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Cross-sectional anatomy and geodynamic evolution of the Central Pontide orogenic belt (northern Turkey)

Hippolyte, JC
Espurt, Nikolas
Kaymakcı, Nuretdin
Mueller, C.
Geophysical data allowed the construction of a similar to 250-km-long lithospheric-scale balanced cross section of the southern Black Sea margin (Espurt et al. in Lithosphere 6:26-34, 2014). In this paper, we combine structural field data, stratigraphic data, and fault kinematics analyses with the 70-km-long onshore part of the section to reconstruct the geodynamic evolution of the Central Pontide orogen. These data reveal new aspects of the structural evolution of the Pontides since the Early Cretaceous. The Central Pontides is a doubly vergent orogenic wedge that results from the inversion of normal faults. Extensional subsidence occurred with an ENE-trend from Aptian to Paleocene. We infer that the Black Sea back-arc basin also opened during this period, which was also the period of subduction of the Tethys Ocean below the Pontides. As in the Western Pontides, the Cretaceous-Paleocene subsidence was interrupted from Latest Albian to Coniacian time by uplift and erosion that was probably related to a block collision and accretion in the subduction zone. The restoration of the section to its pre-shortening state (Paleocene) shows that fault-related subsidence locally reached 3600 m within the forearc basin. Structural inversion occurred from Early Eocene to Mid-Miocene as a result of collision and indentation of the Pontides by the KA +/- rAYehir continental block to the south, with 27.5 km (similar to 28 %) shortening along the section studied. The inversion was characterized by NNE-trending shortening that predated the Late Neogene dextral escape of Anatolia along the North Anatolian Fault and the modern stress field characterized by NW-trending compression within the Eocene Boyabat basin.