMOCALC) are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.6509984

Thematic collection: This article is part of the ‘Tethyan ophiolites and Tethyan seaways collection’ available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/cc/tethyan-ophiolites-and-tethyan-seaways

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