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Basement Faults and Salt Plug Emplacement in the Arabian Platform in Southern Iran

Keywords: Morphotectonics , Iran , Saudi Arabia , tectonics , fault , geology

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The Arabian Platform containing the Zagros Mountain Ranges (ZMR) is located to the Northeast of the Arabian Shield. There are nearly 200 salt domes on the Arabian Platform. In the ZMR, structural anomalies are frequently associated with similar facies distribution patterns. In the eastern portion of the region, emergent salt plugs of Infra-Cambrian age exhibit the same alignment patterns. Such trends bear no apparent genetic relationship to the Tertiary folding responsible for the present Zagros fold belt but rather indicate their affinity with linear basement features which are readily observable on Landsat imagery and aerial photographs. Bending of anticlines in the competent cover rock, combined with minor strike-slip faults and horizontal displacements of parts of folded structures, strongly point to the presence of these basement faults. The salt plugs, which have pierced cover rocks of up to 10000 m thick, are distributed on the Arabian Platform along regional basement faults. The area of diapir outcrops is bounded by the Oman Line to the East and by the Kazerun Fault to the West. Pieces of the basement have been brought up to the surface on some of the salt domes. The fragments were transported by rotational ascent of the Hormuz Salt Formation to the present and former land surfaces. The recognition of features related to basement tectonic and realization of their implication in the control and modification of geological processes in an important adjunct to the search for hydrocarbon accumulations in this region. To our best knowledge, data of basement faults in the study area is scarce. Therefore, this study was carried out to determine basement faults and their relation to salt dome distribution. Considering the fold axis bending, the trend of the salt plugs and also the distribution of epicenters of the last century, numerous new basement faults are introduced in this study.


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