- Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009
Synextensional granitoids may have significant structural features leading to the understanding of the evolution of extended orogenic belts. One of the highly extended regions, the Aegean region, includes a number of metamorphic core complexes and synextensional granitoids that developed following the Alpine collisional events. The Alaçamdağ area in northwestern Turkey is one of the key areas where Miocene granites crop out along the boundary of various tectonic units. Structural data from the Early Miocene Alaçamdağ granites demonstrated two different deformation patterns that may provide insights into the development of granitic intrusions and metamorphic core complexes. (1) Steeply dipping ductile shear zones caused emplacement of syn-tectonic granite stocks; they include kinematic indicators of a sinistral top-to-the-SW displacement. This zone has also juxtaposed the İzmir–Ankara Zone and the Menderes Massif in the west and east, respectively. (2) Gently dipping ductile shear zones have developed within the granitic stocks that intruded the schists of the Menderes Massif on the structurally lower parts. Kinematic data from the foliated granites indicate a top-to-the-NE displacement, which can be correlated with the direction of the hanging-wall movement documented from the Simav and Kazdağ metamorphic core complexes. The gently dipping shear zones indicate the presence of a detachment fault between the Menderes Massif and the structurally overlying İzmir–Ankara Zone. Mesoscopic- to map-scale folds in the shallow-dipping shear zones of the Alaçamdağ area were interpreted to have been caused by coupling between NE–SW stretching and the accompanying NW–SE shortening of ductilely deformed crust during Early Miocene times. One of the NE-trending shear zones fed by granitic magmas was interpreted to form the northeastern part of a sinistral wrench corridor which caused differential stretching between the Cycladic and the Menderes massifs. This crustal-scale wrench corridor, the İzmir–Balıkesir transfer zone, may have controlled the asymmetrical and symmetrical extensions in the orogenic domains. The combination of the retreat of the Aegean subduction zone and the lateral slab segmentation leading to the sinistral oblique-slip tearing within the Eurasian upper plate appears to be a plausible mechanism for the development of such extensive NE-trending shear zones in the Aegean region.