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Insights in the exhumation history of the NW Zagros from bedrock and detrital apatite fission-track analysis: evidence for a long-lived orogeny

Abstract : We present the first fission-track (FT) thermochronology results for the NW Zagros Belt (SW Iran) in order to identify denudation episodes that occurred during the protracted Zagros orogeny. Samples were collected from the two main detrital successions of the NW Zagros foreland basin: the Palaeocene–early Eocene Amiran–Kashkan succession and the Miocene Agha Jari and Bakhtyari Formations. In situ bedrock samples were furthermore collected in the Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone. Only apatite fission-track (AFT) data have been successfully obtained, including 26 ages and 11 track-length distributions. Five families of AFT ages have been documented from analyses of in situ bedrock and detrital samples: pre-middle Jurassic at ∼171 and ∼225 Ma, early–late Cretaceous at ∼91 Ma, Maastrichtian at ∼66 Ma, middle–late Eocene at ∼38 Ma and Oligocene–early Miocene at ∼22 Ma. The most widespread middle–late Eocene cooling phase, around ∼38 Ma, is documented by a predominant grain-age population in Agha Jari sediments and by cooling ages of a granitic boulder sample. AFT ages document at least three cooling/denudation periods linked to major geodynamic events related to the Zagros orogeny, during the late Cretaceous oceanic obduction event, during the middle and late Eocene and during the early Miocene. Both late Cretaceous and early Miocene orogenic processes produced bending of the Arabian plate and concomitant foreland deposition. Between the two major flexural foreland episodes, the middle–late Eocene phase mostly produced a long-lasting slow- or nondepositional episode in the inner part of the foreland basin, whereas deposition and tectonics migrated to the NE along the Sanandaj-Sirjan domain and its Gaveh Rud fore-arc basin. As evidenced in this study, the Zagros orogeny was long-lived and multi-episodic, implying that the timing of accretion of the different tectonic domains that form the Zagros Mountains requires cautious interpretation.
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Stéphane Homke, J. Verges, Peter van Der Beek, M. Fernandez, Eduard Saura, et al.. Insights in the exhumation history of the NW Zagros from bedrock and detrital apatite fission-track analysis: evidence for a long-lived orogeny. Basin Research, 2010, 22, pp.659-680. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-2117.2009.00431.x⟩. ⟨insu-00549768⟩



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