Abstract

The Mio-Pliocene basins around the Antalya gulf in SW Turkey developed above the Tauric Mesozoic platforms on which the Antalya nappes had been thrusted (in Late Cretaceous-Paleocene times). The closure of the initial Isparta Angle during these events (E-W compression) initiated the N-S orientation of the main structural lines, which persisted later and explains the orientation of the Aksu basin in contrast with the E-W orientation of the eastern Neo-gene Mediterranean basins. The area, and all southwestern Turkey, became emergent at the end of the Oligocene and were the site of shallow-marine carbonate deposits in the Chattian-Aquitanian, giving way to the wide Lycian basin in Burdigalian-Langhian times. The progressive emplacement of the Lycian nappes from the north over this basin provoked first its subsidence and then its emersion when the nappes attained their final position over the Bey Daglari platform in Langhian times. Coinciding, or in response to the Lycian nappes emplacement, the Aksu basin was initiated as an elongated N-S graben which was filled by thick accumulations of terrestrial and marine deposits(including coral reefs), which derived from the erosion of the Lycian allochton and its basement (Langhian?, Serravallian and Tortonian times). The syn-sedimentary tectonics : reactivation of the normal faults along the west margin of the basin, the continuous uplift of the neighbouring continental areas (beginning of the Aksu thrust), governed the geometry of the basin. As a result and due to the uplift of its northern margin, the Aksu basin migrated towards the south and in Messinian times it was reduced to a narrow gulf along the eastern margin of which the Gebiz limestones were deposited as fringing coral reefs. The age of these limestones has been debated. Our new data allow us to attribute them to the Messinian. The drastic retreat of the sea at the end of this period, provoked the erosion of large parts of the Messinian deposits and the formation of deep canyons on land and under the sea down to the Antalya abyssal plain, in which evaporites were deposited. During the Zanclean transgression, the Eskiköy-Kargi canyon was filled by coarse clastics of a Gilbert delta derived from the northern continental area following a model well known elsewhere in the Mediterranean basins. Southward, shallow-marine sands and marls unconformably cover the remnants of the Messinian deposits and the emergent areas of the southern Antalya gulf. After Zanclean times (end of Pliocene?), the Aksu basin was deformed, due to the west-directed Aksu compressional event (end of the Aksu thrust). Quaternary terraces of the Aksu river at various altitudes, as well as the terraces of the Antalya tufa can be related to sea level fluctuations.

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