Dokuz, A.; Uysal, I.; Kaliwoda, Melanie; Karsli, O.; Ottley, C.J.; Kandemir, R. (2011): Early abyssal- and late SSZ-type vestiges of the Rheic oceanic mantle in the Variscan basement of the Sakarya Zone, NE Turkey: Implications for the sense of subduction and opening of the Paleotethys. In: Lithos, Vol. 127, Nr. 1-2: S. 176-191
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The boundary between the Gondwana and Laurussia, or a terrane separated from it, is traced by a suture recording the closure of the Rheic ocean in the Pulur, Beyçam and Kurtoǧlu areas of the eastern Sakarya Zone of Turkey. Pulur lherzolite has a lower Cr# [100Cr/(Cr+Al)=5-37] of the spinel and slightly enriched flat medium-heavy rare earth element (M-HREE) whole-rock pattern typical for those of the fertile abyssal-type lherzolite. By contrast, the Beyçam harzburgite displays the mineralogical and geochemical features of a moderately depleted residue at a supra subduction zone (SSZ). Some of spinels from the Beyçam peridotites show TiO2 contents (0.15-0.48wt.\%) identical to a later interaction with a melt of island-arc tholeiite (IAT) composition. Meta-basalt from the Beyçam area is the representative of such a melt and displays the whole-rock M-HREE pattern of a complementary product of the Beyçam harzburgite. Data presented in this study support the primarily northward directed closure of the Rheic ocean, but suggest that the Variscan basement in the eastern part of the Sakarya Zone consists of mantle peridotites formed in a south-vergent SSZ. This dual polarity of subduction in the Rheic ocean, at least in the second half of its closure, is also favored by the geological structure and lithological diversity of the Variscan rocks. These are: (1) spatial distribution of the peridotites, e.g., SSZ-type harzburgites to the north and abyssal-type lherzolites to the south, (2) lack of high-pressure metamorphic rocks, (3) decrease in the degree of Variscan metamorphism toward the north, and (4) emplacement of Variscan syn-collisional magmatism into the low grade metamorphic rocks to the north. Paleotethys was the other ocean of the region created in the Late Paleozoic. Northward subduction of the Rheic ocean from Early Devonian to Early Carboniferous appears to be the most plausible mechanism responsible for the opening of Paleotethys. In this scenario the Paleotethys is envisaged as a back-arc basin opened to the north in the wake of separated terranes from Laurussia. Onset of trench-Rheic mid-ocean ridge collision in the Early Devonian along the northern margin of Laurussia has been proposed to account for the initiation of SSZ-type subduction to the south. The short duration of this subduction appears insufficient to open a fully developed back-arc basin to the south because the elimination of Rheic mid-ocean ridge to the north accelerated the oceanic closure.