Geochemical and temporal evolution of Cenozoic magmatism in Western Turkey: Mantle response to collision, slab break-off, and lithospheric tearing in an orogenic belt

Yildirim Dilek*, Şafak Altunkaynak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Citations (Scopus)


Post-collisional magmatism in western Anatolia began in the Eocene, and has occurred in discrete pulses throughout the Cenozoic as it propagated from north to south, producing volcanoplutonic associations with varying chemical compositions. This apparent SW migration of magmatism and accompanying extension through time was a result of the thermally induced collapse of the western Anatolian orogenic belt, which formed during the collision of the Sakarya and Tauride-Anatolide continental blocks in the late Paleocene. The thermal input and melt sources for this prolonged magmatism were provided first by slab break-off-generated aesthenospheric flow, then by lithospheric delamination-related aesthenospheric flow, followed by tectonic extension-driven upward aesthenospheric flow. The first magmatic episode is represented by Eocene granitoid plutons and their extrusive carapace that are linearly distributed along the Izmir-Ankara suture zone south of the Marmara Sea. These suites show moderately evolved compositions enriched in incompatible elements similar to subduction zone-influenced subalkaline magmas. Widespread Oligo-Miocene volcanic and plutonic rocks with medium- to high-K calcalkaline compositions represent the next magmatic episode. Partial melting and assimilationfractional crystallization of enriched subcontinental lithospheric mantle-derived magmas were important processes in the genesis and evolution of the parental magmas, which experienced decreasing subduction influence and increasing crustal contamination during the evolution of the Eocene and Oligo-Miocene volcano-plutonic rocks. Collision-induced lithospheric slab break-off provided an influx of aesthenospheric heat and melts that resulted in partial melting of the previously subduction-metasomatized mantle lithosphere beneath the suture zone, producing the Eocene and Oligo-Miocene igneous suites. The following magmatic phase during the middle Miocene (16-14 Ma) developed mildly alkaline bimodal volcanic rocks that show a decreasing amount of crustal contamination and subduction influence in time. Both melting of a subduction-modified lithospheric mantle and aesthenospheric mantle-derived melt contribution played a significant role in the generation of the magmas of these rocks. This magmatic episode was attended by region-wide extension that led to the formation of metamorphic core complexes and graben systems. Aesthenospheric upwelling caused by partial delamination of the lithospheric root beneath the western Anatolian orogenic belt was likely responsible for the melt evolution of these mildly alkaline volcanics. Lithospheric delamination may have been caused by 'peeling off' during slab rollback. The last major phase of magmatism in the region, starting c.12 Ma, is represented by late Miocene to Quaternary alkaline to super-alkaline volcanic rocks that show OIB-like geochemical features with progressively more potassic compositions increasing toward south in time. These rocks are spatially associated with major extensional fault systems that acted as natural conduits for the transport of uncontaminated alkaline magmas to the surface. The melt source for this magmatic phase carried little or no subduction component and was produced by the decompressional melting of aesthenospheric mantle, which flowed in beneath the attenuated continental lithosphere in the Aegean extensional province. This time-progressive evolution of Cenozoic magmatism and extension in western Anatolia has been strongly controlled by the interplay between regional plate-tectonic events and the mantle dynamics, and provides a realistic template for post-collisional magmatism and crustal extension in many orogenic belts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-233
Number of pages21
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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