Southeast Anatolian Orogenic Belt revisited (geology and evolution)

Yilmaz Y.

CANADIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, vol.56, no.11, pp.1163-1180, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1139/cjes-2018-0170
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1163-1180
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Southeast Anatolian Orogenic Belt consists of the Arabian Platform, a zone of imbrication, and a nappe zone. The Arabian Platform is represented by a thick marine succession. The zone of imbrication is a narrow belt sandwiched between the Arabian Platform and the nappes. The nappes are the highest tectonic unit. They consist of two continental slivers separated by ophiolitic associations representing oceanic environments. They were involved in the orogenic development and formed two metamorphic belts. The oceanic environment survived by the end of Middle Eocene. A northward subduction began in this ocean and generated the Elbistan-Yuksekova arc built above the Goksun ophiolite. Development of the Southeastern Anatolian Orogenic Belt began in the north, where the Binboga-Malatya metamorphic massif, collided with the Elbistan volcanic arc to the end of Early Eocene period. Later new tectonic entities were accreted to this progressively growing and southerly transporting nappe stack. In the lower plate, the southern continental sliver that was attached to the oceanic slab subducted together and underwent high-pressure metamorphism. The subducting oceanic slab retreated. Asthenospheric inflow caused high-temperature metamorphism, which superimposed on the previous high-pressure metamorphism. The oceanic and continental fragments formed the Bitlis Massif and the Berit metaophiolite when exhumed. A younger volcanic arc was built on the ocean floor to the south. Accretion of the volcanic arc to the nappe pile occurred during the Late Eocene period. The orogenic belt was formed when the nappes collided with the Arabian plate during the Late Miocene.