Variscan orogeny in the Black Sea region

Aral I. Okay*, Gültekin Topuz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Two Gondwana-derived Paleozoic belts rim the Archean/Paleoproterozoic nucleus of the East European Platform in the Black Sea region. In the north is a belt of Paleozoic passive-margin-type sedimentary rocks, which extends from Moesia to the Istanbul Zone and to parts of the Scythian Platform (the MOIS Block). This belt constituted the south-facing continental margin of the Laurussia during the Late Paleozoic. This margin was deformed during the Carboniferous by folding and thrusting and forms the Variscan foreland. In the south is a belt of metamorphic and granitic rocks, which extends from the Balkanides through Strandja, Sakarya to the Caucasus (BASSAC Block). The protoliths of the metamorphic rocks are predominantly late Neoproterozoic granites and Paleozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks, which were deformed and metamorphosed during the Early Carboniferous. There are also minor eclogites and serpentinites, mostly confined to the northern margin of the BASSAC Block. Typical metamorphism is of low pressure–high temperature type and occurred during the Early Carboniferous (Visean, 340–330 Ma) coevally with that observed in the Central Europe. Volumetrically, more than half of the crystalline belt is made up of Carboniferous–earliest Permian (335–294 Ma) granites. The type of metamorphism, its concurrent nature over 1800 km length of the BASSAC Block and voluminous acidic magmatism suggest that the thermal event probably occurred in the deep levels of a continental magmatic arc. The BASSAC arc collided with Laurussia in the mid-Carboniferous leading to the foreland deformation. The ensuing uplift in the Permian resulted in the deposition of continental red beds, which are associated with acidic magmatic rocks observed over the foreland as well as over the BASSAC Block. In the Black Sea region, there was no terminal collision of Laurussia with Gondwana during the Late Paleozoic and the Laurussia margin continued to face the Paleo-Tethyan ocean in the south.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-592
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Balkans
  • Carboniferous
  • Caucasus
  • Permian
  • Pontides
  • Variscan


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