Hide/Show Apps

Radiolarian biochronology of upper Anisian to upper Ladinian (Middle Triassic) blocks and tectonic slices of volcano-sedimentary successions in the Mersin Melange, southern Turkey: New insights for the evolution of Neotethys

Bedi, Yavuz
Göncüoğlu, Mehmet Cemal
Sayıt, Kaan
The Mersin Ophiolitic Complex located in southern Turkey comprises two main structural units; the Mersin Melange, and a well-developed ophiolite succession with its metamorphic sole. The Mersin Melange is a sedimentary complex including blocks and tectonic slices of oceanic litosphere and continental crust in different sizes. Based on different fossil groups (Radiolaria, Conodonta, Foraminifera and Ammonoidea), the age of these blocks ranges from Early Carboniferous to early Late Cretaceous. Detailed fieldwork in the central part of the Mersin Melange resulted in identification of a number of peculiar blocks of thick basaltic pillow-and massive lava sequences alternating with pelagic-clastic sediments and radiolarian cherts. The oldest ages obtained from the radiolarian assemblages from the pelagic sediments transitional to the volcano-sedimentary succession in some blocks are middle to late Late Anisian. These pelagic sediments are overlain by thick sandstones of latest Anisian to middle Early Ladinian age. In some blocks, sandstones are overlain by clastic and pelagic sediments with lower Upper to middle Upper Ladinian radiolarian fauna. Considering the litho- and biostratigraphical data from Middle Triassic successions in several blocks in the Mersin Melange, it is concluded that they correspond mainly to the blocks/slices of the Beysehir-Hoyran Nappes, which were originated from the southern margin of the Neotethyan Izmir-Ankara Ocean. As the pre-Upper Anisian basic volcanics are geochemically evaluated as back-arc basalts, this new age finding suggest that a segment of the Izmir-Ankara branch of the Neotethys was already open prior to Middle Triassic and was the site of intraoceanic subduction.