Major tectonic features and geodynamic setting of the Black Sea Basin: Evidence from satellite-derived gravity, heat flow, and seismological data

Maden N., Elmas A.

Tectonophysics, vol.824, no.1, pp.1-16, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 824 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Journal Name: Tectonophysics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-16
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The origin and development of the Black Sea Basin (BSB) remain controversial. In this study, we determined the

main tectonic features of the BSB using satellite gravity, heat flow, and seismological data. Positive gravity

anomalies are observed in the arc region due to high-density material, while negative gravity anomalies are seen

in the trench region owing to the mass deficiency and sediments. The trench region has a relatively low heat flow

anomalies along the Black Sea coasts.

The Moho depth increases from 18.11 km in the Eastern Black Sea Basin (EBSB) to 51.83 km in the Eastern

Anatolia Plateau (EAP) with an average of 34.13 ± 6.15 km. The lithosphere thickness changed between 78.48

km beneath Anatolia and 120.57 km below the EBSB with an average of 99.17 ± 8.17 km. The low heat flow and

Moho temperature values indicate that the lithosphere is strong and cold beneath the BSB. The numerical results,

therefore, provide evidence for southward subduction of the Tethys oceanic lithosphere below the Anatolian

plate during the late Mesozoic-Cenozoic. Considering all geophysical and geological data, we conclude that the

Black Sea Basin represents a relict basin, rather than a back-arc basin.