Comparisons of the suture zones along a geotraverse from the Scythian Platform to the Arabian Platform
The area from the Greater Caucasus to the southeast Turkey is characterized and shaped by several major continental blocks. These are Scythian Platform, Pontian-Transcaucasus Continent-Arc System (PTCAS), the Anatolian-Iranian and the Arabian Platforms. The aim of this paper is to define these continental blocks and describe and also compare their boundary relationships along the suture zones. The Scythian Platform displays the evidence of the Hercynian and Alpine orogens. This platform is separated from the PTCAS by the Greater Caucasus Suture Zone. The incipient collision began along this suture zone before middle late Carboniferous whereas the final collision occurred before Oligocene. The PTCAS can be divided into four structural units: (1) the Georgian Block - northern part of the Pontian-Transcaucasian island-arc, (2) the southern and eastern Black Sea Coast-Adjara-Trialeti Unit, (3) the Artvin-Bolnisi Unit, comprising the northern part of the southern Transcaucasus, and (4) the Imbricated Bayburt-Garabagh Unit. The PTCAS could be separated from the Anatolian Iranian Platform by the North Anatolian Lesser Caucasus Suture (NALCS) zone. The initial collision was developed in this suture zone during Senonian-early Eocene and final collision before middle Eocene or Oligocene-Miocene. The Anatolian Iranian Platform (AIP) is made up of the Tauride Platform and its metamorphic equivalents together with Iranian Platform. It could be separated from the Arabian Platform by the Southeastern Anatolian Suture (SEAS) zone. The collision ended before late Miocene along this suture zone. The southernmost continental block of the geotraverse is the Arabian Platform, which constitutes the northern part of the Arabian-African Plate. This platform includes a sequence from the Precambrian felsic volcanic and clastic rocks to the Campanian-early Maastrichtian flyschoidal clastics. All the suture zones include MORB and SSZ-types ophiolites in different ages. However, the ages of the suture zones and the crustal thicknesses along the suture zones are different, as the age becoming younger, the thickness decreasing from north to south. The emplacements of the ophiolites have similar pattern of a flower structure, reflecting both the north- and south-dipping overthrusts along the suture zones. (C) 2014, China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.