Monoclinal flexure of an orogenic plateau margin during subduction, south Turkey

David Fernández-Blanco, Giovanni Bertotti, Ali Aksu, Jeremy Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Geologic evidence across orogenic plateau margins enables the discrimination of the relative contributions of orogenic, epeirogenic and/or climatic processes that lead to growth and maintenance of those plateaus and their margins. Here, we discuss the mode of formation of the southern margin of the Central Anatolian Plateau (SCAP) and evaluate its time of formation using fieldwork in the onshore and seismic reflection data in the offshore. In the onshore, uplifted Miocene rocks in a dip-slope topography show monocline flexure over >100 km, km-scale asymmetric folds verging south, and outcrop-scale syn-sedimentary reverse faults. On the Turkish shelf, vertical faults transect the basal latest Messinian of a 10 km fold where on-structure syntectonic wedges and synsedimentary unconformities indicate pre-Pliocene uplift and erosion, followed by Pliocene and younger deformation. Collectively, Miocene rocks delineate a flexural monocline at plateau margin scale that is expressed along our on-offshore sections as a kink-band fold with a steep flank 20–25 km long. In these reconstructed sections, we estimate a relative vertical displacement of 3.8 km at rates of ca. 0.5 mm/y, and horizontal shortening values <1 %. We use this evidence together with our observations of shortening at outcrop, basin, plateau-margin and forearc-system scales to infer that the SCAP forms as a monoclinal flexure to accommodate deep-seated thickening and shortening since >5 Ma, and to contextualize the plateau margin as the forearc high of the Cyprus subduction system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-727
Number of pages19
JournalBasin Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Anatolian plateau
  • Cilicia Basin
  • monocline
  • Mut Basin
  • orogenic plateau
  • plateau margin
  • south Turkey

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