U-Pb zircon geochronology of the Paleogene – Neogene volcanism in the NW Anatolia: Its implications for the Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic geodynamic evolution of the Aegean

E. Yalçın Ersoy*, Cüneyt Akal, Can Genç, Osman Candan, Martin R. Palmer, Dejan Prelević, İbrahim Uysal, Regina Mertz-Kraus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The northern Aegean region was shaped by subduction, obduction, collision, and post-collisional extension processes. Two areas in this region, the Rhodope-Thrace-Biga Peninsula to the west and Armutlu-Almacık-Nallıhan (the Central Sakarya) to the east, are characterized by extensive Eocene to Miocene post-collisional magmatic associations. We suggest that comparison of the Cenozoic magmatic events of these two regions may provide insights into the Late Mesozoic to Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Aegean. With this aim, we present an improved Cenozoic stratigraphy of the Biga Peninsula derived from a new comprehensive set of U-Pb zircon age data obtained from the Eocene to Miocene volcanic units in the region. The compiled radiometric age data show that calc-alkaline volcanic activity occurred at ~ 43–15 Ma in the Biga Peninsula, ~ 43–17 Ma in the Rhodope and Thrace regions, and ~ 53–38 Ma in the Armutlu-Almacık-Nallıhan region, which are slightly overlapping. We discuss the possible cause for the distinct Cenozoic geodynamic evolution of the eastern and western parts of the region, and propose that the Rhodope, Thrace and Biga regions in the north Aegean share the same Late Mesozoic to Cenozoic geodynamic evolution, which is consistent with continuous subduction, crustal accretion, southwestward trench migration and accompanying extension; all preceded by the Late Cretaceous – Paleocene collision along the Vardar suture zone. In contrast, the Armutlu-Almacık-Nallıhan region was shaped by slab break-off and related processes following the Late Cretaceous – Paleocene collision along the İzmir-Ankara suture zone. The eastern and western parts of the region are presently separated by a northeast-southwest trending transfer zone that was likely originally present as a transform fault in the subducted Tethys oceanic crust, and demonstrates that the regional geodynamic evolution can be strongly influenced by the geographical distribution of geologic features on the subducting plate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-301
Number of pages18
JournalTectonophysics
Volume717
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Funding

This work supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (grant number: TUBITAK-CAYDAG-12Y128 ). Uğur Öven and Bülent Kasapoğlu are thanked for their help during field studies. Two anonymous reviewers are also thanked for their constructive reviews and comments.

FundersFunder number
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma KurumuTUBITAK-CAYDAG-12Y128

    Keywords

    • Aegean
    • Crustal accretion
    • Slab break-off
    • Subduction
    • Transfer zone

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