Late Neogene and active orogenic uplift in the Central Pontides associated with the North Anatolian Fault: Implications for the northern margin of the Central Anatolian Plateau, Turkey


TECTONICS, cilt.30, 2011 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


Surface uplift at the northern margin of the Central Anatolian Plateau (CAP) is integrally tied to the evolution of the Central Pontides (CP), between the North Anatolian Fault (NAF) and the Black Sea. Our regional morphometric and plate kinematic analyses reveal topographic anomalies, steep channel gradients, and local high relief areas as indicators of ongoing differential surface uplift, which is higher in the western CP compared to the eastern CP and fault-normal components of geodetic slip vectors and the character of tectonic activity of the NAF suggest that stress is accumulated in its broad restraining bend. Seismic reflection and structural field data show evidence for a deep structural detachment horizon responsible for the formation of an actively northward growing orogenic wedge with a positive flower-structure geometry across the CP and the NAF. Taken together, the tectonic, plate kinematic, and geomorphic observations imply that the NAF is the main driving mechanism for wedge tectonics and uplift in the CP. In addition, the NAF Zone defines the boundary between the extensional CAP and the contractional CP. The syntectonic deposits within inverted intermontane basins and deeply incised gorges suggest that the formation of relief, changes in sedimentary dynamics, and > 1 km fluvial incision resulted from accelerated uplift starting in the early Pliocene. The Central Pontides thus provide an example of an accretionary wedge with surface-breaking faults that play a critical role in mountain building processes, sedimentary basin development, and ensuing lateral growth of a continental plateau since the end of the Miocene.