Abstract

The Musandam Mountains form a link, both in time and space, between the late Cretaceous ophiolite obduction tectonics of the Oman Mountains and the late Tertiary continental collision tectonics of the Zagros Fold belt of Iran. Culmination of the Musandam shelf carbonates occurred after the Turonian-Maastrichtian thin-skinned thrusting of the Oman Mountains was completed. The basal Hagab thrust cuts up-section to the west from at least mid-Permian level up to the late Cretaceous Aruma Group and breached up into the overlying previously allochthonous (Cretaceous) Hawasina cherts. In the Hagil Window (Ras al Khaimah), the shelf carbonates show from 4 to 15 km of westward translation. Extrapolation of foreland sequences suggests that Upper Cretaceous Aruma Group and Hawasina complex sediments could occur in the subsurface along the footwall east of the mountain front. The Hagab thrust and Musandam structures plunge south-southwest at increasingly greater depth (and with decreasing amount of translation) and carry all overlying late Cretaceous thrust sheets of the Oman Mountains in a piggy-back fashion. The Eocene-Lr. Oligocene Pabdeh foredeep developed as a result of loading in front of the Musandam thrust sheets wedging out to the south. The trailing (south-eastern) edge of the Musandam culmination is a hinged listric normal fault downthrowing to the south-east up to 2.5 km at Bayah and less than 500 m at the western end of Batha Mahani, and is interpreted as a dorsal culmination collapse feature.

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