--> --> The Regional Geology of the South Turkey – North Cyprus Domain: New Perspectives and Consequences for Hydrocarbon Plays

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The Regional Geology of the South Turkey – North Cyprus Domain: New Perspectives and Consequences for Hydrocarbon Plays

Abstract

Scientific research performed in the last 5 years during the TOPOEUROPE-VAMP project (coordinated by the European Science Foundation, with the substantial support of TUBITAK) has resulted in new data and interpretations on the Miocene to Present evolution of Central Anatolia and surrounding regions which are of direct relevance for hydrocarbon exploration. Along a N-S section from the Central Anatolia plateau to Cyprus, the main components of the system are i) the kms-thick Neogene to Present shallow marine to continental succession of the Tüz Gölu basin ii) the Taurus Mts composed by a metamorphic core covered by slightly disturbed Miocene marine carbonates presently at elevations >2000m, iii) the South Turkey monocline where Miocene rocks gently dip to the S in the Turkey offshore, iv) the Cilicia basin formed by Miocene carbonates, Messinian evaporates and a post-Messinian siliciclastic succession and, v) the Kyrenia ridge. In the Early Miocene, an area of continuous subsidence stretched from the Tüz Gölu basin to the future Kyrenia ridge. Sedimentation was continental to transitional in the north, frankly marine in the center (Mut Basin) and deeper marine further to the South in the future Kyrenia belt. The homogeneous development of the sedimentary basin ended in the Serravallian when relief began developing in the hinterland of the Taurus Mts shedding clastics in the Manavgat and Adana basins. In contrast, the area presently occupied by the Taurus Mts and the adjacent Cilicia basin were still subsiding. In the Late Tortonian subsidence in the Manavgat and Mut basins stopped and was replaced by the uplift which led to the formation of the southern margin of the Central Anatolia plateau. Subsidence persisted in the Cilicia basin. The uplifting and subsiding domains are linked by the South Anatolia monocline which developed in an overall contractional regime documented by thrusting in the Tüz Gölu area, the Cilicia basin, the Kyrenia ridge and elsewhere. With the development of the uplifted margin of the Anatolia plateau, sediments originating from the Zagros collision zone and transported W-ward by large rivers where channelized along the Adana and Cilicia basin causing sediment thicknesses decreasing form E to W. The overall mechanism driving the onset of contraction and upward and downward vertical movements lies in the deep part of the system, at the interface between the subducting N Africa slab and the upper East Mediterranean-Anatolia plate.