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Subductions, obduction and collision in the Lesser Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), new insights

Abstract : In the Lesser Caucasus three main domains are distinguished from SW to NE: (1) the autochthonous South Armenian Block (SAB), a Gondwana-derived terrane; (2) the ophiolitic Sevan–Akera suture zone; and (3) the Eurasian plate. Based on our field work, new stratigraphical, petrological, geochemical and geochronological data combined with previous data we present new insights on the subduction, obduction and collision processes recorded in the Lesser Caucasus. Two subductions are clearly identified, one related to the Neotethys subduction beneath the Eurasian margin and one intra-oceanic (SSZ) responsible for the opening of a back-arc basin which corresponds to the ophiolites of the Lesser Caucasus. The obduction occurred during the Late Coniacian to Santonian and is responsible for the widespread ophiolitic nappe outcrop in front of the suture zone. Following the subduction of oceanic lithosphere remnants under Eurasia, the collision of the SAB with Eurasia started during the Paleocene, producing 1) folding of ophiolites, arc and Upper Cretaceous formations (Transcaucasus massif to Karabakh); 2) thrusting toward SW; and 3) a foreland basin in front of the belt. Upper–Middle Eocene series unconformably cover the three domains. From Eocene to Miocene as a result of the Arabian plate collision with the SAB to the South, southward propagation of shortening featured by folding and thrusting occurred all along the belt. These deformations are sealed by a thick sequence of unconformable Miocene to Quaternary clastic and volcanic rocks of debated origin.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - 5:26:07 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 6:50:42 PM

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M. Sosson, Yan Rolland, C. Müller, T. Danelian, R. Melkonyan, et al.. Subductions, obduction and collision in the Lesser Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), new insights. Sedimentary Basin Tectonics from the Black Sea and Caucasus to the Arabian Platform. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, Sosson, M., Kaymakci, N., Stephenson, R. A., Bergerat, F. & Starostenko, V. (eds), pp.329-352, 2010, ⟨10.1144/SP340.14⟩. ⟨hal-00521877⟩



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