, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 25-37

Evolution and geodynamic significance of the tertiary orogenic volcanism in Northeastern Greece

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Abstract

The Tertiary volcanism of Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace (Greece) developed in association with the sedimentary basin which formed, from Eocene to Oligocene, along the southern margin of the Rhodope Massif.

The volcanic products, ranging in composition from basaltic andesites to rhyolites, show an overall calc-alkaline orogenic affinity, while chemical characteristics identify different groups of rocks, probably reflecting minor differences among parent magmas. The observed evolution within any group of rocks is compatible with fractional crystallization processes acting on relatively shallow magma bodies.

The Sr isotopic composition of rhyolitic member shows an initial87Sr/86Sr ratio comparable with that of basaltic andesites, reinforcing the hypothesis of a crystal/liquid line of descent.

Geochemical and petrographic evidence, on the whole, suggests that the investigated orogenic association developed on an active continental margin characterized by a relatively thick crust, acting as a density filter for the basic magmas and facilitating their storage and fractionation within the crust itself. Minor contamination by interaction with host materials may also have occurred.

Stratigraphic and K/Ar geochronological data indicate that the volcanic activity started in Upper Eocene and reached its maximum development in Upper Oligocene. From Lower Miocene, the volcanism shifted southward in the Central Aegean area and in part of Western Anatolia, coming to an end by Middle Miocene.

The southward migration of the volcanic front has been interpreted as a consequence of the increase in the dipping of the Benioff zone, due to the decrease of penetrative strength after the main phase of continental collision.