Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Tectonic Evolution of the Middle East Since Mesozoic


Barrier, Eric, Marie-Francoise Brunet, Bruno Vrielynck, Jean-Paul Cadet, CNRS, Paris Cedex, France


The Middle East Basins Evolution Programme (MEBE) aims at reconstructing the tecton­ic evolution of the Middle East since Mesozoic. From the results of 25 scientific teams work­ing in the fiels of tectonics, sedimentology, stratigraphy, basin modelling and kinematics, we propose a set of palinspastic tectonic maps based on an up-to-date kinematic reconstruc­tion. We propose a model of tectonic evolution of each of the Tethyan margins before the Eurasia-Arabia collision and of the collision itself. In our reconstruction we precise the age of the major tectonic events (rifting, marginal basin opening, subsidence of basins, basin inversion, major orogeny, main transcurrent faults, ...) that have succeded in the Middle East since Triassic.

After the Cimerian orogeny (the collision of Gondwanian blocs with the Eurasian margin) from Middle Triassic to Early Jurasssic, an active margin and a passive margin respectively developed North and South of the Tethyan oceanic domain. Until the closure of this domain in Cenozoic, each margin is characterized by its own tectonic evolution. Extensional tecton­ics mainly developed in the passive southern margin and in the Arabian platform (except during the Late Cretaceous obduction). On the contrary, the Northern active margin record­ed a more complex tectonic evolution characterized by: opening of back-arc and marginal basins, several regional inversions and compressional tectonics. The deformations related to the early stage of the Arabia-Eurasia collision appeared in Late Eocene (in inner Zagros). The collisional tectonics mainly developed during Neogene after the complete closure of the remant Tethyan oceanic domain.