Tectonic burial and exhumation cycles tracked by muscovite and K-feldspar 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology in a strike-slip fault zone, central Turkey

Lauren Idleman, Michael A. Cosca, Matthew T. Heizler, Stuart N. Thomson, Christian Teyssier, Donna L. Whitney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Muscovite and K-feldspar 40Ar/39Ar ages from the eastern margin of the Niǧde massif in central Anatolia track the timing of initial exhumation, reburial, and final exhumation and cooling of metamorphic rocks deformed within a strike-slip fault zone. Although the ages of initial and final cooling were known from previous studies, our new results document the timing of the reheating/reburial event. Muscovite from four of eight gneiss samples have Late Cretaceous 40Ar/39Ar ages that date initial cooling at ~75Ma. The remaining samples have perturbed spectra that climb to Late Cretaceous ages with increasing extraction temperatures during analysis. These perturbed samples are located beneath a faulted unconformity overlain by Paleogene sedimentary deposits that were derived in part from the metamorphic rocks, then buried, metamorphosed, and deformed under greenschist facies conditions. Samples close to the faulted unconformity are more perturbed than structurally deeper samples. The age of the thermal perturbation is determined at 30±5Ma using multi-diffusion domain modeling of K-feldspar 40Ar/39Ar data from two gneiss samples, one located close to the unconformity and one at a structurally deeper level. Muscovite 40Ar/39Ar results and modeled K-feldspar temperature-time histories show that the eastern margin of the Niǧde massif experienced a reheating event that peaked at ~30Ma. The thermal pulse has been attributed to reburial associated with transpression in the Ecemiş segment of the Central Anatolian Fault Zone along the eastern margin of the Niǧde massif. Activity of this fault zone may represent a far-field expression of the onset of collision of Arabia with Eurasia in SE Anatolia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-146
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Feb 4 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by NSF grant EAR-1109762 , “Continental Dynamics: Central Anatolian Tectonics (CD-CAT)” to Whitney and Teyssier (University of Minnesota) and EAR-1109336 to Thomson (University of Arizona).


  • Argon thermochronology
  • Multi-diffusion domain modeling
  • Niǧde massif
  • Strike-slip
  • Turkey
  • Yo-yo tectonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Tectonic burial and exhumation cycles tracked by muscovite and K-feldspar 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology in a strike-slip fault zone, central Turkey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this