Central Anatolia

I’m part of a large, multi-university, international project in central Anatolia: Continental Dynamics – Central Anatolian Tectonics (CD-CAT). The Anatolian Plateau is less topographically spectacular that its cousins in Tibet and the Andes, but offers a unique record of the transition from collision to escape tectonics. GPS data suggest a lack of significant internal horizontal strain (Reilinger et al., 2006), yet the Central Anatolian fault zone and Tuz Gölü faults in the interior of the plateau show evidence of motion in the Cenozoic (Koçyiǧit and Beyhan, 1998). I am supervising two students (Neil Krystopowicz and Mark Higgins) on this project. Neil’s focus in on measuring the paleo-stress kinematics and drainage morphology along the Tuz Gölü fault and mapping and dating offset lava flows where the fault crosses the Hasan Dagi volcano. Mark’s focus is on the Central Anatolian fault zone, where he has mapped several segments south and northeast of a major bend in the fault zone at the Erciyes basin. He will used cosmogenic and 40Ar/39Ar data to constrain the fault slip rates, and examined the morphology of the myriad cinder cones in the region for paleo-stress. Lithospheric removal is also argued to have shaped the history of the Anatolian plateau (Göğüs and Pysklywec, 2008b), although through delamination rather than dripping. I am also involved in exploring the pattern of regional surface uplift, and how that might relate to lithospheric-scale processes in Central Anatolia. The southern part of the plateau along the Mediterranean Sea has experienced ~3000 m uplift since the Miocene (Koç et al., 2012), evidenced by the marine carbonate platform which forms the Taurus Mountains. Elsewhere, rivers display prominent knickpoints and Mio-Pliocene basins evidence regional drainage reorganization (Gürer and Aldanamaz, 2002). I will investigate evidence for uplift in the field and using remotely sensed data and relate it to possible lithospheric processes. I expect to continue this research for years to come, expanding my work onto other faults, particularly between the Central Anatolian fault zone and the East Anatolian fault


 Göǧüs, O.H., and Pysklywec R.N., 2008b, Geology, v. 36, p. 723-726.
Gürer, O.F., and Aldanamaz, E., 2002, Geol. Mag, v. 139, p. 191-197.
Koç, A., Kaymakci, N., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Kuiper, K.F., and Vissers, R.L.M., 0212, Tectonophysics, v. 532-535, p. 134-155.
Koçyiǧit, A., and Beyhan, A., 1998, Tectonophysics, v. 284, p. 317-336.
Reilinger, R., and 23 others, JGR, v. 111, doi: 10.1029/2005JB004051.