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Abstract

The actual state of knowledge concerning the tectonic evolution of the Afghan orogenic segment is summarized in the context of the neighbouring regions. The segment can be divided into: (1) the Late Palaeozoic North Afghan Variscan domain, which forms the southern margin of the Turan Plate; (2) the Early Cimmerian (Late Triassic–Early Jurassic) Palaeotethys suture zone of Middle Afghanistan, with the associated magmatic arc and back-arc rift extending from the Parapamisos and western Hindu Kush to the northern Pamir Mountains; (3) the Late Cimmerian (Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous) domain of the Central Afghan Block mosaic with Gondwana-derived terranes; and (4) the Cenozoic-age Himalayan domain, which fringes the Cimmerian domain along the transpressive boundary of the Indian Plate in the east and the accretionary complex of the Makran subduction zone in the south. This current review of the scattered literature of a country where geological fieldwork effectively ceased 35 years ago is intended to bridge the gap between the better-known regions to the west in eastern Iran, and to the east in the Pamir–Punjab syntaxis.

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