Quaternary uplift rates of the Central Anatolian Plateau, Turkey: Insights from cosmogenic isochron-burial nuclide dating of the Kizilirmak River terraces

Attila Çiner*, Uğur Doğan, Cengiz Yildirim, Naki Akçar, Susan Ivy-Ochs, Vasily Alfimov, Peter W. Kubik, Christian Schlüchter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


The Central Anatolian Plateau (CAP) in Turkey is a relatively small plateau (300×400km) with moderate average elevations of ~1km situated between the Pontide and Tauride orogenic mountain belts. Kizilirmak, which is the longest river (1355km) within the borders of Turkey, flows within the CAP and slowly incises into lacustrine and volcaniclastic units before finally reaching the Black Sea. We dated the Cappadocia section of the Kizilirmak terraces in the CAP by using cosmogenic burial and isochron-burial dating methods with 10Be and 26Al as their absolute dating can provide insight into long-term incision rates, uplift and climatic changes. Terraces at 13, 20, 75 and 100m above the current river indicate an average incision rate of 0.051±0.01mm/yr (51±1m/Ma) since ~1.9Ma. Using the base of a basalt fill above the modern course of the Kizilirmak, we also calculated 0.05-0.06mm/yr mean incision and hence rock uplift rate for the last 2Ma. Although this rate might be underestimated due to normal faulting along the valley sides, it perfectly matches our results obtained from the Kizilirmak terraces. Although up to 5-10 times slower, the Quaternary uplift of the CAP is closely related to the uplift of the northern and southern plateau margins respectively. •Incision of Kizilirmak River terraces in Central Anatolian Plateau (CAP) studied.•Four terraces dated by cosmogenic burial and isochron-burial methods.•Terraces indicate an average incision rate of 0.05mm/yr since 1.9Ma.•Height of a basalt ridge provides 0.05-0.06mm/yr minimum denudation rates since 2Ma.•CAP Quaternary uplift is 5-10 times slower than the N and S margins respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-97
Number of pages17
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


This work is part of the Vertical Anatolia Movements Project (VAMP), supported by the TOPOEUROPE initiative of the European Science Foundation and funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK; Project 107Y333 ) and the Surface Exposure Dating Laboratory at the University of Bern (Switzerland). We are grateful to Esther Haudenschild, Regina Reber and Anne Claude (University of Bern), for their help in the sample preparation. We would also like to thank the Zürich AMS Facility operated by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. We thank to all VAMP participants for stimulating discussions and Daniel Melnick (Potsdam University) and Alkor Kutluay (Hacettepe University) for their help in DGDP measuring of the terrace T9. We are also grateful to Darryl Granger at the Purdue University for his help and suggestions during the revision of this manuscript. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their very helpful and constructive comments. We also appreciate English proof reading by Kevin McClain.

FundersFunder number
Universität Bern
European Science Foundation
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu


    • Burial dating
    • Denudation rate
    • Depth-profile dating
    • Fluvial incision
    • Fluvial terrace
    • Isochron-burial dating
    • Kizilirmak River
    • Surface exposure dating


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