The southern Alborz mountains of northern Iran are an integral part of the Arabia/Eurasia collision zone. A magnetostratigraphic and rock magnetic investigation of the Eyvanekey stratigraphic section in the southern Alborz mountains reveals the spatiotemporal character of sedimentary facies migration in the Alborz foreland basin. The section constitutes three coarsening upward units (units 1, 2, and 3), comprising the Upper Red and Hezardarreh formations. Our data reveal that the Upper Red Formation was deposited between 17.5 and 7.5 Ma, while the depositional age of the top of the Hezardarreh Formation can be extrapolated to ∼6.2 Ma. Slow sediment accumulation rates correlate with sedimentary facies comprising prograding, coarsening-upward units. This is likely the result of intraforeland uplift (units 1 and 2) and basin inversion, probably associated with a growth syncline located in the proximal foreland (unit 3). In contrast, fine-grained strata at the bottom of each cycle are associated with faster sediment accumulation rates, testifying to enhanced flexural basin subsidence in the course of thrust loading. Progradation of coarse-grained facies also occurred during relatively fast sediment accumulation (top of unit 2), suggesting that the influx of coarse-grained sediment outpaced the storage capacity of the proximal foreland. Thus, despite an overall southward propagation of deformation into the southern Alborz foreland, the locus of active deformation must have migrated back and forth on a time scale of circa 0.7 to 2 Ma. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Ballato, P., Nowaczyk, N.R., Landgraf, A., Strecker, M.R., Friedrich, A., Tabatabaei, S.H. (2008). Tectonic control on sedimentary facies pattern and sediment accumulation rates in the Miocene foreland basin of the southern Alborz mountains, northern Iran. TECTONICS, 27(6), n/a-n/a [10.1029/2008TC002278].