Orogenic plateaus represent a prime example of the interplay between surface processes, climate, and tectonics. This kind of an interplay is thought to be responsible for the formation, preservation, and, ultimately, the destruction of a typical elevated, low-internal relief plateau landscape. Here, we document the timing of intermontane basin filling associated with the formation of a low-relief plateau morphology, followed by basin opening and plateau-flank incision in the northwestern Iranian Plateau of the Arabia-Eurasia collision zone. Our new U-Pb zircon ages from intercalated volcanic ashes in exposed plateau basin-fill sediments from the most external plateau basin (Mianeh Basin) document that the basin was internally drained at least between ∼7 and 4 Ma, and that from ∼5 to 4 Ma it was characterized by an ∼2-km-high and ∼0.5-km-deep lake (Mianeh paleolake), most likely as a result of wetter climatic conditions. At the same time, the eastern margin of the Mianeh Basin (and, therefore, of the Iranian Plateau) experienced limited tectonic activity, as documented by onlapping sediments and smoothed topography. The combination of high lake level and subdued topography at the plateau margin led to lake overspill, which resulted in the cutting of an ∼1-km-deep bedrock gorge (Amardos) by the Qezel-Owzan River (QOR) beginning at ∼4 Ma. This was associated with the incision of the plateau landscape and the establishment of fluvial connectivity with the Caspian Sea. Overall, our study emphasizes the interplay between surface and tectonic processes in forming, maintaining, and destroying orogenic plateau morphology, the transitional nature of orogenic plateau landscapes on timescales of 106 yr, and, finally, the role played by overspilling in integrating endorheic basins.

Heidarzadeh, G., Ballato, P., Hassanzadeh, J., Ghassemi, M.R., Strecker, M.R. (2017). Lake overspill and onset of fluvial incision in the Iranian Plateau: Insights from the Mianeh Basin. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 469, 135-147 [10.1016/j.epsl.2017.04.019].

Lake overspill and onset of fluvial incision in the Iranian Plateau: Insights from the Mianeh Basin

BALLATO, PAOLO;
2017-01-01

Abstract

Orogenic plateaus represent a prime example of the interplay between surface processes, climate, and tectonics. This kind of an interplay is thought to be responsible for the formation, preservation, and, ultimately, the destruction of a typical elevated, low-internal relief plateau landscape. Here, we document the timing of intermontane basin filling associated with the formation of a low-relief plateau morphology, followed by basin opening and plateau-flank incision in the northwestern Iranian Plateau of the Arabia-Eurasia collision zone. Our new U-Pb zircon ages from intercalated volcanic ashes in exposed plateau basin-fill sediments from the most external plateau basin (Mianeh Basin) document that the basin was internally drained at least between ∼7 and 4 Ma, and that from ∼5 to 4 Ma it was characterized by an ∼2-km-high and ∼0.5-km-deep lake (Mianeh paleolake), most likely as a result of wetter climatic conditions. At the same time, the eastern margin of the Mianeh Basin (and, therefore, of the Iranian Plateau) experienced limited tectonic activity, as documented by onlapping sediments and smoothed topography. The combination of high lake level and subdued topography at the plateau margin led to lake overspill, which resulted in the cutting of an ∼1-km-deep bedrock gorge (Amardos) by the Qezel-Owzan River (QOR) beginning at ∼4 Ma. This was associated with the incision of the plateau landscape and the establishment of fluvial connectivity with the Caspian Sea. Overall, our study emphasizes the interplay between surface and tectonic processes in forming, maintaining, and destroying orogenic plateau morphology, the transitional nature of orogenic plateau landscapes on timescales of 106 yr, and, finally, the role played by overspilling in integrating endorheic basins.
2017
Heidarzadeh, G., Ballato, P., Hassanzadeh, J., Ghassemi, M.R., Strecker, M.R. (2017). Lake overspill and onset of fluvial incision in the Iranian Plateau: Insights from the Mianeh Basin. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 469, 135-147 [10.1016/j.epsl.2017.04.019].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/318313
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