Crustal thickness in the Black Sea and surrounding region, estimated from the gravity data


MARINE AND PETROLEUM GEOLOGY, vol.123, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 123
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2020.104735
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


In this research, the crustal thickness (Moho depth) variations in the Black Sea and surrounding region were calculated from the regional gravity anomaly data using an empirical equation. The data were obtained from the open source of Bureau Gravimetrique International (BGI) in digitized form. The gravity anomaly values are changing from 80 mGal in the onshore Black Sea region in Turkey to 260 mGal in the deeper parts of the sea. Maximum gravity anomaly indicates a consistent pattern in the offshore Black Sea and anomaly pattern follows the shape of the shoreline. The pattern is consistent with the deeper parts in the marine area and the eastern anomaly extends into the Russian territory between NW of Georgia and SE of the Crimean Peninsula. The crustal thickness map indicates almost the same trends. In this map, the minimum crustal thickness is about 10 km around the mid of the Shatsky Ridge, close to the coastal regions of SE Russia and the second thinnest (12 km) place is located around the Western Black Sea Basin. The maximum thicknesses are represented with the 34-36 km contours in the onshore Eastern Black Sea region and east of Anatolia. On the other hand, the maximum crustal thickness to the north can reach up to 28 km around the Sea of Azov and to the east. The thickness variations are generally related with the main tectonic trends in this region. The Analytic Signal (AS) and maxima points of the horizontal gradients (maxspots) maps constructed from the gravity anomalies are also prepared in this research to see if these anomaly trends follow the tectonic lines. The regions of maximum and minimum crustal thicknesses are well-consistent with the AS anomalies and boundaries of the bifocal thin crustal sections coinciding with the Eastern and Western Black Sea basinal parts are surrounded with the maxspots. The northern thick crustal region around the southern margin of the Indolo-Kuban Basin is also surrounded by the maxspots. It is possible to claim that the maxspots map from the horizontal gradient of Bouguer anomalies reflects the boundaries of the main tectonic units in the Black Sea Region. Particularly, southern boundary of the Scythian Platform, southern boundary of the Shatsky Ridge and Great Caucasus thrust are distinctive and easy to follow in the maxspots map.