Late Cretaceous blueschist facies metamorphism in southern Thrace (Turkey) and its geodynamic implications

Topuz G. , Okay A. , ALTHERR R., SATIR M., SCHWARZ W. H.

JOURNAL OF METAMORPHIC GEOLOGY, vol.26, no.9, pp.895-913, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1525-1314.2008.00792.x
  • Page Numbers: pp.895-913


A blueschist facies tectonic sliver, 9 km long and 1 km wide, crops out within the Miocene clastic rocks bounded by the strands of the North Anatolian Fault zone in southern Thrace, NW Turkey. Two types of blueschist facies rock assemblages occur in the sliver: (i) A serpentinite body with numerous dykes of incipient blueschist facies metadiabase (ii) a well-foliated and thoroughly recrystallized rock assemblage consisting of blueschist, marble and metachert. Both are partially enveloped by an Upper Eocene wildflysch, which includes olistoliths of serpentinite-metadiabase, Upper Cretaceous and Palaeogene pelagic limestone, Upper Eocene reefal limestone, radiolarian chert, quartzite and minor greenschist. Field relations in combination with the bore core data suggest that the tectonic sliver forms a positive flower structure within the Miocene clastic rocks in a transpressional strike-slip setting, and represents an uplifted part of the pre-Eocene basement. The blueschists are represented by lawsonite-glaucophane-bearing assemblages equilibrated at 270-310 degrees C and similar to 0.8 GPa. The metadiabase dykes in the serpentinite, on the other hand, are represented by pumpellyite-glaucophane-lawsonite-assemblages that most probably equilibrated below 290 degrees C and at 0.75 GPa. One metadiabase olistolith in the Upper Eocene flysch sequence contains the mineral assemblage epidote + pumpellyite + glaucophane, recording P-T conditions of 290-350 degrees C and 0.65-0.78 GPa, indicative of slightly lower depths and different thermal setting. Timing of the blueschist facies metamorphism is constrained to c. 86 Ma (Coniacian/Santonian) by Rb-Sr phengite-whole rock and incremental (40)Ar-(39)Ar phengite dating on blueschists. The activity of the strike-slip fault post-dates the blueschist facies metamorphism and exhumation, and is only responsible for the present outcrop pattern and post-Miocene exhumation (similar to 2 km). The high-P/T metamorphic rocks of southern Thrace and the Biga Peninsula are located to the southeast of the Circum Rhodope Belt and indicate Late Cretaceous subduction and accretion under the northern continent, i.e. the Rhodope Massif, enveloped by the Circum Rhodope Belt. The Late Cretaceous is therefore a time of continued accretionary growth of this continental domain.