Stratigraphy and age of the Cappadocia ignimbrites, Turkey: reconciling field constraints with paleontologic, radiochronologic, geochemical and paleomagnetic data

Le Pennec J., Temel A. , Froger J., Sen S., Gourgaud A., Bourdier J.

JOURNAL OF VOLCANOLOGY AND GEOTHERMAL RESEARCH, vol.141, pp.45-64, 2005 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 141
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2004.09.004
  • Page Numbers: pp.45-64
  • Keywords: ignimbrite, geochronology, paleontology, stratigraphy, rock magnetism, Anatolia, CENTRAL ANATOLIA, KIZILKAYA IGNIMBRITE, NORTHERN CHILE, CENTRAL ANDES, CALDERA, VOLCANOLOGY, VOLCANISM, ERUPTION, TUFFS


The stratigraphy and age of the Neogene Cappadocia ignimbrites (Central Turkey) have been inferred in previous studies from fieldwork and K-Ar age determinations. The resulting stratigraphic schemes, however, differed from each other, suggesting that further studies were required to produce a reliable succession. In this paper, we examine the chronostratigraphy of mammalian remains recovered in the continental sediments interbedded with the Cappadocia ignimbrites. Using recent advances in mammalian chronostratigraphy, we evaluate selected taxa and faunal associations to place new and independent constraints on the ignimbrite ages. The biostratigraphically bracketed ages concur with some published radiometric dates, but they disagree with others, principally at localities where major stratigraphic discrepancies have arisen in the literature. In order to reconcile these apparent inconsistencies, we combine, at selected sites, our field observations with the biostratigraphic and radiometric age limits, and we compare these with the available geochemical and magnetic data. This allows us to present revised age estimates, and a revised stratigraphy which includes the correlation of the local Sofular deposits with the large-volume Gordeles ignimbrite. \ The issues faced in this study apply to other ignimbrite provinces in the world. For instance, ignimbrite eruption frequency in Cappadocia is higher than the resolution of many published K-Ar ages. Furthermore, different K-Ar ages have led to the description of individual and distinct ignimbrites that fieldwork and geochemical data allow to merge into a single ignimbrite. Argon loss from pumice samples leading to radiometric "rejuvenation" provides a likely explanation for most stratigraphic discrepancies. Cappadocia is the only documented ignimbrite field in which the chronostratigraphy of vertebrate remains provides better constraints on some ignimbrite ages than scattered K-Ar dates. We further argue that K-Ar dates from the Cappadocia area are too imprecise to establish a reliable magnetostratigraphic scheme for the ignimbrite succession, with the exception of the similar to2.8 Ma Valibaba Tepe ignimbrite. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.