The Mesozoic of Afghanistan

Christian Montenat
2009 GeoArabia  
This paper is a review of the geology of the widely distributed Mesozoic rocks of Afghanistan. The country is a mosaic of structural blocks in a variety of geodynamic settings that were juxtaposed during the evolution of the Tethyan Ocean; the Mesozoic sedimentary, volcanic, and plutonic rocks therefore differ greatly from one block to another. Because of the adverse security situation, fieldwork has not been possible since the late 1970s and the data used in this review are therefore
more » ... old but are the best available. Interest in the geology of Afghanistan remains strong due to its position between the mountain chains of the Middle East and the collisional ranges of the Pamirs and Himalayas. A special feature of Tethyan geodynamics is the presence of Cimmerian (latest Triassic to earliest Cretaceous) continental blocks, microcontinents, or terranes located between the Eurasian and Indian landmasses. They are fragments of Gondwana inserted between the Paleo- and Neo-Tethys during the Mesozoic. This complex part of the Tethyan realm is well exposed in Afghanistan where the effects of the Indo-Eurasian collision were less intense than in regions of frontal collision, such as the Pamir and Himalayan ranges. It is for this reason that Afghanistan is of particular geodynamic interest and a key region in the understanding of the genesis and evolution of the Tethyan system during the Mesozoic.
doi:10.2113/geoarabia1401147 fatcat:7yuk24donfbanbro3hpqxph6ku