Sketch outlining the main tectonic and lithostratigraphic units of the Northern Emirates. a Relationship between the autochtonous foreland of the Arabian plate and the para autochtonous units of the Munsandam units. Note the pre-existing Hormuz salt diapir and the triangle zone at the front of the Munsandam units. b Relationship between the allochtonous slope and basin units (Sumeini and Hawasina) and the para autochtonous Munsandam group, below the ophiolitic bodies. Field work and diagenetic studies were focused on the Musandam Platform carbonates (parautochthonous platform unit), with very limited sampling along the sole thrust of the Hawasina–Sumeini allochthon. Both the autochthonous Arabian foreland and the Hawasina–Sumeini allochthon, which are tectonically located below and above the Musandam Platform unit, respectively, have also been investigated by means of subsurface data, and integrated in the regional structural section D4 used as the main input data for the modelling
Most of the field work and sampling aimed at studying Jurassic
carbonates of the Musandam Group and Lower Cretaceous carbonates of
the Thamama Group (up to Aptian) along the seismic transect D4
(Fig. 3a, Roure et al.
in the Dibba zone, where paleo-slope (Sumeini) units and more
distal basinal (Hawasina) units are locally exposed between the
Arabian foreland and the Musandam Platform carbonate unit in the
one hand, and the Semail Ophiolite (paleo-oceanic unit) in the
other hand (Figs. 2 and 3b). .
The main tectono-statigraphic units cropping out in the Northern
Emirates comprise, from west to east and from bottom to top
(Figs. 2 and 3): 1.
A foreland autochthon, made up of the Precambrian substratum, a
Paleozoic to Lower Cretaceous (up to Aptian) carbonate platform,
which belongs to the former passive margin of the Arabian plate
(Eilrich and Grötsch 2003), and an overlying Late Cretaceous to
Neogene flexural sequence (Fig. 3a).
A frontal triangle zone, which developed during the Neogene
(Fig. 3a), and where deep duplexes made up of platform
carbonates are progressively stacked in an out-of-sequence mode,
resulting in the refolding of the former sole thrust of the
Hawasina–Sumeini allochthon (Fig. 3a and b).
The Dibba Zone, which comprises a complex stack of Hawasina
units, made up of Triassic to Cretaceous basinal series, and of
Sumeini units, made up of dominantly Lower to Middle Cretaceous
paleo-slope units (Fig. 3b, Graham 1980a, 1980b; Lippard et
Permian to Early Cretaceous: during this pre-deformation stage,
the Arabian margin was built up by a platform (current foreland and
Musandam thrust unit), a slope (now part of the Sumeini allochthon)
and a basinal domain (currently stacked within the Hawasina
allochthon; Fig. 3).
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