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Pliocene–Pleistocene sedimentary–tectonic development of the Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin in an incipient, diachronous collisional setting: facies evidence from the north of Cyprus

  • ROMESH N. PALAMAKUMBURA (a1) and ALASTAIR H. F. ROBERTSON (a1)

Abstract

The Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin exemplifies multi-stage basin development within a regional setting of diachronous continental collision. The Plio-Pleistocene represented a period of major sediment accumulation between two topographic highs, the Kyrenia Range in the north and the Troodos Massif in the south. During Pliocene time, open-marine marls and chalks of the Nicosia (Lefkoşa) Formation accumulated in a shelf setting. The Early Pleistocene period was characterized by a relative fall in sea level and a change to shallower-water bioclastic deposition of the Athalassa (Gürpınar) Formation. The northern margin of the basin was approximately delineated by the E–W neotectonic Ovgos (Dar Dere) fault zone. A carbonate ramp system formed directly to the south of this structural feature. During Early Pleistocene time, the basin evolved from an open-marine shelf to semi-enclosed lagoons with deltaic deposits, and finally to a non-marine aeolian setting, flanked by the rising Kyrenia Range to the north. Synthesis of geological evidence from the Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin as a whole, including outcrop and borehole evidence from the south, adjacent to the Troodos Massif, indicates that the Pliocene – Early Pleistocene represented a relatively quiescent period. This intervened between Late Miocene – earliest Pleistocene southward thrusting–folding of the Kyrenia Range and Pleistocene intense surface uplift of both the Kyrenia Range and the Troodos Massif. The basin development reflects flexurally controlled collapse during Late Miocene – earliest Pliocene time related to southward thrusting, followed by strike-slip during westward tectonic escape of Anatolia, and finally regional uplift controlled by under-thrusting of continental crust from the south, as collision progressed.

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      Pliocene–Pleistocene sedimentary–tectonic development of the Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin in an incipient, diachronous collisional setting: facies evidence from the north of Cyprus
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      Pliocene–Pleistocene sedimentary–tectonic development of the Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin in an incipient, diachronous collisional setting: facies evidence from the north of Cyprus
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      Pliocene–Pleistocene sedimentary–tectonic development of the Mesaoria (Mesarya) Basin in an incipient, diachronous collisional setting: facies evidence from the north of Cyprus
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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: rpalamakumbura@gmail.com

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