3 November, 2021
New discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean: A study of Adar Glazer that was published in “Tectonics” reveals exotic rock units, originating far beyond the Taurus Mountains, in the Kyrenia Range of Northern Cyprus
The new findings were found during the work of Ph.D. student Adar Glazer funded by the ISF, under the supervision of Prof. Dov Avigad and Dr. Navot Morag and with collaboration with researchers from Izmir and Frankfurt. During the research Adar investigated the provenance of various rock units in the Kyrenia Range ranging from Triassic to Eocene in age using detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology. Adar detected a significant amount of 300 Ma zircons which are the erosion products of granites related to the Variscan orogeny. This type of granites is not known from areas bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and they characterize the continental margins of the Paleotethys Ocean whose relics are found north of the Taurus Mountains in Turkey and the Balkan. In his study, Adar negated the option of a fluvial transport, and deduced that these rock units in the Kyrenia bearing Variscan zircons (300 Ma) were deposited far from their present position, and hence they constitute an exotic element in the Eastern Mediterranean. These findings show for the first time that the Neotethyan suture in the northern part of the Eastern Mediterranean contain rock units that were transported by significant lateral motions.
In addition, blueschist facies metamorphic rocks were found in the Kyrenia indicating that parts of the Kyrenia rock sequence was subjected to subduction probably in latest Cretaceous time. This finding shed new light on the geodynamics of the Eastern Mediterranean tectonic suture and can point to a link between the Kyrenia and the Bitlis and Alanya Massifs in southern Turkey since they were affected by high pressure metamorphism in latest Cretaceous time as well.