An Oligocene ductile strike-slip shear zone: The Uludaǧ Massif, northwest Turkey - Implications for the westward translation of Anatolia

A. I. Okay*, M. Satir, M. Zattin, W. Cavazza, G. Topuz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The Uludaǧ Massif in northwest Turkey represents an exhumed segment of an Oligocene ductile strike-slip shear zone that is over 225 km long and has ∼100 km of right-lateral strike-slip displacement. It forms a fault-bounded mountain of amphibolite-facies gneiss and intrusive Oligocene granites. A shear-zone origin for the Uludaǧ Massif is indicated by: (1) its location at the tip of the active Eskišehir oblique-slip fault, (2) pervasive subhorizontal mineral lineation in the gneisses with a right-lateral sense of slip, (3) foliation with a consistent strike, (4) the presence of a subvertical synkinematic intrusion, and (5) the alignment of the Eskišehir fault, synkinematic metagranite, and the strike of the foliation and mineral lineation. The shear zone nucleated in amphibolite-facies gneisses at peak pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions of 7.0 kbar and 670 °C, and it preserves Eocene (49 Ma) and Oligocene (36-30 Ma) Rb/ Sr muscovite and biotite cooling ages. The shear zone was active during the latest Eocene and Oligocene (38-27 Ma), as shown by the crystallization and cooling ages from synkinematic granite. A 27 Ma postkinematic granite marks the termination of shear-zone activity. The 20-21 Ma apatite fission-track (AFT) ages indicate rapid exhumation during the early Miocene. A 14 Ma AFT age from an Uludaǧ gneiss clast deposited in a neighboring Neogene basin shows that the shear zone was on the surface by the late Miocene. Results of this study indicate that during the Oligocene, crustal-scale right-lateral strike-slip faults were transporting crustal fragments from Anatolia into the north-south-extending Aegean; this implies that the westward translation of Turkey, related to the Hellenic slab suction, started earlier than the Miocene Arabia-Eurasia collision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-911
Number of pages19
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Aegean Sea
  • Amphibolite-facies metamorphism
  • Apatite fission tracks
  • Ductile shear zone
  • Rb/Sr ages
  • Strike-slip faulting
  • Turkey


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