Fault kinematic and Plio-Quaternary paleostress evolution of the Bakircay Basin, Western Turkey

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Sanğu E. , Gürer Ö. F. , Gurer A.

INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGY REVIEW, 2019 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier


At the end of the Cenozoic, western Turkey was fragmented by intense intra-continental tectonic deformation resulting in the formation of two extensional areas: a transtensional pull-apart basin systems in the northwest, and graben systems in the central and southwest areas. The question of the connection of this Late Cenozoic extensional tectonics to plate kinematics has long been an issue of discussion. This study presents the results of the fault slip data collected in Bakircay Basin in the west of Turkey and addresses changes in the direction of extensional stresses over the Plio-Quaternary. Field observations and quantitative analysis show that Bakircay Basin is not a simple graben basin that has evolved during a single phase. It started as a graben basin with extensional regime in the Pliocene and was transformed into a pull-apart basin under the influence of transtensional forces during the Quaternary. A chronology of two successive extensional episodes has been established and provides reasoning to constrain the timing and location of subduction-related back-arc tectonics along the Aegean region and collision-related extrusion tectonics in Turkey. The first NW-SE trending extension occurred during the Pliocene extensional phase, characterized by slab rollback and progressive steepening of the northward subduction of the African plate under the Anatolian Plate. Western Turkey has been affected, during the Middle Quaternary, by regional subsidence, and the direction of extension changed to N-S, probably in relation with the propagation of the North Anatolian Fault System. Since the Late Quaternary, NE-SW extension dominates northwest Turkey and results in the formation and development of elongated transtensional basin systems. Counterclockwise rotation of Anatolian block which is bounded to the north by the right-lateral strike-slip North Anatolian Fault System, accompanies to this extensional phase.