Makran, SE Iran, exposes one of the biggest and still active accretionary complexes. Along with the linked Sistan Branch, it is part of the convergence zone between the Arabian and Eurasian plates since at least the Late Cretaceous. The essentially Eocene-Holocene wedge results from the on-going subduction of the oceanic lithosphere flooring the Gulf of Oman. This project integrates numerical modelling with geological fieldwork in the study of tectonic and surface processes.
The essentially Eocene–Holocene wedge results from the on-going subduction of the oceanic lithosphere flooring the Gulf of Oman. A north-dipping thrust near the present shoreline separates an active and frontal southern half from a less active northern half. Our project aims to solve critical questions that emerged from field results concerning both the anatomy of the wedge and the wedge mechanics. These questions include the early, Cretaceous to Palaeogene history of the wedge and its geodynamic context at that time as well as the influence of surface processes on thrust wedges, which has drawn increasing attention only during recent years: Experimental studies have tested the effects of syntectonic erosion and sedimentation on the mass distribution in the wedge and thus its geometry and evolution. However, these models do not satisfactorily explain the geometries of growth strata, their relation to thrusting, and the influence that growing structures exert on wedge dynamics.This project integrates tectonic numerical modelling with geological fieldwork, applying different dating techniques and provenance analysis to study the long term coupling between tectonic and surface processes in a shallow-dipping subduction system. Outcomes already started clarifying the Tertiary geodynamics of the little studied Makran and Sistan, and the junction area. We want to draw a closer picture of accretionary wedge dynamics, using numerical models, and its stratigraphic development, using precise zircon dating and provenance analysis of the voluminous turbiditic sequences.