Tectonics of Eastern Anatolian Plateau; Final Stages of Collisional
Orogeny in Anatolia
The East Anatolian High Plateau, part of the Alpine-Himalayan orogen, is
a 200 km wide, approximately E-W trending belt surrounded by two
peripheral mountains of the Anatolian Peninsula. The plateau is covered
by a thick, interbedded Neogene volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Outcrops
of the underlying rocks are rare. Therefore, contrasting views were
proposed on the nature of the basement rocks. New geological and
geophysical data suggest the presence of an ophiolitic
mélange-accretionary complex under cover rocks of Eastern Anatolia. The
cover units began to be deposited during the closure of the NeoTethyan
Ocean that was located between the Pontide arc to the north, and the
continental slivers drifted away from the Arabian Plate to the south.
The surrounding orogenic belts experienced different orogenic evolution.
The Eastern Anatolian orogen was formed during the later stages of the
development of the surrounding orogenic belts. In this period, the
melange-accretionary prism that occupied a large terrain behaved like a
wide and thick cushion, which did not allow a head-on collision of the
bordering continents. NeoTethyan oceanic lithosphere was eliminated from
entire eastern Turkey by the Late Eocene. The eastern Anatolia began to
rise when the northern advance of the Arabian Plate continued after the
total demise of the oceanic lithosphere. The present stage of the
elevation of the East Anatolian Plateau as a coherent block started
during the Late Miocene.