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Late Triassic rifting and Jurassic–Cretaceous passive margin development of the Southern Neotethys: evidence from the Adıyaman area, SE Turkey


Evidence of rifting and continental break-up to form the S Neotethys is found within the volcanic-sedimentary Koçali Complex. This is a folded, thrust-imbricated succession that includes lavas, volcaniclastic sediments, pelagic carbonates, radiolarites and manganiferous deposits. Interbedded ribbon cherts contain radiolarians of Late Triassic to Late Jurassic age. The lower part of the succession of Mid?-Late Triassic age (Tarasa Formation) is dominated by enriched mid-ocean ridge basalt (E-MORB). The overlying Late Triassic to Mid-Jurassic interval (Konak Formation) is characterised by intercalations of ocean island basalt and E-MORB. Taking account of structural position, the basalts erupted within the outer part of a continent–ocean transition zone. Continental break-up probably occurred during the Late Triassic (Carnian–Norian). Early to Mid-Jurassic lavas and volcaniclastic sediments record volcanism probably after continental break-up. In addition, the Karadut Complex is a broken formation that is located at a relatively low structural position just above the Arabian foreland. Pelagic carbonates, redeposited carbonates and radiolarites predominate. Radiolarians are dated as Early to Mid-Jurassic and Late Cretaceous in age. The pelagic carbonates include planktic foraminifera of Late Cretaceous age. The Karadut Complex resulted from the accumulation of calcareous gravity flows, pelagic carbonate and radiolarites in a relatively proximal, base-of-slope setting. After continental break-up, MORB and ophiolitic rocks formed within the S Neotethys further north. Tectonic emplacement onto the Arabian platform took place by earliest Maastrichtian time. Regional interpretation is facilitated by comparisons with examples of Triassic rifting and continental break-up in the eastern Mediterranean region and elsewhere.

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This work was financially supported by the DARIUS project. Yvonne Cooper and Hayati Koç kindly assisted with the preparation of the illustrations. The manuscript benefitted from reviews by Prof. Dr. Sacit Özer and Prof. Dr. İbrahim Türkmen.

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Robertson, A.H.F., Parlak, O., Yıldırım, N. et al. Late Triassic rifting and Jurassic–Cretaceous passive margin development of the Southern Neotethys: evidence from the Adıyaman area, SE Turkey. Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) 105, 167–201 (2016).

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  • S Neotethys
  • SE Turkey
  • Radiolarian biostratigraphy
  • Basalt geochemistry
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Structure