International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 105, Issue 1, pp 67–80 | Cite as

Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous radiolarian age constraints from the sedimentary cover of the Amasia ophiolite (NW Armenia), at the junction between the Izmir–Ankara–Erzinçan and Sevan–Hakari suture zones

  • T. DanelianEmail author
  • G. Asatryan
  • Gh. Galoyan
  • L. Sahakyan
  • J. Stepanyan
Original Paper


The Amasia ophiolite, situated at the northernmost corner of Armenia, is part of the Sevan–Hakari suture zone which links with the Izmir–Ankara–Erzinçan suture zone in northern Turkey. Three new radiolarian assemblages have been extracted from siliceous sedimentary rocks that accumulated on the Amasia ophiolite in an oceanic setting. Two of these assemblages were extracted from red-brownish bedded cherts overlying basaltic lavas; one of these is likely to be middle Oxfordian to early Kimmeridgian in age, while the second correlates with the Berriasian. Similar time-equivalent lava-chert sequences have been dated recently using radiolarians from the Stepanavan, Vedi and Sevan ophiolite units, where they are considered to relate to submarine volcanic activity in the back-arc marginal basin in which the Armenian ophiolites were formed. The third radiolarian assemblage, of late Barremian age, was extracted from a more than 15-m-thick volcaniclastic-chert sequence. The related volcanic activity is likely to have been subaerial and probably relates to the formation of an oceanic volcanic plateau; no Cretaceous subaerial volcanism has been previously recorded in the Lesser Caucasus area.


Radiolaria Radiolarites Volcaniclastic rocks Amasia ophiolite Armenia Lesser Caucasus Late Jurassic Early Cretaceous 



Funding from the DARIUS program is gratefully acknowledged. Fieldwork was also facilitated by the support of the Institute of Geological Sciences (Armenian Academy of Sciences). The Erasmus Mundus IANUS Program funded the postdoctoral mobility of G. Asatryan to the University of Lille and staff mobility of T. Danelian to Armenia. GDRI-CNRS “South Caucasus Geosciences” funded a month’s postdoctoral visit of G. Galoyan to the University of Lille. L. Debeauvais helped with laboratory processing and Ph. Recourt with the SEM. Constructive remarks by M. Chiari, P. Dumitrica and A.H.F. Robertson improved the initial manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Danelian
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Asatryan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gh. Galoyan
    • 2
  • L. Sahakyan
    • 2
  • J. Stepanyan
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Lille, CNRS, UMR 8198, Evo-Eco-PaleoLilleFrance
  2. 2.Institute of Geological SciencesNational Academy of Sciences of ArmeniaYerevanRepublic of Armenia

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