Authors: ARAL I. OKAY, MASSIMILIANO ZATTIN, ERCAN ÖZCAN, GÜRSEL SUNAL
Abstract: The Cenozoic history of the Anatolian Plateau is investigated using the distribution of the last Cenozoic marine strata, the ages of Neogene continental sediments and magmatic rocks, and thermochronology. In central and northern Anatolia, the youngest marine sediments are of Middle Eocene age and show that the region has been above the sea level since ca. 41 Ma. The preservation of marine Eocene sequences over large regions and widespread distribution of Neogene continental sediments point to minor erosion or subsidence, except in the Miocene core complexes, and indicate average surface uplift or subsidence rates of less than 0.05 km/Myr since 41 Ma. The Cenozoic mammal ages point to widespread continental deposition on the Anatolian Plateau from Early Miocene (ca. 22 Ma) to the present, and a similar pattern of semicontinuous magmatism has been observed in Anatolia since ca. 23 Ma. New thermochronological data from central Anatolia to west of Ankara have indicate a major exhumation phase during the Paleocene and Early Eocene, followed by minor uplift and/or subsidence. Miocene exhumation is restricted to the core complexes, such as the Kazdağ Massif. The Anatolian Plateau has been a land area since 41 Ma and was characterized by continental sedimentation and volcanism in the last 22 Myr. In this period, subsidence and uplift were balanced so that central Anatolia was maintained above sea level. In contrast, its southern mountainous margin, the Taurides, is free of Neogene magmatism and has undergone a fast uplift above sea level since 8 Ma (ca. 0.3 km/Myr). These differences indicate that the uplift of Anatolia cannot be ascribed to a single mechanism. Flat subduction, followed by mantle upwelling under Anatolia in the post-Middle Eocene period, maintained the region above the sea level, whereas the Late Miocene rupture of the subducting eastern Mediterranean oceanic slab have induced fast uplift of the Taurides.
Keywords: Anatolian Plateau, uplift, exhumation, thermochronology, Cenozoic, mammal ages
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