- Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012
A distinct spatial relationship between surface faulting, magmatic intrusions and volcanic activity exists in the Aegean continental crust. In this paper, we provide detailed structural observations from key onshore areas, as well as compilations of lineament maps and earthquake locations with focal plane solutions from offshore areas to support such a relationship. Although pluton emplacement was associated with low-angle extensional detachments, the NNE- to NE-trending strike-slip faults also played an important role in localizing the Middle Miocene plutonism, providing ready pathways to deeper magma batches, and controlling the late-stage emplacement and deformation of granites in the upper crust. Additionally, the linear arrangements of volcanic centres, from the Quaternary volcanoes along the active South Aegean Volcanic Arc, are controlled primarily by NE-trending faults and secondarily by NW-trending faults. These volcanic features are located at several extensional settings, which are associated with the main NE-trending faults, such as (i) in the extensional steps or relay zones between strike-slip and oblique-normal fault segments, (ii) at the overlap zones between oblique-normal faults associated with an extensional strike-slip duplex and (iii) at the tip zone of a NE-trending divergent dextral strike-slip zone. The NE trend of volcano-tectonic features, such as volcanic cone alignments, concentration of eruptive centres, hydrothermal activity and fractures, indicates the significant role of tectonics in controlling fluid and magma pathways in the Aegean upper crust. Furthermore, microseismicity and focal mechanisms of earthquakes in the area confirm the activity and present kinematics of these NE- trending faults.