The Mid-Cimmerian tectonic event (Bajocian) in the Alborz Mountains, Northern Iran: Evidence of the break-up unconformity of the South Caspian Basin
Franz Theodor Fürsich, Markus Wilmsen, Kazem Seyed-Emami, Mahmoud Reza Majidifard, 2009. "The Mid-Cimmerian tectonic event (Bajocian) in the Alborz Mountains, Northern Iran: Evidence of the break-up unconformity of the South Caspian Basin", South Caspian to Central Iran Basins, M.-F. Brunet, M. Wilmsen, J. W. Granath
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The Mid-Cimmerian tectonic event of Bajocian age can be documented all across the Iran Plate (Alborz Mountains of northern Iran, NE Iran, east-central Iran) and the southern Koppeh Dagh (northeastern Iran). In the Alborz area, the tectonic event consisted of two main pulses. A distinct unconformity (near the Lower–Upper Bajocian boundary) at or near the base of the Dansirit Formation is the sedimentary expression of rapid basin shallowing due to uplift and erosion. Another unconformity is developed in the early Upper Bajocian, close to or at the top of the Dansirit Formation. Locally, it is expressed as an angular unconformity due to block rotation and is overlain by a thin transgressive conglomerate followed by silty marls of the deep-marine Upper Bajocian–Callovian Dalichai Formation. This upper unconformity signals a rapid subsidence pulse. On the Tabas Block of east-central Iran, a single unconformity can be documented that is time-equivalent to those bounding the Dansirit Formation (i.e. ‘mid-Bajocian’). Local folding gives direct evidence of compressional tectonics, and conglomerates indicate subaerial denudation of older Mesozoic or Palaeozoic strata. After a stratigraphic gap, transgressive sediments of ?Late Bajocian–Bathonian age follow, suggesting a fusion of the lower and upper Mid-Cimmerian unconformities in east-central Iran. Along the southern margin of the Koppeh Dagh Mountains (NE Iran), a Late Bajocian subsidence pulse initiated the opening of the strongly subsiding Kashafrud Basin, an eastwards extension of the South Caspian Basin. In all of these areas, one phase of uplift and erosion took place followed by a pronounced pulse of subsidence running counter to trends of the eustatic sea-level curve. Thus, what is generally understood as the Mid-Cimmerian tectonic event is now thought to consist of a tectonic phase, confined to the Bajocian. This phase is explained as the expression of the onset of sea-floor spreading within the South Caspian Basin situated to the north of the present-day Alborz Mountains. This strongly subsiding basin developed close to the Palaeotethys suture during the Toarcian–Aalenian and went through a change from the rifting- to the spreading-stage during the Bajocian. The Mid-Cimmerian event therefore reflects the break-up unconformity of the South Caspian Basin.
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This book combines interdisciplinary research results using structural geology, geophysics, sedimentology, stratigraphy, palaeontology, palaeomagnetism and subsidence modelling obtained through the MEBE (Middle East Basins Evolution) Programme and other groups in the South Caspian and Northern and Central Iran.
A great part of the volume is devoted to Northern Iran (Alborz, Binalud and Koppeh Dagh belts), dealing mainly with the Late Palaeozoic and the Mesozoic Eras. Two papers present subsidence models of the South Caspian Basin since the Jurassic and three papers focus on Central Iran.
The data and models in this compilation of papers present a detailed picture and a very comprehensive understanding of the Late Palaeozoic to Cenozoic evolution of the South Caspian and North Iran to Central Iran basins. Geodynamic evolution and sedimentation are mainly controlled by the closure of the Palaeo–Tethys due to collision of Eocimmerian blocks with south Laurasia, opening of the South Caspian Basin, and Neo–Tethys ocean closure associated with Arabia–Eurasia collision.