Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




This study describes and interprets Upper Cretaceous volcaniclastics interbedded with hemipelagic to pelagic limestones, marls, and turbidites from the Western Pontides, northwestern Turkey. The Dereköy Formation, the Unaz Formation (red pelagic limestone unit), and the Cambu Formation can be distinguished, overlain by the turbiditic Akveren Formation. Biostratigraphic ages from the predominantly volcaniclastic Dereköy Formation indicate Turonian (Dicarinella concavata planktonic foraminifera zone, CC13/UC8-9 nannofossil zones) to middle/late Santonian ages up to CC17/UC13. The Unaz Formation, deposited during the late Santonian (UC13, Dicarinella asymetrica Zone), is overlain by the volcaniclastic Cambu Formation of latest Santonian (CC17b/UC13) to early/middle Campanian (CC20/UC15a) age. However, turbidite intercalations are already present diachronously from CC19/UC14d onwards, and the turbiditic Akveren Formation ranges up into the late Maastrichtian (Abathomphalus mayaroensis Zone). Geochemistry of the volcaniclastic units reveals information about the volcanic series and tectonic setting, although element mobility has to be considered. An overall trend of calc-alkaline to high-K calc-alkaline series and basaltic to basalt-andesitic rock types was identified. A negative Nb anomaly with respect to Th and Ce in all samples confirms the existence of a volcanic arc, also indicated by a negative Ti anomaly. Biostratigraphic age constraints give evidence for volcanic arc activity mainly between Turonian and early Campanian, ca. 91 - 79 Ma. Various geochemical data, especially element variations normalized to N-MORB, show two types of volcanic arc basalts (VAB): (1) Calc-alkaline to high-K calc-alkaline VAB have increased Nb and Zr values, (2) more tholeiitic VABs are depleted in Nb, Zr, Ti, V. The volcaniclastics successions were deposited in an arc setting triggered by different stages of subduction of the Neotethys Ocean to the south and contemporaneous spreading in the Western Black Sea Basin to the north. An extensional regime caused formation of small but deeper-water sedimentary basins along the southern shore of the Black Sea where volcaniclastic complexes interfingered within short lateral distances with pelagic and mass-flow deposits.


Western Pontides, Turkey, Upper Cretaceous, volcaniclastics, geochemistry, biostratigraphy, nannofossils, foraminifera

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