Tom McCann, 2017. "The Cretaceous of the South Kyzylkum and Nuratau Region, Western Tien Shan, Central Uzbekistan", Geological Evolution of Central Asian Basins and the Western Tien Shan Range, M.-F Brunet, T. McCann, E. R. Sobel
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The Kyzylkum and south Nuratau areas of Central Uzbekistan form the westernmost parts of the Tien Shan and contain rare outcrops of Cretaceous rocks that were deposited along the northern margin of the Amu Darya Basin. The succession can be subdivided into 18 clastic and carbonate facies, and these were deposited in a series of contrasting depositional environments from Aptian through to Maastrichtian times. Broadly, the region comprised a coastal–marine transitional zone, with the coastline advancing and retreating over time, these changes being related to major marine incursions to the east (as far as the Tarim Basin). Tectonic activity along the basin margin, with subsequent uplift of parts of the mosaic of boundary blocks, most probably influenced the development of coeval clastic/carbonate successions in the late Cretaceous.
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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.