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  • Yücel Yılmaz,
  • Erdinc Yigitbas,
  • Ibrahim Cemen
Yücel Yılmaz
Istanbul Technical University

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Erdinc Yigitbas
Canakkale Onsekiz Mart Universitesi
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Ibrahim Cemen
University of Alabama
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The Eastern Pontides are the northmost component of the Anatolian orogen. Its geological development closely associated with the evolution of the Ankara-Erzincan Suture. It exhibits records of the events from the opening to the eliminations of the surrounding oceans. During the Late Paleozoic, the Pontides were located in the north of Gondwana, facing the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. The southward subduction of the Paleo Tethyan oceanic lithosphere generated an active continental margin and opening of the Neo-Tethys Ocean as a back-arc basin during the Early Mesozoic. Throughout the Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, the Pontides remained a passive continental margin facing the Neo-Tethys in the south. Arc reversal occurred as the Neo-Tethys began subducting under the Pontides during the late Early Cretaceous (?)-Late Cretaceous. The Pontides experienced four collisional events throughout the development of the Ankara-Erzincan Suture; (1)- a forearc-arc collision occurred when the accretionary complex, which formed along the southern edge of the Pontides was backthrust over its leading edge during the Late Campanian. (2)- This was followed by a continent-arc collision when the Kırşehir Massif and the underlying NeoTethyan ophiolite nappe collided with and thrust over the Pontides at the end of the Early Eocene, (3)- Following the oceanic lithosphere’s total demise, the remnant basin located between the Pontides, and the Taurus was closed under the northerly advancing Taurus nappes during the Late Eocene. The latest collision is related with the collision of the Arabian Plate with the Anatolian plates. The Arabian Plate’s continuing northward advance after the demise of the NeoTethyan Ocean squeezed and shortened the Eastern Anatolia. From this time onward, the Eastern Pontides were thrust to the north and the south over the surrounding tectonic belts and started to rise as a coherent block.