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Implications of Late Cretaceous U–Pb zircon ages of granitic intrusions cutting ophiolitic and volcanogenic rocks for the assembly of the Tauride allochthon in SE Anatolia (Helete area, Kahramanmaraş Region, SE Turkey)

Abstract

An assemblage of NE–SW-trending, imbricate thrust slices (c. 26 km E–W long × 6.3 km N–S) of granitic rocks, basic-felsic volcanogenic rocks (Helete volcanics), ophiolitic rocks (Meydan ophiolite) and melange (Meydan melange) is exposed near the Tauride thrust front in SE Anatolia. The volcanogenic rocks were previously assumed to be Eocene because of associated Nummulitic limestones. However, ion probe U–Pb dating of zircons extracted from the intrusive granitic rocks yielded ages of 92.9 ± 2.2–83.1 ± 1.5 Ma (Cenomanian–Campanian). The Helete volcanic unit and the overlying Meydan ophiolitic rocks both are intruded by granitic rocks of similar age and composition. Structurally underlying ophiolite-related melange includes similar-aged, but fragmented granitic intrusions. Major, trace element and rare earth element analyses coupled with electron microprobe analysis of the granitic rocks show that they are metaluminus to peraluminus and calc-alkaline in composition. A magmatic arc setting is inferred from a combination of tectonomagmatic discrimination, ocean ridge granite-normalized multi-element patterns and biotite geochemistry. Sr–Nd–Pb isotope data further suggest that the granitoid rocks were derived from variably mixed mantle and crustal sources. Granitic rocks cutting the intrusive rocks are inferred to have crystallized at ~5–16 km depth. The volcanogenic rocks and granitic rocks originated in a supra-subduction zone setting that was widely developed throughout SE Anatolia. Initial tectonic assembly took place during the Late Cretaceous probably related to northward subduction and accretion beneath the Tauride continent (Keban and Malatya platforms). Initial tectonic assembly was followed by exhumation and then transgression by shelf-depth Nummulitic limestones during Mid-Eocene, as documented in several key outcrops. Final emplacement onto the Arabian continental margin took place during the Early Miocene.

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Acknowledgments

This paper is based on the PhD study of the first author. Financial support from the Çukurova University Research Foundation (Project No: MMF2011D12), TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey; Project No: 113Y037) and the Darius Programme is gratefully acknowledged.

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Nurlu, N., Parlak, O., Robertson, A. et al. Implications of Late Cretaceous U–Pb zircon ages of granitic intrusions cutting ophiolitic and volcanogenic rocks for the assembly of the Tauride allochthon in SE Anatolia (Helete area, Kahramanmaraş Region, SE Turkey). Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) 105, 283–314 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00531-015-1211-1

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Keywords

  • Helete
  • İsland arc
  • Ophiolite
  • Granite
  • U–Pb zircon
  • SE Anatolia
  • Late Cretaceous