Subsidence history and basin-fill evolution in the South Caspian Basin from geophysical mapping, flexural backstripping, forward lithospheric modelling and gravity modelling
N. A. Abdullayev, F. Kadirov, I. S. Guliyev, 2017. "Subsidence history and basin-fill evolution in the South Caspian Basin from geophysical mapping, flexural backstripping, forward lithospheric modelling and gravity modelling", Geological Evolution of Central Asian Basins and the Western Tien Shan Range, M.-F Brunet, T. McCann, E. R. Sobel
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This study summarizes the subsidence history and aspects of the geodynamic evolution of the South Caspian Basin based on the integration of geophysical observations, and subsidence and gravity modelling on selected two-dimensional (2D) profiles. This analysis implies the presence of an attenuated ‘oceanic-type’ crust in the northern portion of the South Caspian Basin, demonstrates characteristics of basin subsidence on variable crustal types and describes sediment-fill evolution in several different parts of the basin. Modelling conducted in this study shows that the observed pattern of subsidence and sedimentation in the South Caspian Basin can be explained by a process of thermal subsidence following Jurassic rifting and further enhanced subsidence that resulted from sediment-induced loading in the Late Tertiary, especially after a large-scale base-level fall after 6 Ma. Variation in crustal type is reflected in differences observed in the degree of subsidence and sediment fill in the overlying stratigraphy. The western part of the South Caspian Basin has subsided differently to the eastern part because of this difference in crustal type. This is also confirmed by gravity modelling, which shows that the South Caspian Basin crustal density is compatible with an oceanic composition in the western part of the South Caspian Basin: the crust in the eastern part of the basin, however, is thicker.
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The geological evolution of Central Asia commenced with the formation of a complex Precambrian–Palaeozoic orogen. Cimmerian blocks were then accreted to the southern margin in the Mesozoic, leading to tectonic reactivation of older structures and discrete episodes of basin formation. The Indian and Arabian blocks collided with Asia in the Cenozoic, leading to renewed structural reactivation, intracontinental deformation and basin development.
This complex evolution resulted in the present-day setting of an elongated Tien Shan range flanked by large Mesozoic–Cenozoic sedimentary basins with smaller intramontane basins distributed within the range.
This volume presents multidisciplinary results and reviews from research groups in Europe and Central Asia that focus on the western part of the Tien Shan and some of the adjacent large sedimentary basins. These works elucidate the Late Palaeozoic–Cenozoic tectono-sedimentary evolution of the area. Emphasis is given to the collision of terranes and continents and the ensuing fault reactivations. The impact of climatic changes on sedimentation is also examined.