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ABSTRACT

The Pricaspian basin at the close of the Paleozoic was a silled, remnant ocean basin about a fourth the areal size of the Gulf of Mexico, but about as deep. In mid-Permian time this basin filled with up to 4.5 km thick succession of evaporites, mainly salt. The evaporites were followed immediately by nearly complete infilling of the basin by Upper Permian-Triassic coarse clastics derived from the southern Urals and other active orogens marginal to the basin. The volume of post-Triassic sediments has decreased through time as the depocenter shifted to the northwest margin of the basin.

The thick original accumulation of salt followed by rapid, and early, nearly complete, infilling of the basin has favored development of massive, uniformly spaced salt stocks and massifs with minor overhangs. Vertical migration of the salt dominates. Allochthonous salt sheets, common piercement structures in the Gulf of Mexico, are not recognized.

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