Tectonic Crossroads: Evolving Orogens of Eurasia-Africa-Arabia

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Eurasia-Africa-Arabia Collision Zone Map
Map of Eurasia-Africa-Arabia Collision Zone (2MB PDF)
Photo by Yildirim Dilek

About the meeting

Situated at the intersection of the Eurasian, African and Arabian plates, Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean region form one of the most seismically and volcanically active convergent zones in the Alpine-Himalayan orogenic system. This broad zone of convergence is dominated by crustal extension and shortening, as well as strike-slip faulting as part of collision-induced escape tectonics. The patterns and diversity of sedimentation, magmatism, metamorphism, crustal uplift, and deformation spectacularly record the region’s complex history. Subduction rollback processes along the Hellenic trench throughout the Cenozoic have resulted in upper plate extension, core complex formation, and attendant magmatism, and have led to the evolution of backarc basins. Collisional processes since the late Mesozoic caused mélange development, ophiolite emplacement, inversion of backarc basins, and formation of orogenic high plateaus. Transform faulting makes this region a type-example of escape tectonics in which sedimentary basins, block uplifts, and intra-plate deformation have varied histories. Collision-induced mantle dynamics caused slab breakoff, delamination, and lithospheric tearing, which have collectively affected the mode of crustal tectonics and magmatism at all scales since the early Cenozoic.

The Geological Society of America, in collaboration with the Chamber of Geological Engineers of Turkey, the Directorate of the Mineral Research and Exploration Institute, and the Turkish Association of Petroleum Geologists are convening a thematic, global geoscience meeting, hosted by the Middle East Technical University from 3 to 8 October 2010 in Ankara, Turkey. This international meeting is designed as a forum to bring geoscientists from around the world to compare and contrast regional geology and processes with the local experts working in this extraordinary region—so active that it is one of the world’s great natural geological laboratories. Conference participants and guests will also examine the geology and regional culture via an array of field trips. Comparative presentations at the meeting will also help improve our understanding of the region’s natural hazards and mineral resource potential.


Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is the country's second largest city after İstanbul, with a population of about 4.5 million. Ankara is situated in the center of Anatolia, on the eastern edge of the Anatolian Plateau (altitude 850 m [2800 ft]). The province is a predominantly fertile wheat steppe land, with forested areas in the northeast. Learn more about Ankara.