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Structural variation along the Zagros and the nature of the Dezful Embayment

Allen, M.B.; Talebian, M.

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M. Talebian


Structure varies along strike in the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt of Iran, which is a principal element in the Arabia–Eurasia continental collision. Pre-collision, Late Cretaceous ophiolite nappes (Kermanshah, Neyriz) and related nappes of deep marine sediments (Radiolarite Series) were emplaced next to two regions (Pusht-e Kuh arc, Fars) which later developed a consistent structural style across the range from the High Zagros Fault to the foreland limit of deformation. The intervening area has a zone of highly imbricated Arabian plate strata (the Bakhtyari Culmination) thrust southwest towards and over a low relief, low elevation region (the Dezful Embayment). There are no ophiolite nappes northeast of the Bakhtyari Culmination. Isopachs reflect these different structural patterns from Late Cretaceous time but not earlier. In Late Cretaceous time the Dezful Embayment recorded less deposition than adjacent areas to the northwest and southeast. In the Palaeogene there was little net difference between the Dezful Embayment and its margins. The Dezful Embayment has been a depocentre since roughly 35 Ma, which is the likely time of initial collision between Arabia and Eurasia. We propose that the syn-collision structure and stratigraphy of the Zagros is therefore strongly influenced by the variation in Late Cretaceous ophiolite emplacement, but the original cause of this variation is not clear.


Allen, M., & Talebian, M. (2011). Structural variation along the Zagros and the nature of the Dezful Embayment. Geological Magazine, 148(5-6), 911-924.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2011
Deposit Date Sep 1, 2011
Publicly Available Date Feb 26, 2015
Journal Geological Magazine
Print ISSN 0016-7568
Electronic ISSN 1469-5081
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 148
Issue 5-6
Pages 911-924
Keywords Zagros, Fold-and-thrust belt, Arabia–Eurasia collision, Iran.


Accepted Journal Article (303 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© Copyright Cambridge University Press 2011. This paper has been published in a revised form subsequent to editorial input by Cambridge University Press in 'Geological Magazine' (148: 5-6 (2011) 911-924)

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