Valid palaeotectonic and palaeogeographical reconstructions of the easternmost Mediterranean and adjacent region involve a long-lived Tethys (Rheic, Palaeotethyan and Neotethyan oceans), northward subduction beneath Eurasia and rifting of continental fragments from Gondwana. Rifted microcontinents bordering Gondwana were separated (from south to north) by the Southern Neotethyan ocean, the Berit ocean (new name), the Inner Tauride ocean and the İzmir–Arkara–Erzincan ocean. Mid-Permian to Mid-Triassic pulsed rifting culminated in Late Triassic–Early Jurassic spreading of the Southern Neotethyan oceans (the main focus here). After Early–Mid-Jurassic passive subsidence, the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous was characterized by localized alkaline, within-plate magmatism related to plume activity or renewed rifting. Late Cretaceous ophiolites formed above subduction zones in several oceanic basins. Ophiolites were emplaced southwards onto the Tauride and Arabian platforms during the latest Cretaceous. The Southern Neotethys sutured with the Arabian margin during the Early–Middle Miocene, while oceanic crust remained in the Eastern Mediterranean further west. The leading edge of the North African continental margin, the Eratosthenes Seamount, collided with a subduction trench south of Cyprus during the Late Pliocene–Pleistocene, triggering rapid uplift. Coeval Plio-Quaternary uplift of the Taurides may relate to break-off or delamination of a remnant oceanic slab.
- © 2012 EAGE/Geological Society of London