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Abstract

The passive margin carbonate platform in the Middle Tien Shan rests on Givetian–Frasnian red siliciclastic strata. It evolved from an attached carbonate platform in the Famennian and early Tournaisian to an isolated carbonate platform in the late Tournaisian to early Bashkirian. The open-ocean side of the platform was reef-rimmed, whereas the continental side was both reef- and shoal-rimmed. Platform interiors exhibit low-energy facies during the Famennian to early Visean and high-energy facies during the late Visean to Bashkirian. Eustatic sea-level rises in the middle Tournaisian, early Visean and near the Visean and Serpukhovian boundary caused major reorganizations in platform architecture.

Deformation in the middle Bashkirian reflects the onset of a convergent margin. Flexural loading by an orogenic thrust wedge controlled basin subsidence along the southern edge of the Middle Tien Shan in the Late Pennsylvanian to Asselian. Cessation of deposition in the Asselian followed by folding and granitoid plutonism reflects the onset of a rigid collision.

Devonian to Permian carbonates represent outcrop analogues of coeval oil- and gas-rich carbonate platforms in the North Caspian basin and can be used for comparative and predictive sedimentological studies. Palaeozoic carbonate reservoir facies may host subsurface Cenozoic oil fields in the Fergana Basin.

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