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Journal Articles International Journal of Earth Sciences Year : 2016

Neotethyan closure history of western Anatolia: a geodynamic discussion


This paper addresses the lithosphere-scale subduction–collision history of the eastern termination of the Aegean retreating subduction system, i.e. western Anatolia. Although there is some general consensus on the protracted subduction evolution of the Aegean since the early Cenozoic at least, correlation with western Anatolia has been widely debated for more than several decades. In western Anatolia, three main tectonic configurations have been envisaged in the past years to reconstruct slab dynamics during the closure of the Neotethyan oceanic realm since the Late Cretaceous. Some authors have suggested an Aegean-type scenario, with the continuous subduction of a single lithospheric slab, punctuated by episodic slab roll-back and trench retreat, whereas others assumed a discontinuous subduction history marked by intermittent slab break-off during either the Campanian (ca. 75 Ma) or the Early Eocene (ca. 55–50 Ma). The third view implies three partly contemporaneous subduction zones. Our review of these models points to key debated aspects that can be re-evaluated in the light of multidisciplinary constraints from the literature. Our discussion leads us to address the timing of subduction initiation, the existence of hypothetical ocean basins, the number of intervening subduction zones between the Taurides and the Pontides, the palaeogeographic origin of tectonic units and the possibility for slab break-off during either the Campanian or the Early Eocene. Thence, we put forward a favoured tectonic scenario featuring two successive phases of subduction of a single lithospheric slab and episodic accretion of two continental domains separated by a continental trough, representing the eastern end of the Cycladic Ocean of the Aegean. The lack of univocal evidence for slab break-off in western Anatolia and southward-younging HP/LT metamorphism in continental tectonic units (from ~85, 70 to 50 Ma) in the Late Cretaceous–Palaeogene period suggests continuous subduction since ~110 Ma, marked by roll-back episodes in the Palaeocene and the Oligo-Miocene, and slab tearing below western Anatolia during the Miocene.


Earth Sciences
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hal-01408691 , version 1 (05-12-2016)



Amaury Pourteau, Roland Oberhänsli, Osman Candan, Eric Barrier, Bruno Vrielynck. Neotethyan closure history of western Anatolia: a geodynamic discussion. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 2016, 105 (1), pp.203-224. ⟨10.1007/s00531-015-1226-7⟩. ⟨hal-01408691⟩
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