Subsidence and uplift mechanisms within the South Caspian Basin: Insights from the onshore and offshore Azerbaijan region
Stuart S. Egan, Jon Mosar, Marie-Françoise Brunet, Talat Kangarli, 2009. "Subsidence and uplift mechanisms within the South Caspian Basin: Insights from the onshore and offshore Azerbaijan region", South Caspian to Central Iran Basins, M.-F. Brunet, M. Wilmsen, J. W. Granath
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A combination of fieldwork, basin analysis and modelling techniques has been used to try and understand the role, as well as the timing, of the subsidence–uplift mechanisms that have affected the Azerbaijan region of the South Caspian Basin (SCB) from Mesozoic to Recent.
Key outcrops have been studied in the eastern Greater Caucasus, and the region has been divided into several major tectonic zones that are diagnostic of different former sedimentary realms representing a complete traverse from a passive margin setting to slope and distal basin environments. Subsequent deformation has caused folds and thrusts that generally trend from NW–SE to WNW–ESE.
Offshore data has been analysed to provide insights into the regional structural and stratigraphic evolution of the SCB to the east of Azerbaijan. Several structural trends and subsidence patterns have been identified within the study area. In addition, burial history modelling suggests that there are at least three main components of subsidence, including a relatively short-lived basin-wide event at 6 Ma that is characterized by a rapid increase in the rate of subsidence.
Numerical modelling that includes structural, thermal, isostatic and surface processes has been applied to the SCB. Models that reconcile the observed amount of fault-controlled deformation with the magnitude of overall thinning of the crust generate a comparable amount of subsidence to that observed in the basin. In addition, model results support the tectonic scenario that SCB crust has a density that is compatible with an oceanic composition and is being under-thrust beneath the central Caspian region.
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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.