Late Palaeozoic to Cenozoic Evolution of the Black Sea-Southern Eastern Europe Region: A View from the Russian Platform


Abstract: A synthesis of the Late Palaeozoic to Cenozoic evolution of the Black Sea region and the southern parts of the East European Platform (EEP) is presented. During Carboniferous to Early Permian times the Cordillera-type Euxinus Orogen evolved along the southern margin of the EEP in response to progressive closure of the Rheic and Palaeotethys oceans and the accretion of Gondwana-derived continental terranes. Permian development of the north-dipping Palaeotethys subduction system along the southern Pontides margin of these terranes was accompanied by important compressional intraplate deformation on the EEP. The Mesozoic to Palaeogene evolution of the southern parts of the EEP, was goverened by closure of Palaeotethys, accretion of the Gondwana-derived Cimmerian terrane and gradual closure of the Neotethys, involving repeated opening and closure of back-arc basins. Five discrete tectonic subduction-related cycles are recognized, each commencing with back-arc extension and terminated with back-arc compression. The timing of these cycles is: (1) latest Permian to Hettangian, (2) Sinemurian to early Callovian, (3) late Callovian to Berriasian, (4) Valanginian to Paleocene and (5) Eocene to Recent. The duration of the individual cycles was of the order of 30-50 My. During back-arc extension, rifted basins developed along the southern margin of the EEP whilst during back-arc compression compressional stresses were exerted on it, albeit at varying levels during the different tectonic cycles. On the EEP, Late Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic intraplate tectonics are expressed by such phenomena as rifting, extrusion of plateau basalts, inversion of pre-existing tensional basins, gentle lithospheric folding, regional uplift and subsidence.

Keywords: East European Platform, Black Sea, Caucasus, Turkey, geological evolution, dynamics, subduction, rifting, intraplate tectonics

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