A palaeomagnetic study of the Sivas Basin, central Turkey: Crustal deformation during lateral extrusion of the Anatolian Block

Gursoy H. , Piper J., Tatar O. , Temiz H.

TECTONOPHYSICS, vol.271, pp.89-105, 1997 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 271
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/s0040-1951(96)00242-9
  • Title of Journal : TECTONOPHYSICS
  • Page Numbers: pp.89-105


The Sivas Basin is a complex collage of Eocene and younger rocks located within the wedge-shaped eastern margin of the Anatolian Block between the (dextral) North Anatolian Fault Zone and the (sinistral) Eastern Anatolian Fault Zone. It has been subject to ongoing deformation by movement of the Arabian Block into Eurasia and concomitant sideways expulsion of the Anatolian Block. Post-collisional deformation since mid-Miocene times has been dominated by N-S to NW-SE compression expressed by thrusting and strike-slip faulting. Cretaceous and Eocene rocks were magnetically overprinted to variable degrees during the collisional phase although these overprints have since been rotated mostly anticlockwise. Rocks emplaced during the neotectonic history are high-fidelity palaeomagnetic recorders of subsequent block movements. Regional anticlockwise rotation is recognised across the basin with differential rotation of fault and thrust-bounded blocks. An absence of perceptible differences between group mean rotations identified from Miocene, Pliocene and Quaternary units shows that most regional rotation has been concentrated within the latest phase of the neotectonic history during Quaternary times at an average rate of similar to 10 degrees/Ma. Commencement of this rotation postdates initiation of the North Anatolian Fault Zone implying that compression following collision was accommodated initially by crustal thickening during Late Miocene and Pliocene times. Subsequent anticlockwise rotations have resulted from sideways expulsion of blocks to the south of the Central Anatolian Thrust along major NE-SW sinistral faults to achieve the crustal shortening resulting from N-S compression. These fault orientations and their sense of motion are explained by a Prandtl model involving deformation of a triangular plastic terrane (the Anatolian Block) between two rigid plates (Eurasia and Afro-Arabia). The variations in regional rotation identified by palaeomagnetism show that average contemporary anticlockwise rotation of Anatolia revealed by GPS data (similar to 1.2 degrees/Ma) is achieved by variable, and locally large, block rotations between major thrusts and strike-slip faults.