Miocene transgression in the central and eastern parts of the Sivas Basin (Central Anatolia, Turkey) and the Cenozoic palaeogeographical evolution
Kavak, Kaan S.
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We present here a reappraisal of the tectonic setting, stratigraphy and palaeogeography of the central part of the Sivas Basin from Palaeocene to late Miocene. The Sivas Basin is located in the collision zone between the Pontides (southern Eurasia) and Anatolia (a continental block rifted from Gondwana). The basin overlies ophiolites that were obducted onto Anatolia from Tethys to the north. The Central Anatolian Crystalline Complex (CACC) experienced similar ophiolite obduction during Campanian time, followed by exhumation and thrusting onto previously emplaced units during Maastrichtian time. To the east, crustal extension related to exhumation of the CACC created grabens during the early Tertiary, including the Sivas Basin. The Sivas Basin underwent several tectonic events during Paleogene-Neogene. The basin fill varies, with several sub-basins, each being characterised by a distinctive sequence, especially during Oligocene and Miocene. Evaporite deposition in the central part of the basin during early Oligocene was followed by mid-late Oligocene fluvio-lacustrine deposition. The weight of overlying fluvial sediments triggered salt tectonics and salt diapir formation. Lacustrine layers that are interbedded within the fluviatile sediments have locally yielded charophytes of late Oligocene age. Emergent areas including the pre-existing Sivas Basin and neighbouring areas were then flooded from the east by a shallow sea, giving rise to a range of open-marine sub-basins, coralgal reef barriers and subsiding, restricted-marine sub-basins. Utilising new data from foraminifera, molluscs, corals and nannoplankton, the age of the marine transgression is reassessed as Aquitanian. Specifically, age-diagnostic nannoplankton assemblages of classical type occur at the base of the transgressive sequence. However, classical stratigraphic markers have not been found within the planktic foraminiferal assemblages, even in the open-marine settings. In the restricted-marine sediments, there are rich planktic foraminiferal assemblages of classical type but these are of little use in stratigraphy. In contrast, the gastropod fauna indicate a Burdigalian age. Sediment reworking in the restricted-marine environments precludes stratigraphic determination. In such environments, micro- and nano-organisms experienced atypical developmental conditions. The small benthic foraminifera and associated ostracod assemblages are good indicators of salinity which varied considerably within the restricted-marine sub-basins. Some of the corals within the coralgal reefs barriers are also dated as Aquitanian. A combination of the salt tectonics and the late Miocene north-westward-verging thrusting created the present basin complexity.