Publication Details

Fergusson, C., Nutman, A. P., Mohajjel, M. & Bennett, V. (2016). The Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone in the Neo-Tethyan suture, western Iran: Zircon U-Pb evidence of late Palaeozoic rifting of northern Gondwana and mid-Jurassic orogenesis. Gondwana Research, 40 43-57.


The Zagros Orogen, marking the closure of the Neo-Tethyan Ocean, formed by continental collision beginning in the late Eocene to early Miocene. Collision was preceded by a complicated tectonic history involving Pan-African orogenesis, Late Palaeozoic rifting forming Neo-Tethys, followed by Mesozoic convergence on the ocean's northern margin and ophiolite obduction on its southern margin. The Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone is a metamorphic belt in the Zagros Orogen of Gondwanan provenance. Zircon ages have established Pan-African basement igneous and metamorphic complexes in addition to uncommon late Palaeozoic plutons and abundant Jurassic plutonic rocks. We have determined zircon ages from units in the northwestern Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone (Golpaygan region). A sample of quartzite from the June Complex has detrital zircons with U-Pb ages mainly in 800-1050 Ma with a maximum depositional age of 547 ± 32 Ma (latest Neoproterozoic¿earliest Cambrian). A SHRIMP U-Pb zircon age of 336 ± 9 Ma from gabbro in the June Complex indicates a Carboniferous plutonic event that is also recorded in the far northwestern Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone. Together with the Permian Hasanrobat Granite near Golpaygan, they all are considered related to rifting marking formation of Neo-Tethys. Scarce detrital zircons from an extensive package of metasedimentary rocks (Hamadan Phyllite) have ages consistent with the Triassic to Early Jurassic age previously determined from fossils. These ages confirm that an orogenic episode affected the Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone in the Early to Middle Jurassic (Cimmerian Orogeny). Although the Cimmerian Orogeny in northern Iran reflects late Triassic to Jurassic collision of the Turan platform (southern Eurasia) and the Cimmerian microcontinent, we consider that in the Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone a tectonothermal event coeval with the Cimmerian Orogeny resulted from initiation of subduction and closure of rift basins along the northern margin of Neo-Tethys.



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