We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Detrital Zircon Age Constraints on the Evolution of Paleo‐Tethys in NE Iran: Implications for Subduction and Collision Tectonics

Chu, Yang and Wan, Bo and Allen, Mark B. and Chen, Ling and Lin, Wei and Talebian, Morteza and Xin, Guangyao (2021) 'Detrital Zircon Age Constraints on the Evolution of Paleo‐Tethys in NE Iran: Implications for Subduction and Collision Tectonics.', Tectonics, 40 (8). e2020TC006680.


The timings of the onset of oceanic spreading, subduction and collision are crucial in plate reconstructions, but not always straightforward to resolve. The Paleo-Tethys evolution dominated the Paleozoic-Early Mesozoic tectonics of West Asia, but the timeline of events is still poorly constrained. We present new detrital zircon ages from the Binalud Mountains of NE Iran, in order to determine the timing of tectonic events in the region, and the wider implications for regional tectonics, paleogeography and climate change. Consistent age patterns in Paleozoic clastic rocks show a dominant provenance from the Neoproterozoic basement of northern Gondwana. We interpret this as deposition on a long-lasting passive continental margin after the initial spreading of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. Central Iran-Eurasia collision caused coarse clastic deposition of the Mashhad Phyllite in a peripheral foreland basin on the Paleozoic sequence of the northern Central Iran Block. The Mashhad Phyllite yields age clusters at 450–250 Ma and 1,900–1,800 Ma, with a clear provenance from a long-lived continental arc at the active Eurasian margin since the latest Ordovician. Analysis of the age spectra allows us to constrain the maximum depositional age of the Mashhad Phyllite as no later than 228 Ma. This age provides a tight constraint on the timing of initial collision between Central Iran and Eurasia, which also coincides with the Carnian Pluvial Event (CPE). Our new timing evidence of collision reinforces the previous speculation on the Paleo-Tethys closure as a causal mechanism for the CPE.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2021. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Date accepted:15 July 2021
Date deposited:31 January 2022
Date of first online publication:12 August 2021
Date first made open access:12 February 2022

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar