The mafic rocks along the North Tabriz Fault, possible remnants of Neo-Tethys oceanic crust in NW Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of geology, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

2 Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Potsdam Germany

3 Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Islamic Republic of Iran


The North Tabriz Fault is seismologically an active fault with current right lateral strike-slip movements. Restricted mafic to intermediate Late Cretaceous igneous rocks are exposed along the North Tabriz Fault. Whole rock samples and clinopyroxene phenocrysts geochemistry were studied in order to characterize the petrogenesis of these mafic rocks and their possible relation to an oceanic crust. The results indicate a tholeiitic parental magma that formed in an evolved mid- ocean ridge tectonic setting similar to the Iceland mid-Atlantic ridge basalts. The ocean floor basalt characteristics give evidence of an oceanic crust along the North Tabriz Fault. Therefore, the trend of the North Tabriz Fault more likely marks a suture zone related to the closure of a branch of the Neo-Tethys Ocean in the NW Iran. This fault, in addition to the Caucasus and Zagros suture zones, compensates an important part of the convergence between the Arabian and Eurasian plates resulting from the Red Sea divergence. It is concluded that the North Tabriz Fault appears to be possible southeastern continuation of the North Anatolian suture zone.


Article Title [Persian]