The main purpose of this study in the High Central Zagros area near the townships of Lordegan and Yasuj was to investigate the nature of the High Zagros Fault (HZF) and the structural styles in the adjacent foreland. A second task was to determine whether the prolific petroleum plays productive further out in the Zagros Foreland would extend into the study area and if new petroleum plays could be recognized.

Two selected cross-sections across and one just behind the HZF provide evidence for its overthrust nature. In some places the HZF exhibits a low-angle thrust plane, locally with a substantial amount of thrusting over the foreland. The interpretation is based on surface geological mapping, available well data, remote sensing from satellite data, aeromagnetic and high resolution gravimetry data, magnetotelluric, WARRP (wide angle reflection refraction profiling) and reflection seismic data. The integration of this unique set of newly acquired geophysical data complements recently published papers, which were based more on surface geology and rather limited subsurface data. The data were integrated to construct a regional balanced cross-section and to develop structural petroleum play concepts for the area investigated.

Play potential may exist both in the overthrust terrain of the High Zagros as well as in the subthrust. Analysis of the width of the surface anticlines (or more precisely: their frequency) gives a first indication of the depth of the décollement plane. Within the adjacent Zagros Foreland evidence was found for the presence of multiple detachment planes above the ubiquitous deep Hormuz level, i.e. at the level of the Kazhdumi and the Pabdeh–Gurpi Formations. These intermediate décollement planes are thought to be responsible for the generation of deeper structural plays unrelated to the structuring that can be observed at the surface.

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