Mesozoic-Tertiary tectonic evolution of the easternmost Mediterranean area: integration of marine and land evidence.
Robertson, Alastair H F
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This paper presents a synthesis of Holocene to Late Paleozoic marine and land evidence from the easternmost Mediterranean area, in the light of recent ODP Leg 160 drilling results from the Eratosthenes Seamount. The synthesis is founded on three key conclusions derived from marine- and land-based study over the last decade. First, the North African and Levant coastal and offshore areas represent a Mesozoic rifted continental margin of Triassic age, with the Levantine Basin being underlain by oceanic crust. Second, Mesozoic ophiolites and related continental margin units in southern Turkey and Cyprus represent tectonically emplaced remnants of a southerly Neotethyan oceanic basin and are not far-travelled units derived from a single Neotethys far to the north. Third, the present boundary of the African and Eurasian plates runs approximately east-west across the easternmost Mediterranean and is located between Cyprus and the Eratosthenes Seamount. The marine and land geology of the easternmost Mediterranean is discussed utilizing four north-south segments, followed by presentation of a plate tectonic reconstruction for the Late Permian to Holocene time.