Mid-Cimmerian, Early Alpine and Late Cenozoic orogenic events in the Shotur Kuh metamorphic complex, Great Kavir block, NE Iran

Mahmoud Rahmati-Ilkhchi, Petr Jeřábek, Shah Wali Faryad, Hemin A. Koyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The Shotur Kuh complex, exposed in the NE part of the Great Kavir block, is composed of amphibolite facies metaigneous rocks and micaschist, and of lower-grade Permian-Miocene cover sequences that experienced four main deformation phases and at least two metamorphic events. The D1 deformation phase is associated with a prograde metamorphism that in the basement reached amphibolite facies conditions. This Barrovian-type metamorphism with field gradient of 20-22 °C/km was related to collision-induced crustal thickening. The D2 event corresponds to post-collisional exhumational upflow of middle crust, resulting in updoming of the basement core and its top-to-the-Northwest unroofing along a low-angle detachment shear zone at the basement/cover boundary. The D1 and D2 events are considered as Mid-Cimmerian in age because they also affected the Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic Shemshak Formation and are sealed by the Middle Jurassic conglomerates. The D3 folding event, characterised by NE-SW shortening, also affected the Cretaceous limestones, and it is sealed by Paleocene conglomerates. Considering the Late Cretaceous age of this deformation, it is related to the Late Cimmerian-Early Alpine orogeny that resulted from the Cenozoic closure of the Neo-Tethys oceanic tract(s) and convergence between the Arabian and Eurasian plates. The D4 folding event, characterised by NW-SE shortening, also affected the Miocene conglomerates, suggesting its Miocene or post-Miocene age. This deformation event is associated with Late Cenozoic convergence between Arabia and Eurasia, and it could be combined with a left-lateral activity along the Great Kavir fault-bounding system.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)101-117
Number of pages17
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Central Iranian domain
  • Deformation structures
  • Great Kavir block
  • Mid-Cimmerian event
  • Middle Jurassic metamorphism


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