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Permian to Recent Geodynamic and Landscape Evolution of the PalaeoTethys and NeoTethys

Abstract

The Tethys has been reconstructed for the 59 stages from the Permian to Recent to gain an understanding of its geodynamic and landscape evolution. The Tethys region has a very complex tectonic history which is controversial and widely debated. Unravelling the geological evolution of the region will give insights vital for future hydrocarbon exploration. The first step in this process has been the development of our plate model which involved building a structural framework on which initial plate modelling experiments were based. This included a detailed evaluation and interpretation of remote sensing data, gravity and magnetic anomalies and derivatives, isochrons and palaeomagnetic data. Kinematics were assessed through literature review and modelling experiments. Plate model development is an iterative process using new insights gained from ongoing research, thus the plate model is versioned. Geological information from our structural, wells and points and other pertinent datasets were then rotated and plotted onto basemaps for each stage. This information, combined with a literature review was used to produce palaeogeographic maps showing gross depositional environments (GDE) which are areas below base-level (deposition) and erosional tectonophysiographic terranes, which are areas above base-level. Palaeodrainage and palaeoDEMs are developed using the data from the palaeogeographic maps. These maps identify source to sink relationships and become particularly powerful tools when combined with further evaluation from our climate, ocean, tide and lithofacies prediction models, the boundary conditions for which are obtained from our maps. Key stages from the Permian to Recent are displayed to demonstrate methodologies and results of this study.