Abstract

The Upper Permian and Triassic sequences of the NW Caucasus present a good record of the Cimmerian events, rather undisturbed by the subsequent Alpine deformations. Original field work with new fossil identifications, microfacies analysis, and sandstone petrography were carried out. During the late Permian, active strike-slip basins were filled by continental clastics successions. Marine ingressions during the latest Permian, led to the formation of sponge reefs and skeletal carbonate ramps. During the Triassic, several siliciclastic wedges were intercalated within the marine carbonate succession. Most important is a conglomerate body made up of serpentinite pebbles of Spathian age (early Triassic), recording the exhumation and erosion of schistose antigorite serpentinites. By the late Anisian a severe deformation affected the Peredovoy (= Fore) Range of the NW Caucasus. Lower Triassic to Anisian sediments deformed also in chevron folds were overlaid with angular unconformity by a siliciclastic, and also volcaniclastic, conglomeratic and arenitic body, up to several hundred meters thick. By the late Ladinian-earliest Carnian, marine sedimentation resumed locally, forming a carbonate ramp during part of the Norian. Towards the end of the Norian, the entire area emerged and was again mildly tilted. The subsequent post-Cimmerian transgression occurred largely during the Middle Jurassic. Consequently, the most important Cimmerian deformations appear to be of early and middle Triassic age.

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