The late Eo-Cimmerian evolution of the external Hellenides: constraints from microfabrics and U–Pb detrital zircon ages of Upper Triassic (meta)sediments (Crete, Greece)

Abstract

Carboniferous-to-Triassic sediments and volcanics of the External Hellenides were deposited in different environments of the Paleotethys realm: a back-arc setting along the active margin of Eurasia (Tyros Unit), and a passive margin setting along northern Gondwana/Cimmeria (Phyllite–Quartzite Unit s.str.). The volcanosedimentary records and the age spectra of detrital zircons of both units suggest that their different settings persisted until the Anisian, as long as the Paleotethys was open, but approximated in Ladinian times, when both units collided and the Paleotethys was closed. We present provenance data of post-collisional sediments, a Norian quartzite of the Tyros Unit (Toplou Beds) and a Norian (meta)conglomerate of the Phyllite–Quartzite Unit s.str. (Mana Beds). The type of clastic grains and the ages of detrital zircons indicate a similar source of both units dominated by (1) Cryogenian and Tonian/Stenian basement, (2) low-grade Cadomian basement, and (3) Ladinian/Carnian magmatic rocks. The Carnian zircons in the Norian Tyros Unit (223 ± 7 Ma) and in the Norian Phyllite–Quartzite Unit s.str. (223 ± 5 Ma) are strong evidence that the basins of both units were situated close together. Subsequent to Ladinian collision, the Carnian-to-Norian strata of both units were deposited in adjacent interrelated shallow-marine-to-lacustrine basins, the deposits of which are characterized by black shales, reddish bauxite-type pisolites, and badly sorted sandstones/conglomerates supplied from nearby pre-Ordovician East Gondwana-derived basement. The Variscan basement towards the north was largely drowned in Upper Triassic times as is indicated by only few Variscan-aged zircons in the Carnian/Norian Tyros rocks.

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Fig. 1

published by Zulauf et al. (2015, 2016), Chatzaras et al. (2016), and this study. Modified after Xypolias et al. (2007); Chatzaras et al. (2016)

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(modified after Zulauf et al. 2008, 2015, and references therein)

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Maria Bladt and Janina Schastok (Universität Frankfurt) for help with the isotopic analyses and with the preparation of thin sections. Constructive reviews by M. Bröcker, O. Candan, and P. Xypolias are acknowledged.

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Zulauf, G., Dörr, W., Marko, L. et al. The late Eo-Cimmerian evolution of the external Hellenides: constraints from microfabrics and U–Pb detrital zircon ages of Upper Triassic (meta)sediments (Crete, Greece). Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) 107, 2859–2894 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00531-018-1632-8

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Keywords

  • Paleotethys
  • Neotethys
  • External Hellenides
  • Crete
  • Cimmerian orogeny