The Kuh-e-Faghan strike-slip fault system (KFF), located to the northern edge of the Lut Block in central Iran, developed through a Neogene-Quaternary pulsed history of eastward fault propagation and fault-related exhumation. This system is a consequence of the residual stresses transmitted from the Arabia-Eurasia convergent plate boundary. Here we integrate structural and textural analysis with new and previously published apatite fission-track (AFT) and apatite (U-Th)/He (apatite He) results, chlorite thermomentry, and hematite (U-Th)/He data from hematite-coated brittle fault surfaces to constrain the timing of tectonic activity and refine patterns of late Miocene-Pliocene burial and exhumation associated with the propagation of the KFF. Twenty-nine hematite (U-Th)/He (hematite He) dates from three striated hematite coated slip surfaces from the KFF fault core and damage zone yield individual dates from ~12–2 Ma. Petrographic analysis and chlorite thermometry of a polyphase, fossil fluid system in the KFF fault core document that fluid circulation and mineralization transitioned from a closed system characterized by pressure solution and calcite growth to an open system characterized by hot hydrothermal (T = 239 ± 10 °C) fluids and hematite formation. Hematite microtextures and grain size analysis reveal primary and secondary syntectonic hematite fabrics, no evidence of hematite comminution and similar hematite He closure temperatures (~60–85 °C) in each sample. Integration of these results with thermal history modeling of AFT and apatite He data shows that KFF activity in the late Miocene is characterized by an early stage of fault nucleation, fluid circulation, hematite mineralization, and eastward propagation not associated with vertical movement that lasted from ~12 to 7 Ma. Hematite He, AFT, and apatite He data track a second phase of fault system activity involving fault-related exhumation initiating at ~7 Ma and continuing until present time. Our new data constrain the onset of the recognized Late Miocene-Pliocene tectonic reorganization in north-central Iran.
Tectonophysics – Elsevier
Published: Mar 20, 2018
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