The Cimmerian evolution of the Nakhlak–Anarak area, Central Iran, and its bearing for the reconstruction of the history of the Eurasian margin
Andrea Zanchi, Stefano Zanchetta, Eduardo Garzanti, Marco Balini, Fabrizio Berra, Massimo Mattei, Giovanni Muttoni, 2009. "The Cimmerian evolution of the Nakhlak–Anarak area, Central Iran, and its bearing for the reconstruction of the history of the Eurasian margin", South Caspian to Central Iran Basins, M.-F. Brunet, M. Wilmsen, J. W. Granath
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New structural, sedimentological, petrological and palaeomagnetic data collected in the region of Nakhlak–Anarak provide important constraints on the Cimmerian evolution of Central Iran. The Olenekian–Upper Ladinian succession of Nakhlak was deposited in a forearc setting, and records the exhumation and erosion of an orogenic wedge, possibly located in the present-day Anarak region. The Triassic succession was deformed after Ladinian times and shows south-vergent folds and thrusts unconformably covered by Upper Cretaceous limestones following the Late Jurassic Neo-Cimmerian deformation. Palaeomagnetic data obtained in the Olenekian succession suggest a palaeoposition of the region close to Eurasia at a latitude around 20°N. In addition, the palaeopoles do not support large anticlockwise rotations around vertical axes for central Iran with respect to Eurasia since the Middle Triassic, as previously suggested.
The Anarak Metamorphic Complex (AMC) includes blueschist-facies metabasites associated with discontinuous slivers of serpentinized ultramafic rocks and Carboniferous greenschist-facies ‘Variscan’ metamorphic rocks, including widespread metacarbonates. The AMC was formed, at least partially, in the Triassic. Its erosion is recorded by the Middle Triassic Bāqoroq Formation at Nakhlak, which consists of conglomerates and sandstones rich in metamorphic detritus. The AMC was repeatedly deformed during post-Triassic times, giving origin to a complex structural setting characterized by strong tectonic fragmentation of previously formed tectonic units.
Based on these data, we suggest that the Nakhlak–Anarak units represent an arc–trench system developed during the Eo-Cimmerian orogenic cycle. Different tectonic scenarios that can account for the evolution of the region and for the occurrence of this orogenic wedge in its present position within Central Iran are critically discussed, as well as its relationships with a presumed ‘Variscan’ metamorphic event.
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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.