The evolution of intraplate fault systems in central Turkey: Structural evidence and Ar-Ar and Rb-Sr age constraints for the Savcili Fault Zone

IŞIK V., Uysal I. T. , Caglayan A., SEYİTOĞLU G.

TECTONICS, vol.33, no.10, pp.1875-1899, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/2014tc003565
  • Title of Journal : TECTONICS
  • Page Numbers: pp.1875-1899


The Savcili Fault Zone represents one of the most prominent regional-scale intraplate fault systems in central Turkey, recording the collisional events following the closure of Neo-Tethys in the eastern Mediterranean region. It consists of anastomosing reverse/thrust faults with WNW-ESE direction that placed rocks of the Central Anatolian Crystalline Complex on Paleogene sedimentary units. Structural measurements and kinematic indicators show that faults within the Savcili Fault Zone (SFZ) have top to the NE and NW sense of brittle deformation. Stable isotope (O-18 and D) and trace element data indicate that fault gouge illites precipitated from deep basinal brines. These fluids were mobilized during phases of compressional deformation and migrated upward along thrust faults toward shallow brittle deformation zones. Rb-Sr and Ar-Ar geochronology of fault gouges in two cataclastic zones demonstrates age variability for two different dating techniques (Rb-Sr: 40.91.5Ma and 22.91.3Ma; Ar-Ar: 46.450.25Ma and 29.8 +/- 0.13Ma). We argue that Rb-Sr dating provides ages more closely reflecting the timing of fault movements because of potential contamination of illite by excess Ar-40. Accordingly, the SFZ was active during at least two phases; the middle Eocene and late Oligocene to early Miocene, which is consistent with the relative age constraints suggested by field relationships. Geochronology combined with structural field evidence indicates a rapid change in stress regime from extension to contraction at similar to 40Ma that continued until at least similar to 23Ma. Direct dating of brittle faulting provides a prolific approach for determining the absolute timing of tectonic events in areas that have largely relied on indirect information.