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The kinematics of the Zagros Mountains (Iran)


We present a synthesis of recently conducted tectonic, global positioning system (GPS), geomorphological and seismic studies to describe the kinematics of the Zagros mountain belt, with a special focus on the transverse right-lateral strike-slip Kazerun Fault System (KFS). Both the seismicity and present-day deformation (as observed from tectonics, geomorphology and GPS) appear to concentrate near the 1000 m elevation contour, suggesting that basement and shallow deformation are related. This observation supports a thick-skinned model of southwestward propagation of deformation, starting from the Main Zagros Reverse Fault. The KFS distributes right-lateral strike-slip motion of the Main Recent Fault onto several segments located in an en echelon system to the east. We observe a marked difference in the kinematics of the Zagros across the Kazerun Fault System. To the NW, in the North Zagros, present-day deformation is partitioned between localized strike-slip motion on the Main Recent Fault and shortening located on the deformation front. To the SE, in the Central Zagros, strike-slip motion is distributed on several branches of the KFS. The decoupling of the Hormuz Salt layer, restricted to the east of the KFS and favouring the spreading of the sedimentary cover, cannot be the only cause of this distributed mechanism because seismicity (and therefore basement deformation) is associated with all active strike-slip faults, including those to the east of the Kazerun Fault System.


Earth Sciences
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insu-00411876 , version 1 (31-08-2009)



Denis Hatzfeld, Christine Authemayou, Peter van Der Beek, O Bellier, Jérôme Lavé, et al.. The kinematics of the Zagros Mountains (Iran). Tectonic and Stratigraphic Evolution of Zagros and Makran during the Mesozoic-Cenozoic, Geological Society, London, Special Publications Vol.330, pp.19-42, 2010, ⟨10.1144/SP330.3⟩. ⟨insu-00411876⟩
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