Geological and Environmental Engineering | Article | Published 2012-12-05

The North Nuratau Fault Zone, Uzbekistan—Structure and evolution of a Palaeozoic Suture Zone

Publisher: Elsevier
Collection: Journal of Geodynamics
Keywords: Fault Seismics Uzbekistan Palaeozoic


The Nuratau Fault Zone in eastern Uzbekistan forms part of the western prolongation of the Tien Shan, an extensive orogenic zone located along the margin of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. The Nuratau region is geologically complex, forming part of the suture zone between the Kazakh-Kyrgyz continent and the Alai microcontinent. A model is proposed suggesting modified N-directed subduction model, where an extensive fold-and-thrust belt developed in the Nuratau region. This, coupled with significant transform activity would have resulted in major segmentation of the existing stratigraphy in the region, as well as the development of a foredeep basin to the north of the fold-and-thrust belt. Regional suturing and collision was variable. Indeed, the collisional history probably involved multi-phase subduction/accretion of various microcontinents, ancient island arcs, and fragments of oceanic islands. Final collision would have produced an eroding basinal high in the region of the Nuratau mountains, which issued sediment both northwards into the remnant basin of the Turkestan Ocean, but also to the south into the newly forming Amu Darya Basin.


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