Surface and sub-surface study to interpret the paleo basin morphology during Hauterivian-Albian in Kurdistan Region and North-Iraq

Sirwan H. Ahmed, Amanj I. Fattah & Aram Namiq
Geology Department, University of Sulaimani, 1838, New campus, Bakhibakhtiary, Sulaimani, Iraq


The depositional basin shape configuration and evolution of western flank of the Neo-
Tethys can be modelization during Hauterivian-Albian depends on (1) detail study of the
outcrops in Northeastern Kurdistan and (2) seismic interpretation in the south and
western of Kurdistan-Iraq. During Hauterivian-Albian, the Kurdistan was a path through
series basin changes. Lateral and vertical facies changes are directly related to the (1)
final active rifting phase of the Tethys and (2) the Kurdistan was located on the western
margin of the depositional basin. During Hauterivian-Barremian, the northwestern flank
of the Tethys extends to the extreme northwestern of Iraq. The distribution facies of
shallow clastic (Zubair Formation) in the west inner-shelf facies in the center (Garague
Formation), outer-shelf Lower Sarmord Formation in the northeast of Kurdistan and
deep open-sea Balambo Formation in the extreme east of Kurdistan indicate the gentle
sloping of the Tethys. No exist (1) shallow facies between deep-facies, (2) Shallow to
deep facies change step by step regularly and (3) no any large scale extensional Syn-
depositional faults in the seismic lines are clearly indicate no any active graben formed
during this period. Consequently during Hauterivian-Berriasian most possibly the rift of
the Tethys was slow. The Aptian-Albian period is the time of development the reefal
platform that formed among deep-open sea and outer-shelf in the east and west
consequently. The N-S longitudinal large Qamchuqa Platform well developed with the
final opening of the Tethys. The Qamchuqa platform is the factor in terminating the
Hauterivian-Barremian outer-shelf and changed into the shallow basin in the west and
deep opens sea in the East. The fast vertically and laterally facies change without any
interruption of deposition indicate the active period of N-S extension faults
corresponding to the Tethys rifting. During Albian, the continuous development of the
Qamchuqa reefal platform and deep-open-sea in the east indicate nearly same situation
as much as Aptian time. But in the northwest and west, the dominant marly facies of
Upper Sarmord Formation developed that is deeper than shallow Shuaiba and Nahr
Omer formations. From the Seismic line and interpretation, we clearly identified the
NW-SE trend graben in the Kirkuk and Mosul area. Occur of the graben nearly
perpendicular to the main Qamchuqa reefal indicating of the development of the NW-SE
trending extension fault as a result of the flexibility of the Arabian Plate between final
steps of rifting and initiating the Arabia-Eurasia obduction event.

Key Words:

Sarmord Formation
Qamchuqa Formation
shallow facies
NW-SE graben


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