The Cenozoic magmatic record within the ca. 500 km long eastern Pontides orogen, located within the Alpine metallogenic belt, is critical to evaluate the tectonic history and geodynamic evolution of the eastern Mediterranean region. In this paper we report for the first time late Miocene adakitic rocks from the southeastern part of the eastern Pontides belt and present results from geochemical and Sr-Nd isotopic studies as well as zircon U-Pb geochronology. The Tavdagi dacite that we investigate in this study is exposed as round or ellipsoidal shaped bodies, sills, and dikes in the southeastern part of the belt Zircons in the dacite show euhedral crystal morphology with oscillatory zoning and high Th/U values (up to 1.69) typical of magmatic origin. Zircon LA-ICPMS analysis yielded a weighted mean Pb-206/U-238 age of 7.86 +/- 0.15 Ma. SHRIMP analyses of zircons with typical magmatic zoning from another sample yielded a weighted mean Pb-206/U-238 age of 8.79 +/- 0.19 Ma. Both ages are identical and constrain the timing of dacitic magmatism as late Miocene. The Miocene Tavdagi dacite shows adakitic affinity with high SiO2 (68.95-71.41 wt.%), Al2O3 (14.88-16.02 wt.%), Na2O (327-4.12 wt.%), Sr (331.4-462.1 ppm), Sr/Y (85-103.7), La-N/Yb-N (34.3-50.9) and low Y (3.2-5 ppm) values. Their initial Nd-143/Nd-144 (0.512723-0.512736) and Sr-87/Sr-86 (0.70484-0.70494) ratios are, respectively, lower and higher than those of normal oceanic crust. The geological, geochemical and isotopic data suggest that the adakitic magmatism was generated by partial melting of the mafic lower crust in the southeastern part of the eastern Pontide belt during the late Miocene. Based on the results presented in this study and a synthesis of the geological and tectonic information on the region, we propose that the entire northern edge of the eastern Pontides-Lesser Caucasus-Elbruz magmatic arc was an active continental margin during the Cenozoic. We identify a migration of the Cenozoic magmatism towards north over time resulting from the roll-back of the southward subducted Tethys oceanic lithosphere. Slab break-off during Pliocene is proposed to have triggered asthenospheric upwelling and partial melting of the subduction-modified mantle wedge which generated the alkaline magmatic rocks exposed in the northern part of the magmatic arc. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.