Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Volumen 69, núm. 1, 2017, p. 59 ‒ 85

Biostratigraphy and paleoecology of the Oligo-Miocene Asmari Formation in the Izeh zone (Zagros Basin, SW Iran)

Mohammad Reza Taheri1,*, Hossein Vaziri-Mogaddam1, Azizollah Taheri2, Ali Ghabeishavi3

1 Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, 81746-73441, Iran.
2 Geology Department, Faculty of Earth Science, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran.
3 National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC), Ahwaz, 61735-1333, Iran.

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In this study, biostratigraphy and paleoecology of the Asmari Formation have been investigated. The study area is located in the Izeh zone, Zagros Basin. Four outcrop sections (Halayjan, Kuh Shur, Kuh-e Bad and Gharibi Ha) have been sampled. Based on distribution of the larger benthic and planktonic foraminifera, five assemblage zones have been recognized. Assemblages 1 and 2 indicate Chattian; assemblage 3 is restricted to Aquitanian and assemblages 4 and 5 suggest Burdigalian. During the Chattian, the carbonate deposits of the Asmari Formation are mostly composed of coralline red algae and large and flat benthic foraminifera. The common components of the Aquitanian are abundant imperforate foraminifera and Favreina asmaricus. The Burdigalian is characterized by coral, coralline algae, and perforate and imperforate foraminifera. During the Burdigalian toward the SE of study area (Gharibi Ha section), the shallow water deposits are abruptly overlain by pelagic limestone. It is interpreted as the result of a regional tilting that started in the upper part of the Burdigalian.

The biotic associations suggest that carbonate sedimentation occurred in tropical to subtropical waters under oligotrophic to mesotrophic conditions. The carbonate grain associations in the Asmari Formation suggest heterozoan association. According to paleoecological parameters (such as: nutrient, depth, light and salinity) in the study area, the Asmari Formation belongs to nannofor—foralgal to foramol association which were deposited in slightly hyper to normal saline environment. In the euphotic zone, abundant imperforate foraminifera are present. Basinward, lens shaped rotalids developed in mesophotic conditions, and large lepidocyclinid–nummulitids characterize the sediments of the deeper oligophotic zone.

Keywords: Asmari Formation, Oligocene–Miocene, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, larger benthic foraminifera, Zagros Basin.