Precambrian to Early Cretaceous rocks of the Strandja Massif (northwestern Turkey): evolution of a long lasting magmatic arc

Natal'in B. A., Sunal G., GUN E., WANG B., ZHIQING Y.

CANADIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, vol.53, no.11, pp.1312-1335, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1139/cjes-2016-0026
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1312-1335
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Strandja Massif, northwestern Turkey, forms a link between the Balkan Zone of Bulgaria, which is correlated with the Variscan orogen in Europe, and the Pontides, where Cimmerian structures are prominent. Five fault-bounded tectonic units form the massif structure. (1) The Kirklareli Unit consists of the Paleozoic basement intruded by the Carboniferous to Triassic Kirklareli metagranites. It is unconformably overlain by Permian and Triassic metasediments. (2) The Vize Unit that is made of Neoproterozoic metasediments, which are intruded by Cambrian metagranites, and overlain by the pre-Ordovician molasse. Unconformably laying the Ordovician quartzites pass upward into quartz schists and then to alternating marble and chert of, possibly, latest Devonian age. Rocks of the Vize Unit are intruded by the late Carboniferous metagranites. The Vize Unit may be correlated with the passive continental margin of the Istanbul Zone. (3) The Mahya accretionary complex and (4) the paired Yavuzdere magmatic arc were formed in the Carboniferous. (5) Nappes consisting of the Jurassic dolomites and marbles thrust to the north in late Jurassic-early Cretaceous time. They occupy the highest structural position on all above-mentioned tectonic units. Tectonic subdivision of the Strandja Massif is supported by new 18 ages of magmatic and detrital zircons. The long duration of subduction-related magmatism in the region and its continuity in the Triassic contradicts with the widely accepted ideas about the dominance of the passive continental margin settings in the tectonic evolution of the Strandja Massif. The massif is interpreted as a fragment of the long-lived, Cambrian to Triassic Silk Road magmatic arc. At least since the late Paleozoic this arc evolved on the northern side of Paleo-Tethys.