Tectonic evolution of the southern margin of Laurasia in the Black Sea region


INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGY REVIEW, vol.57, pp.1051-1076, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 57
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00206814.2015.1010609
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1051-1076
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Black Sea region comprises Gondwana-derived continental blocks and oceanic subduction complexes accreted to Laurasia. The core of Laurasia is made up of an Archaean-Palaeoproterozoic shield, whereas the Gondwana-derived blocks are characterized by a Neoproterozoic basement. In the early Palaeozoic, a Pontide terrane collided and amalgamated to the core of Laurasia, as part of the Avalonia-Laurasia collision. From the Silurian to Carboniferous, the southern margin of Laurasia was a passive margin. In the late Carboniferous, a magmatic arc, represented by part of the Pontides and the Caucasus, collided with this passive margin with the Carboniferous eclogites marking the zone of collision. This Variscan orogeny was followed by uplift and erosion during the Permian and subsequently by Early Triassic rifting. Northward subduction under Laurussia during the Late Triassic resulted in the accretion of an oceanic plateau, whose remnants are preserved in the Pontides and include Upper Triassic eclogites. The Cimmeride orogeny ended in the Early Jurassic, and in the Middle Jurassic the subduction jumped south of the accreted complexes, and a magmatic arc was established along the southern margin of Laurasia. There is little evidence for subduction during the latest Jurassic-Early Cretaceous in the eastern part of the Black Sea region, which was an area of carbonate sedimentation. In contrast, in the Balkans there was continental collision during this period. Subduction erosion in the Early Cretaceous removed a large crustal slice south of the Jurassic magmatic arc. Subduction in the second half of the Early Cretaceous is evidenced by eclogites and blueschists in the Central Pontides and by a now buried magmatic arc. A continuous extensional arc was established only in the Late Cretaceous, coeval with the opening of the Black Sea as a back-arc basin.