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Brew, G. E., Best, J., Barazangi, M., and Sawaf, T.

Tectonic evolution of the northeast Palmyride mountain belt, Syria: the Bishri crustal block

Journal of the Geological Society, London 160, 677-685, 2003


Investigating the Bishri block, centrally positioned amid the diverse tectonic and structural zones of Syria, reveals details of the intraplate Phanerozoic development of the northern Arabian platform. The Bishri block is a broad northeast plunging inverted basin located at the northeast portion of the Palmyride mountain belt where the mountains intersect the Euphrates fault system. Well and seismic data show that subsidence and sedimentation in the Bishri area was generally continuous from Carboniferous to Palaeocene time, with the Bishri block part of the extensive Palmyride / Sinjar trough. Major bounding faults and a rift-type environment are documented in the Permo-Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. The present Bishri structural and topographic high has been formed through transpressive structural inversion since the Middle Miocene; high-angle Mesozoic bounding normal faults now have net reverse offsets with a significant dextral strike-slip component. East of the Bishri block, towards the Euphrates fault system, north-northwest - south-southeast striking normal faults exhibit less reverse movement. This deformation history correlates with the opening and closing of the nearby NeoTethys ocean that has driven the evolution of the intracontinental Syria.

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Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2003 The Geological Society of London

This material has been published in The Journal of the Geological Society, London 160, 677-685, 2003, the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by the Geological Society of London.

Key Figures and Captions

Figure 5. Maps showing schematic tectonic evolution of the NE Palmyrides (left) area and regional setting (right). Area shown at left for each time step represents the area shown in Figure 2. Location and orientation of faults are schematically illustrated together with areas of most deposition. The maps at the right show a generalized plate tectonic setting of the northern Arabian platform at each time step.

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