Cryptic Orogeny : uplift of the Al Hajar Mountains at an alleged passive margin

Sammanfattning: Mountains evolve and grow because of the large forces that occur from the collision of tectonic plates. Plate boundaries change and move through time, and regions that were once stable, shallow-marine environments can be dragged into subduction zones and get transformed into vast mountain ranges. The Al Hajar Mountains in Oman consist of carbonate rocks which show that during most of the Mesozoic (c. 268 Ma – 95 Ma) they had not yet formed but were flat and below sea level. Following this, in the Late Cretaceous (c. 95 Ma), a major tectonic event caused oceanic crust to be obducted onto this Mesozoic carbonate platform. Then after obduction a shallow marine environment resumed, and Paleogene sedimentary rocks were deposited. Currently, the central mountains are located on the Arabian Plate and are 200 km away from the convergent plate boundary with Eurasia. Here, Arabia is being subducted. Further towards the northwest Arabia and Eurasia are colliding, forming the Zagros Mountains which initiated no earlier than the Oligocene (c. 30 Ma). At this time the mountains were even further away from the plate boundary. The problem with the Al Hajar Mountains is that they record a collision, but are not in a collisional zone. To better understand the formation of the Al Hajar Mountains, a multidiscipline approach was used to investigate the timing at which they developed. This included applying low-temperature thermochronology, U-Pb dating of brittle structures, and balanced cross-sections. Results indicate that the orogeny began in the late Eocene and had concluded by the early Miocene (40 Ma – 15 Ma). Therefore, the uplift of the Al Hajar Mountains is not related to either the older Late Cretaceous ophiolite obduction or the younger Zagros collision, and a new tectonic model is proposed. This research shows that the Cenozoic tectonic history of northern Oman is more cryptic than what has been formerly presented.

  Denna avhandling är EVENTUELLT nedladdningsbar som PDF. Kolla denna länk för att se om den går att ladda ner.