The eastern part of the Kopet-Dagh basin of northeastern Iran contains over 4000 m of Upper Jurassic through Tertiary strata deposited in a variety of shallow-marine and terrestrial environments. Geohistory diagrams from well and outcrop data provide a useful mechanism with which to relate the stratigraphic framework of this part of the basin to the tectonic history of the region. During some episodes of regional tectonic uplift (e.g., episodes occurring 99–95 Ma, 74–70 Ma, and 63–54 Ma), sediment accommodation space continued to be created in the basin due to sediment loading and compaction of increased amounts of fine-grained sediments, in some cases concomitant with eustatic sea level rises. Much of the post-Jurassic subsidence in this part of the Kopet-Dagh basin was caused by sediment loading rather than tectonism.
The effects of basin geohistory on petroleum reservoir properties were studied using the Lower Cretaceous (Neocomian) Shurijeh Formation as an example. Detailed petrologic, sedimentologic, and geohistory analyses done on this formation show that the petroleum reservoir properties of Shurijeh sandstones were affected by their depositional settings and the subsequent subsidence of these units through meteoric and compactional hydrogeologic regimes in this part of the Kopet-Dagh basin. These rocks consist mostly of sublitharenitic red beds deposited during a regressive phase of sedimentation dominated by rapid siliciclastic sediment supply. The lower and middle parts of the interval studied were deposited in low-sinuosity braided fluvial systems, and the upper part was deposited in high-sinuosity meandering systems. By relating the paragenetic sequence of the Shurijeh sandstones to the geohistory of this formation, we determined the timing of both porosity-destroying and porosity-enhancing diagenetic processes and related these processes to the timing of petroleum generation.