The eastern Black Sea-Caucasus region during the Cretaceous: New evidence to constrain its tectonic evolution

Marc Sosson*, Randell Stephenson, Yevgeniya Sheremet, Yann Rolland, Shota Adamia, Rafael Melkonian, Talat Kangarli, Tamara Yegorova, Ara Avagyan, Ghazar Galoyan, Taniel Danelian, Marc Hassig, Maud Meijers, Carla Mueller, Lilit Sahakyan, Nino Sadradze, Victor Alania, Onice Enukidze, Jon Mosar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We report new observations in the eastern Black Sea-Caucasus region that allow reconstructing the evolution of the Neotethys in the Cretaceous. At that time, the Neotethys oceanic plate was subducting northward below the continental Eurasia plate. Based on the analysis of the obducted ophiolites that crop out throughout Lesser Caucasus and East Anatolides, we show that a spreading center (AESA basin) existed within the Neotethys, between Middle Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. Later, the spreading center was carried into the subduction with the Neotethys plate. We argue that the subduction of the spreading center opened a slab window that allowed asthenospheric material to move upward, in effect thermally and mechanically weakening the otherwise strong Eurasia upper plate. The local weakness zone favored the opening of the Black Sea back-arc basins. Later, in the Late Cretaceous, the AESA basin obducted onto the Taurides–Anatolides–South Armenia Microplate (TASAM), which then collided with Eurasia along a single suture zone (AESA suture).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalComptes Rendus. Ge´oscience
Volume348
Issue number1
Early online date18 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Black Sea
  • Caucasus
  • Ophiolites
  • Cretaceous
  • Neotethys
  • Paleotectonic reconstruction

Cite this

The eastern Black Sea-Caucasus region during the Cretaceous : New evidence to constrain its tectonic evolution. / Sosson, Marc; Stephenson, Randell; Sheremet, Yevgeniya; Rolland, Yann; Adamia, Shota; Melkonian, Rafael; Kangarli, Talat; Yegorova, Tamara; Avagyan, Ara; Galoyan, Ghazar; Danelian, Taniel; Hassig, Marc; Meijers, Maud; Mueller, Carla; Sahakyan, Lilit; Sadradze, Nino; Alania, Victor; Enukidze, Onice; Mosar, Jon.

In: Comptes Rendus. Ge´oscience, Vol. 348, No. 1, 01.2016, p. 23-32.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sosson, M, Stephenson, R, Sheremet, Y, Rolland, Y, Adamia, S, Melkonian, R, Kangarli, T, Yegorova, T, Avagyan, A, Galoyan, G, Danelian, T, Hassig, M, Meijers, M, Mueller, C, Sahakyan, L, Sadradze, N, Alania, V, Enukidze, O & Mosar, J 2016, 'The eastern Black Sea-Caucasus region during the Cretaceous: New evidence to constrain its tectonic evolution', Comptes Rendus. Ge´oscience, vol. 348, no. 1, pp. 23-32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crte.2015.11.002
Sosson, Marc ; Stephenson, Randell ; Sheremet, Yevgeniya ; Rolland, Yann ; Adamia, Shota ; Melkonian, Rafael ; Kangarli, Talat ; Yegorova, Tamara ; Avagyan, Ara ; Galoyan, Ghazar ; Danelian, Taniel ; Hassig, Marc ; Meijers, Maud ; Mueller, Carla ; Sahakyan, Lilit ; Sadradze, Nino ; Alania, Victor ; Enukidze, Onice ; Mosar, Jon. / The eastern Black Sea-Caucasus region during the Cretaceous : New evidence to constrain its tectonic evolution. In: Comptes Rendus. Ge´oscience. 2016 ; Vol. 348, No. 1. pp. 23-32.
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abstract = "We report new observations in the eastern Black Sea-Caucasus region that allow reconstructing the evolution of the Neotethys in the Cretaceous. At that time, the Neotethys oceanic plate was subducting northward below the continental Eurasia plate. Based on the analysis of the obducted ophiolites that crop out throughout Lesser Caucasus and East Anatolides, we show that a spreading center (AESA basin) existed within the Neotethys, between Middle Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. Later, the spreading center was carried into the subduction with the Neotethys plate. We argue that the subduction of the spreading center opened a slab window that allowed asthenospheric material to move upward, in effect thermally and mechanically weakening the otherwise strong Eurasia upper plate. The local weakness zone favored the opening of the Black Sea back-arc basins. Later, in the Late Cretaceous, the AESA basin obducted onto the Taurides–Anatolides–South Armenia Microplate (TASAM), which then collided with Eurasia along a single suture zone (AESA suture).",
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author = "Marc Sosson and Randell Stephenson and Yevgeniya Sheremet and Yann Rolland and Shota Adamia and Rafael Melkonian and Talat Kangarli and Tamara Yegorova and Ara Avagyan and Ghazar Galoyan and Taniel Danelian and Marc Hassig and Maud Meijers and Carla Mueller and Lilit Sahakyan and Nino Sadradze and Victor Alania and Onice Enukidze and Jon Mosar",
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AU - Rolland, Yann

AU - Adamia, Shota

AU - Melkonian, Rafael

AU - Kangarli, Talat

AU - Yegorova, Tamara

AU - Avagyan, Ara

AU - Galoyan, Ghazar

AU - Danelian, Taniel

AU - Hassig, Marc

AU - Meijers, Maud

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AU - Sahakyan, Lilit

AU - Sadradze, Nino

AU - Alania, Victor

AU - Enukidze, Onice

AU - Mosar, Jon

N1 - Acknowledgments This paper has been written in tribute to my colleague and friend Jean-François Stéphan, who much motivated this work and followed it step by step. Speaking personally as the primary author, Jean-François supported and enriched my scientific work over my whole career. We spent years as office neighbors in Geoazur, and I thus had the great privilege to discuss science with Jean-François almost every day. I will never forget the great colleague and the even greater friend he was for me. These works were supported by the “Groupement De Recherche International” Géosciences Sud Caucase of the CNRS\INSU and also by the MEBE and DARIUS Programs. The authors would like to thank the two reviewers of this paper, Invited Associate Editor Bernard Mercier de Lépinay, and Associate Editor Isabelle Manighetti, who significantly improved the synopsis and the English writing of the paper.

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N2 - We report new observations in the eastern Black Sea-Caucasus region that allow reconstructing the evolution of the Neotethys in the Cretaceous. At that time, the Neotethys oceanic plate was subducting northward below the continental Eurasia plate. Based on the analysis of the obducted ophiolites that crop out throughout Lesser Caucasus and East Anatolides, we show that a spreading center (AESA basin) existed within the Neotethys, between Middle Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. Later, the spreading center was carried into the subduction with the Neotethys plate. We argue that the subduction of the spreading center opened a slab window that allowed asthenospheric material to move upward, in effect thermally and mechanically weakening the otherwise strong Eurasia upper plate. The local weakness zone favored the opening of the Black Sea back-arc basins. Later, in the Late Cretaceous, the AESA basin obducted onto the Taurides–Anatolides–South Armenia Microplate (TASAM), which then collided with Eurasia along a single suture zone (AESA suture).

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