Salt tectonics and mud volcanism in the Latakia and Cyprus Basins, eastern Mediterranean.

Hübscher, Christian, Tahchi, Elias, Klaucke, Ingo , Maillard, Agnes and Sahling, Heiko (2009) Salt tectonics and mud volcanism in the Latakia and Cyprus Basins, eastern Mediterranean. Tectonophysics, 470 (1/2). pp. 173-182. DOI 10.1016/j.tecto.2008.08.019.

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Salt tectonics and mud volcanism in the Latakia and Cyprus Basin, eastern Mediterranean, is investigated by means of swath sounding, reflection seismics and side-scan data as well as by camera and video sledge observations. Both basins are located east of Cyprus and are associated with the collision front between the African and Anatolian plate. The Pliocene–Quaternary sediment succession is underlain by up to 1 km thick Messinian evaporites. Both thick-skinned plate tectonic and thin-skinned salt tectonic control fluid dynamics and associated mud volcanism in the Latakia and Cyprus Basin as well as at the Troodos Latacia Culmination, which separates both basins. An end-member model is proposed which explains the presence of elongated topographic highs and trenches along the Troodos Larnaca Culmination and south of it by gravity gliding of the Messinian evaporites and associated fluid migration. Thin-skinned extension in the Troodos Larnaca Culmination and boudinage, respectively, facilitate fluid flow through and out of the evaporites. The fluid or mud flow dissolutes the salt layer and creates elongated trenches. Mud intrudes into the Pliocene–Quaternary sediments above the trenches. Consequently, the overburden is thickened and forms morphological ridges. South of the culmination the evaporites and overburden are folded due to thin-skinned shortening of the evaporites. In one instance fluid extrusion out of the evaporites is inferred from seismic data interpretation. The outflow caused a volume reduction and collapse of the evaporites. Mud volcanoes and fold anticlines align above deep-rooted transpressional fault systems which are associated with the African–Anatolian collision zone. The faults may act as conduits for rising fluids. In the western part of the survey area, where the Cyprus Arc strikes almost West–East and the collision occurred more frontal and stress was highest, mud volcanoes emerged. Further to the east, where the Cyprus Arc runs SW–NE and sinistral strike-slip has been proposed, fold anticlines evolved. Particular mud volcanoes and folds emerged prior to the deposition of the Messinian evaporites. The undisturbed upper Pleistocene sequences as well as the absence of significant mud outflow on the seafloor strongly suggest that the main fluid dynamic ceased.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Cyprus Arc, Salt tectonics, Messinian evaporites, seismic, RV Pelagia, SAGA cruise
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.tecto.2008.08.019
ISSN: 0040-1951
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2010 09:17
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2018 11:13

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