Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




The Neotectonic period of deformation in Anatolia has been embraced by a location between the complex interaction of Afro-Arabian and Eurasia plates. During this ongoing deformation, the eastern part was under the continuing influence of subduction by the Neotethyan Ocean in the Eastern Mediterranean Region resulting in the indentation of the Arabian Plate into Anatolia. As the Red Sea opened deformation became increasingly focused on a fault system comprising the Dead Sea, North Anatolian, and East Anatolian fault systems. To help constrain the age and deformation history of this last phase we have conducted a paleomagnetic study from a total of 28 sites at Lower-Middle Miocene Mazgirt volcanic rocks and Pliocene Karakoçan basalts in the Anatolian Plate, and the Quaternary Cizre basalts of the Arabian Plate. The mean paleomagnetic direction in Early-Middle Miocene time identifies a clockwise rotation of 12.38 ± 5.1 in the Anatolian Plate. In contrast, counterclockwise rotation of 19.2 ± 6.1 and 14.8 ± 5.7 is obtained in the Middle Miocene-Pliocene and Quaternary periods in the Anatolian and Arabian Plate, respectively. According to our findings, we point to the importance of two distinct tectonic events. The first phase defines a period between Lower Miocene to Pliocene which is defined by a clockwise rotation of 31.5. It is concluded that during this time interval, the collision between Arabia and Eurasia and the motion of Arabia in the northeast direction gave rise to the clockwise rotation of Anatolia. The North Anatolian Fault (NAF) is thought to be inactive, while the East Anatolian Fault (EAF) was not generated in this time interval. In the second phase, the northwest-directed movement of the Arabian Plate led to counterclockwise rotations both in the Anatolian and Arabian Plate. We suggest that the North Anatolian Fault provided a contribution to this movement in the Pliocene, while the East Anatolian Fault accompanied this tectonic westward escape of the Anatolian Plate after the Quaternary.


Anatolian-Arabian plate, paleomagnetism, NAF-EAF, westward escape, lower miocene-pliocene

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