Yo-yo tectonics of the Niǧde Massif during wrenching in central Anatolia

Donna L. Whitney, Paul J. Umhoefer, Christian Teyssier, Annia K. Fayon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Yo-yo tectonics occurs in wrench zones in response to switches between transpression and transtension or to changes in the geometries of faults during these modes of deformation, and involves multiple cycles of burial and exhumation. The Niǧde Massif, Turkey, is a spectacular example of a tectonic yo-yo: it experienced two complete cycles of burial and exhumation in a zone of oblique displacement. The two cycles, one regional and one more local in scale, together occurred over > 80 m.y., from Cretaceous burial to Miocene cooling and exhumation. Temperature-time paths calculated using apatite fission track age and length data, combined with published U/Pb, 40Ar/39Ar, and biostratigraphic ages and a new 40Ar/39Ar biotite age for ignimbrite overlying the massif, are the basis for inferring the duration, rates, and driving forces of yo-yo cycles. Exhumation may be more rapid than burial because burial occurs at tectonic rates, whereas the combined effects of buoyancy and coupling of surface processes (especially erosion) and tectonic denudation accelerate exhumation of buried continental material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalTurkish Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Apatite fission track
  • Exhumation
  • Niǧde Massif
  • Wrench zones
  • Yo-yo tectonics


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