Provenance of Tanjero and Red Bed clastic sedimentary rocks revealed by detrital zircon SHRIMP dating, Kurdistan region, NE Iraq: Constraints on ocean closure and unroofing of Neo-Tethyan allochthons
© 2020 Closure of Neo-Tethys between the Late Cretaceous and Miocene caused obduction of intra-Neo-Tethys volcanic arc allochthons onto the northern margin of the Arabian-Nubian Shield. This loading led to downwarping of the shield forming a flexural basin in which the Tanjero Formation and later Red Beds accumulated. Analysis of the detrital zircon populations in these sedimentary units provides additional evidence supporting the petrographic data for the presence and unroofing of the allochthons. Both the Tanjero Formation and Red Beds show evidence of initial derivation of detritus from the Nubian-Arabian Shield together with minor Paleozoic detritus from Egypt, Turkey and/or Iran. The youngest detrital zircon grains in the Tanjero Formation are of Paleocene age and probably represent northern derivation from the Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone. In contrast, the upper Miocene Red Beds contain detrital zircon of Eocene age that confirms the petrographic evidence for derivation from, and hence emplacement of, the lower allochthon of intra-Neo-Tethys Walash-Naopurdan rocks.