Sequence stratigraphy of Cenomanian-Turonian carbonate platform margins (Sarvak Formation) in the High Zagros, SW Iran: An outcrop reference model for the Arabian Plate

P. Razin, F. Taati, F. S.P. van Buchem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


A high resolution sequence stratigraphic model has been constructed for the mid-Cretaceous Sarvak Formation (in the High Zagros region of SW Iran) which was deposited close to the eastern margin of the Arabian Plate. The exceptional outcrop quality, displaying the detailed facies patterns in the transition zone from carbonate platform to intra-shelf basin, offers the rare opportunity to distinguish between the relative control of carbonate sediment supply (S) and accommodation (A) on the depositional geometries of third- and fourth-order depositional sequences. Four third-order sequences have been distinguished in the Sarvak Formation, with a duration varying between 1.5 and 3 Ma, and a thickness of 50-150 m. These are in turn composed of fourth- and fifth-order sequences that form the stratigraphic building blocks of this carbonate system. A significant distinction has been made in the third-order sequences between the early transgression (e-TST) when the system was still flat, and corresponds to a ramp setting, and the late transgression (l-TST) when the carbonate platform to intra-shelf basin topography was created. The rate of accommodation creation is identified as the dominant factor controlling the morphology of the depositional profile, and, as such, the driving motor behind the dynamics of this type of carbonate system. The dip angle of the depositional profile has a major influence on: (1) the hydrodynamics of the system; (2) the type of carbonate sediment; and (3) the volume of carbonate sediment produced. A good correlation with the third-order sequences of the Natih Formation in Oman is demonstrated, which supports a dominant control by eustatic sea-level changes and a similar response of the carbonate system to changes in the rate of sea-level rise on the southern part of the Arabian Plate. This outcrop analogue can be considered as a good reference model for the Cenomanian-Turonian carbonate platform margins of the Arabian Plate, but also as a textbook example of the response of carbonate systems to sea-level fluctuations (relative influence of accommodation and sediment supply). © The Geological Society of London 2010.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-218
Number of pages32
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
StatePublished - Aug 31 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2022-09-15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Geology


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