Tectonic controls on the Karliova triple junction (Turkey): Implications for tectonic inversion and the initiation of volcanism

Karaoglu O., Selcuk A., Gudmundsson A.

TECTONOPHYSICS, vol.694, pp.368-384, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 694
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.11.018
  • Journal Name: TECTONOPHYSICS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.368-384
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Few places on Earth are tectonically as active as the Karhova region of eastern Turkey which comprises a triple junction (KTJ). Triple junctions result in complex kinematic and mechanical interactions within -the lithosphere generating tectonic inversions and uplift, extensive seismicity and volcanism. Here we present new data, and summarize existing data, on the tectonic evolution of the KTJ in eastern Turkey over the past 6 Ma. In particular, we present a kinematic model for the ICI) and the surrounding area as well as new structural maps. The deformation or strain rate has varied over this 6 million year period. The maximum strain rate occurred between 6 Ma and 3 Ma, a period that coincides with the initiation of activity in Varto Volcano.We suggest that increased strain rate and the initiation of activity at the Varto Volcano may be tectonically related. Subsequent to its formation, the Varto Volcano was dissected by active faults associated with the Varto Fault Zone, including reverse, normal and strike -slip faults. During thepast 3 Ma, however, the KTJ area was deformed, dominantly through dextral crustal movements associated to right -lateral faults. This deformation resulted in the development of a NE SW -trending extensional/transtensional regime, together with a complementary NW -SE -trending contractional regime. In the past 6 Ma the east end of the KTJ has been subjected to incremental deformation. This deformation has resulted in many episodes of faulting during (i) ongoing shortening phases driven by a regional -scale thrust tectonic regime, and (ii) local -scale transtensional phases caused by westward extrusion. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.