Paleogeographic evidence on the Jurassic tectonic history of the Pontides: new paleomagnetic data from the Sakarya continent and Eastern Pontides

Cinku M. C.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, vol.100, no.7, pp.1633-1645, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier


The Jurassic paleogeographic position of the Pontides is not well studied because of insufficient paleomagnetic data. For this reason, a paleomagnetic study was carried out in order to constrain the paleolatitudinal drift of the Turkish blocks during the Jurassic period. A total of 32 sites were sampled from volcanic and volcanoclastic rocks of the Lower/Middle Jurassic Kelkit formation (Eastern Pontides), Mudurnu formation (Sakarya continent) and Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous Ferhatkaya formation exposed around Amasya region (Eastern Pontides). Rock magnetic experiments demonstrate that the main ferromagnetic mineral is pseudo-single-domain titanomagnetite in these rocks. Paleomagnetic analysis revealed two main components of the natural remanent magnetization during stepwise thermal and alternating field demagnetization. The first component is a low-coercivity (unblocking temperature) component with a direction sometimes similar to that of the earth's present field or a viscous component. The second component, which is interpreted as the characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) direction, has low to high coercivity properties between 20 and 100 mT or unblocking temperatures between 300 and 580A degrees C. A positive fold test at the 95% level of confidence proved that the ChRM of the sites is primary. Paleomagnetic directions calculated for the Kelkit formation in the Eastern Pontides have a mean direction of D = 334.8A degrees, I = 49.7A degrees, alpha (95) = 7.1A degrees after tilt-correction. A mean direction of D = 332.2A degrees, I = 48.5A degrees, alpha (95) = 14.6A degrees was obtained from the volcanoclastic rocks of the Mudurnu formation, and D = 324.3A degrees, I = 43.3A degrees, alpha (95) = 9.5A degrees was calculated for the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous limestones/Ferhatkaya formation of the Amasya region. The Jurassic rocks in the Eastern Pontides and Mudurnu region are considered to represent products of the rifted Neo-Tethys ocean, while the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous sediments in Amasya are related to basin-filling materials. The data suggest that the Kelkit formation was formed at 30.5A degrees N paleolatitude and the equivalent Mudurnu formation at 29.5A degrees N paleolatitude. The paleolatitude of the Eastern Pontides indicates that this rifting block was separated from Eurasia by a marginal basin instead of being a part of Eurasia. The lower paleolatitude of the Amasya region at 24.8A degrees N in the Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous clearly indicates southward drift of the Turkish blocks during the Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous period together with the motion of Eurasia.