Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

The Tectonic and Structural Classifications of the Western Part of the Zagros Fold and Thrust Belt, North Iraq, Review and Discussion

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  • Abstract

    The Zagros fold and thrust belt represents a tectonically significant area, and one of the richest areas in oil and gas reservoirs in the world. The Zagros fold and thrust belt is the deformational product of the Cretaceous-present day convergence of the Arabian and Iranian (Eurasian) plates (subduction and collision). The belt extends more than 2000 km from southern Turkey through the north and northeastern Iraq to the Strait of Hormuz in southwestern Iran. The Zagros fold and thrust belt is divided into two parts which are; Western part within Iraqi region and Eastern part within Iranian region. The western part of the Zagros fold and thrust belt has been traditionally subdivided into several structural zones that are generally striking parallel to the plate boundary. This is characterized by exposure of Late Ordovician to Pliocene - Pliestocene formations with different types of Quaternary Sediments. This research will concentrate on Western part of Zagros fold and thrust belt and the styles of structural classifications, which will aid to clarify and better understand the tectonic and structural history and evolution of the region. We have considered the last version of structural classification as the most relevant one to the reality, especially within outer platform (Unstable shelf). Where it divides the region into four structural zones, which are: Low Folded zone, High Folded Zone, Imbricate Zone, and Zagros Suture Zone and these zones were further divided to several subzones. This classification is based on the structural style and intensity of deformation, stratigraphy, mechanicalstratigraphy and tectono-stratigraphy of the deformed sequences, Age of deformation, surface physiography and morphology. The data used in the classification is more reliable, up to date and relevant.

    Keywords: Tectonic, Classification, Western Zagros Belt, North Iraq