Upper Miocene–Pleistocene deformation of the Girne (Kyrenia) Range and Dar Dere (Ovgos) lineaments, northern Cyprus: role in collision and tectonic escape in the easternmost Mediterranean region
During Late Cretaceous–Mid-Eocene the Girne (Kyrenia) Range formed part of the northerly active continental margin of the southern Neotethys. Following Late Eocene–Late Miocene mainly deep-marine clastic deposition, the range was thrust southwards in a convergent (transpressional) stress regime during Late Miocene (Messinian)–earliest Pliocene time. Sinistral transpression is most evident near the front of the range in the east and in several segments, implying strain compartmentalization. The range was relatively quiescent during Early–Mid Pliocene, followed by strong c. east–west-trending uplift during Late Pliocene–Pleistocene. Further south, the east–west Dar Dere (Ovgos) lineament was active as a north-down extensional (or transtensional) fault zone during Oligocene–Mid-Miocene. Sinistral strike-slip/transpression followed during Late Miocene, followed by strike-slip at least during Late Pliocene–Pleistocene. The latest Miocene–earliest Pliocene thrusting/oblique convergence reflects closure of the southern Neotethys and tightening of the suture between the Arabian (North African) and Turkish (Eurasian) continents. Collision-related uplift of the Girne (Kyrenia) Range and the Troodos Massif further south took place from Late Pliocene time onwards. The Dar Dere (Ovgos) lineament is interpreted as a terrane boundary that was reactivated related to westward tectonic escape of Anatolia during Neogene–Recent time. The structure as a whole reflects regional diachronous continental collision.