The Fethiye-Burdur Fault Zone: A component of upper plate extension of the subduction transform edge propagator fault linking Hellenic and Cyprus Arcs, Eastern Mediterranean

J. Hall*, A. E. Aksu, I. Elitez, C. Yaltirak, G. Çifçi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


The Hellenic and Cyprus Arcs, that mark the convergent boundary of the African and Aegean-Anatolian plates, are offset along a subduction transform edge propagator ('STEP') fault running NE-SW along the Pliny and Strabo Trenches. The continuation of the fault to the northeast through the Rhodes Basin and into SW Anatolia is assessed. Seismic reflection profiles show that the structural architecture of the northern sector of the Rhodes Basin includes a large crustal-scale fold-thrust belt which is overprinted by numerous faults with small extensional stratigraphic separations. A protracted episode of convergence in the Miocene resulted in the development of a prominent NE-SW-striking and NW-verging fold-thrust belt in the Rhodes Basin. The absence of evaporites in the Rhodes Basin and several seaward prograded vertically stacked Quaternary delta successions resting at 2500-3500. m water depth collectively suggest that the Rhodes Basin must have remained above the depositional base of marine evaporite environment during the Messinian and that the region must have subsided very rapidly during the Pliocene-Quaternary. During the Pliocene-Quaternary, a NE-SW-trending belt developed across the Rhodes Basin: while the structural framework of this belt was characterised by reactivated thrusts in the central portion of the basin, a prominent zone of NE-SW-striking and NW- and SE-dipping faults with extensional separations developed in the northern portion of the basin. Two seismic profiles running parallel to the present-day coastline provide the much needed linkage between the Fethiye-Burdur Fault Zone onland and the reactivated thrusts in central Rhodes Basin, and show that the Pliocene-Quaternary zone of high-angle faults with extensional separations clearly link with the similarly trending and dipping strike-slip faults onland in the Eşen Valley, thus providing the continuity between the Pliny-Strabo Trenches in the southwest and the Fethiye-Burdur Fault Zone in the northeast. Mapping of many faults in parts of the Fethiye-Burdur Fault Zone shows evidence for sinistral strike-slip but total displacement across the fault zone is at maximum a few tens of kilometres. The STEP fault thus appears to have diminishing displacement associated with it as it propagates upwards into the upper plate from its originating tear in the subducting plate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-99
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V.


We thank the officers and crew of the RV Koca Piri Reis of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, Dokuz Eylül University, for their assistance in data acquisition, in particular the Chief Engineer Ömer Çubuk, without whom we could not have acquired the seismic reflection data. We acknowledge research and ship-time funds from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to Hall and Aksu, travel funds from the Dean of Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland , and a special grant from the VP Research, Memorial University of Newfoundland . We thank S. Gürçay for his assistance during the acquisition of the 2007 multichannel seismic reflection profiles. Seismic data were processed at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, using the ProMAX software donated by Landmark Graphics. Assistance with data processing was provided by Sharon Deemer, Deanne Duff, Grant Lethbridge, Michelle Martin and Roger Walters.

FundersFunder number
Dean of Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Memorial University of Newfoundland


    • Basin evolution
    • Eastern Mediterranean
    • Fethiye-Burdur-Fault Zone
    • Pliny-Strabo Trenches
    • Pliocene-Quaternary tectonics
    • Rhodes Basin


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