Palaeomagnetic evidence for the Gondwanian origin of the Taurides and rotation of the Isparta Angle, southern Turkey
The Taurides, the southernmost of the three major tectonic domains that constitute present-day Turkey, were emplaced following consumption of the Tethyan Ocean in Late Mesozoic to mid-Tertiary times. They are generally assigned an origin at the northern perimeter of Gondwana. To refine palaeogeographic control we have investigated the palaeomagnetism of a range of Jurassic rocks. Forty-nine samples of Upper Jurassic limestones preserve a dual polarity remanence (D/I = 303/ - 9(degrees), alpha(95) = 6degrees) interpreted as a primary magnetization acquired close to the equator and rotated during emplacement of the Taurides. Results from mid-Jurassic dolerites confirm a low palaeolatitude for the Tauride Platform during Jurassic times at the Afro-Arabian sector of Gondwana. Approximately 4000 km of Tethyan closure subsequently occurred between Late Jurassic and Eocene times. Although related Upper Jurassic limestones and Liassic redbeds preserve a sporadic record of similar remanence, the dominant signature in these latter rocks is an overprint of probable mid-Miocene age, probably acquired during a single polarity chron and imparted by migration of a fluid front during nappe loading. This is now rotated consistently anticlockwise by c. 30degrees and conforms to results of previous studies recording bulk Neogene rotation of the Isparta region following Lycian nappe emplacement. The regional distribution of this overprint implies that the Isparta Angle (IA) has been subject to only small additional closure (< 10 degrees) since Late Miocene time. A smaller amount (c. 6 degrees) of clockwise rotation within the IA since Early Pliocene times is associated with an ongoing extensional regime and reflects an expanding curvature of the Tauride arc produced by southwestward extrusion of the Anatolian collage as a result of continuing northward motion of Afro-Arabia.