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Late Eocene palaeogeography of the proto-Paratethys Sea in Central Asia (NW China, southern Kyrgyzstan and SW Tajikistan)

By
Roderic Bosboom
Roderic Bosboom
Palaeomagnetic Laboratory Fort Hoofddijk, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 17, 3584 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Oleg Mandic
Oleg Mandic
Geological–Palaeontological Department, Natural History Museum Vienna, Burgring 7, A-1010 Wien, Austria
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Guillaume Dupont-Nivet
Guillaume Dupont-Nivet
Palaeomagnetic Laboratory Fort Hoofddijk, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 17, 3584 CD Utrecht, The NetherlandsGéosciences Rennes, UMR 6118, Université de Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes Cedex, FranceKey Laboratory of Orogenic Belts and Crustal Evolution, Ministry of Education (Peking University), 100871 Beijing, China
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Jean-Noël Proust
Jean-Noël Proust
Géosciences Rennes, UMR 6118, Université de Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France
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Cholponbek Ormukov
Cholponbek Ormukov
Institute of Seismology: Kyrgyz Republic Bishkek, Asanbay 52/1, 720060, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
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Jovid Aminov
Jovid Aminov
Institute of Geology, Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, 267 Ayni Street, 734053, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract

The Cretaceous and Palaeogene sediments of the basins in Central Asia include the remnants of the easternmost extent of a vast shallow epicontinental sea, which extended across the Eurasian continent before it retreated westwards and eventually isolated as the Paratethys Sea. To improve understanding of its long-term palaeogeographical evolution, we complement the well-constrained chronological framework of the Tarim Basin in China with stratigraphic records of the sea retreat from the Fergana Basin and the Alai Valley Basin in southern Kyrgyzstan and the Afghan–Tajik Basin in SW Tajikistan. By lithostratigraphic analyses and identification of bivalve assemblages, this study establishes for the first time a clear and detailed regional correlation of Palaeogene marine strata across Central Asia, showing that the basins share a similar palaeogeographical evolution characterized by a long-term stepwise retreat punctuated by short-term shallow-marine incursions. Our correlation shows that the last two marine incursions recognized in the Tarim Basin can be traced westwards. The permanent disappearance of the sea from Central Asia probably occurred with limited diachroneity in the late Eocene, before the isolation of the Paratethys Sea, shifting the easternmost margin of the sea hundreds of kilometres westwards and probably significantly reducing moisture supply to the Asian interior.

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Geological Society

Geological Evolution of Central Asian Basins and the Western Tien Shan Range

M.-F Brunet
M.-F Brunet
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T. McCann
T. McCann
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E. R. Sobel
E. R. Sobel
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Geological Society of London
Volume
427
ISBN electronic:
9781862399594
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

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