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Book Chapter

The Evolution of the Tethys Region throughout the Phanerozoic: A Brief Tectonic Reconstruction

By
Fabrizio Berra
Fabrizio Berra
University of Milan, Department of Earth Sciences “A. Desio,” Via Mangiagalli 34, 20133 Milan, Italy (e-mail: fabrizio.berra@unimi.it)
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Lucia Angiolini
Lucia Angiolini
University of Milan, Department of Earth Sciences “A. Desio,” Via Mangiagalli 34, 20133 Milan, Italy (e-mail: fabrizio.berra@unimi.it)
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Published:
January 01, 2014

Abstract

The Tethyan region is a major petroleum province. The paleogeographic position and tectonic history is a major control on sedimentation across the region, and this has influenced the sequestration of hydrocarbons in the region. The North African-Arabian plate evolved along the Tethyan margins (Proto-Tethys, Paleo-Tethys, Neo-Tethys) from Pre-Cambrian to Recent. Paleogeographic maps have been reconstructed for selected time intervals: Cambrian, Late Ordovician, Early Devonian, Early Permian, Permian-Triassic boundary, Norian, Callovian, Aptian, Cretaceous-Cenozoic boundary, and Late Eocene. For each time interval both the general picture of the major plate tectonic configuration and a detail of the paleogeography and paleoenvironment of North Africa to the Middle East are presented. On these maps, the major paleoenvironmental settings (fron continental to shallow marine and deep ocean) are shown for the area stretching from North Africa to Afghanistan in all the selected time slices. Besides the major tectonic events, the global climate evolution and their interplay are discussed, which in some cases led to significant biotic turnovers or even to mass extinctions (e.g., Late Ordovician, Permian-Triassic boundary, Cretaceous-Cenozoic boundary). Paleogeographic maps have been compiled from literature, selecting those based on sound paleomagnetic/paleobiogeographic data. Each map is accompanied by the description of the major tectonic events that characterized the considered time interval. When contrasting paleogeographic reconstructions were available, their differences have been discussed. In general, major differences concern the interpretation of the setting and positioning of the microplates and terranes between the major continental plates. This chapter provides the introductory overview of the paleogeographic location and general tectonic history of the Tethyan margin through time. This is elaborated on and linked with depositional systems and hydrocarbon endowment in the subsequent chapters of AAPG Memoir 106.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Petroleum Systems of the Tethyan Region

Lisa Marlow
Lisa Marlow
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Christopher C. G. Kendall
Christopher C. G. Kendall
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Lyndon A. Yose
Lyndon A. Yose
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
106
ISBN electronic:
9781629812663
Publication date:
January 01, 2014

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