The Western Pontide Magmatic Belt consists of two different magmatic series corresponding to two distinct periods of intense volcanism, separated by a pelagic limestone marker horizon resting on a regional unconformity. The first stage of magmatism and associated extensional tectonic regime prevailed in the region between the Middle Turonian and Early Santonian. During the first stage, magmas were derived from a depleted mantle source containing a clear subduction signature. The extrusives intercalated with marine clastic sediments and pelagic carbonates associated with thick debris-flow horizons and olistoliths. Based on geochemistry and depositional features, the first stage is interpreted as an extensional ensialic arc setting developed in response to northwards subduction of the Tethys Ocean beneath the southern margin of Laurasia. During the Late Santonian, the volcanism stopped and the whole region suddenly subsided with the deposition of a thin, but laterally continuous, pelagic limestone horizon. This subsidence may imply the breakup of the Laurasian continental lithosphere and the beginning of oceanic spreading in the Western Black Sea Basin. The intensified extension is interpreted to be linked to the southwards rollback of the subducting slab.