Was there an exchange of detritus between the northern and southern Black Sea terranes in the Mesozoic-early Cenozoic?

Ze Liu, Di Cheng Zhu, Qing Wang, Peter A. Cawood, An Lin Ma, Yener Eyuboglu, Fu Yuan Wu, Zhi Dan Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Resolving the time of rifting of the Black Sea basin is critical to reconstructing the tectonic evolution of the Pontides arc in northern Turkey. U–Pb geochronology of detrital zircons from Middle Jurassic, Upper Cretaceous, and lower Eocene formations in the Eastern Pontides (NE Turkey), as well as published data from circum-Black Sea terranes, reveals that sediments preserved along with the northern (East European Craton-Scythian Platform) and southern (Eastern and Central Pontides-southern flank of the Greater Caucasus-Transcaucasus) margins of the Eastern Black Sea basin display distinct detrital provenances. The U–Pb detrital zircon ages of the sedimentary samples from the Eastern Pontides have distinct populations with ages of ~650–540, ~200, ~170, ~80, and ~50 Ma. In contrast, the ages of the sedimentary samples from the northern Black Sea terranes are characterized by age peaks of ~1400 and ~1100 Ma compared to those of the Eastern Pontides. Only a few detrital zircons in the range of ~650–540 Ma and <200 Ma are identified in the sedimentary samples from the northern Black Sea terranes. This contrast in detrital zircon ages, together with modal analysis of the samples and published paleocurrent data, suggests that Middle Jurassic–lower Eocene sedimentary samples in the Eastern Pontides were locally sourced from Gondwana affinity crustal basement rocks and associated Mesozoic–Cenozoic igneous rocks. Furthermore, there was no exchange of detritus across the Eastern Black Sea basin during the Middle Jurassic–early Eocene. These inferences require the Eastern Black Sea basin to have rifted in a back-arc setting behind the Eastern Pontides arc by the Middle Jurassic or survived as a relict basin of the Paleotethys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-171
Number of pages18
JournalGondwana Research
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Age spectrum
  • Detrital zircon
  • Detritus exchange
  • Eastern Black Sea basin
  • Eastern Pontides

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