Late oligocene-early miocene shortening in the Thrace Basin, northern Aegean

Erbil U., Okay A., Hakyemez A.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, vol.110, no.6, pp.1921-1936, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 110 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00531-021-02047-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1921-1936
  • Keywords: Aegean, Miocene, Oligocene, Shortening, Thrace Basin
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Late Cenozoic was a period of large-scale extension in the Aegean. The extension is mainly recorded in the metamorphic core complexes with little data from the sedimentary sequences. The exception is the Thrace Basin in the northern Aegean, which has a continuous record of Middle Eocene to Oligocene marine sedimentation. In the Thrace Basin, the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene was characterized by north-northwest (N25 degrees W) shortening leading to the termination of sedimentation and formation of large-scale folds. We studied the stratigraphy and structure of one of these folds, the Korudag anticline. The Korudag anticline has formed in the uppermost Eocene-Lower Oligocene siliciclastic turbidites with Early Oligocene (31.6 Ma zircon U-Pb age) acidic tuff beds. The turbidites are underlain by a thin sequence of Upper Eocene pelagic limestone. The Korudag anticline is an east-northeast (N65 degrees E) trending fault-propagation fold, 9 km wide and 22 km long and with a subhorizontal fold axis. It is asymmetric with shallowly-dipping northern and steeply-dipping southern limbs. Its geometry indicates about 1 km of shortening in a N25 degrees W direction. The folded strata are unconformably overlain by Middle Miocene continental sandstones, which constrain the age of folding. The Korudag anticline and other large folds in the Thrace Basin predate the inception of the North Anatolian Fault (NAF) by at least 12 myr. The Late Oligocene-Early Miocene (28-17 Ma) shortening in the Thrace Basin and elsewhere in the Balkans forms an interlude between two extensional periods, and is probably linked to changes in the subduction dynamics along the Hellenic trench.