WNW-directed obduction of the Batain Group on the E-Oman continental margin at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary.

G. Schreurs, A.M. Immenhauser

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    The Batain coast area in eastern Oman is dominated by allochthonous Permian to Late Maastrichtian sedimentary and volcanic rocks (Batain Group), unconformably overlain by neoautochthonous Tertiary sediments. The allochthonous rocks of the Batain coast were previously attributed to the Hawasina complex, the Permian to Coniacian/Santonian sedimentary infill of the neo-Tethyan Hawasina basin off northern Oman. Previous structural interpretations suggested that the Batain Group, along with the Hawasina complex and the Semail ophiolite, was obducted in the Coniacian to Campanian from NE to SW onto the northern Oman continental margin. Results of our work in the Batain area differ from previous interpretations, with most significant differences concerning timing and direction of obduction. Our results show that WNW directed tectonic movements formed a fold-and-thrust belt and led to the obduction of allochthonous rocks onto the east Oman continental margin during latest Maastrichtian/earliest Paleocene times. This is coeval with emplacement of ophiolitic fragments along the eastern coast of Oman (eastern ophiolite belt) but is about 15-20 Myr later than emplacement of Hawasina complex and Semail ophiolite in northern Oman. Postemplacement structural evolution during the Tertiary involved intraplate extension, possibly reflecting the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden opening, and late Tertiary shortening related to convergence between Arabia and Eurasia. Late Tertiary contractional deformation resulted in refolding of the Batain nappes and in folding of the overlying Tertiary sediments. A palinspastic reconstruction of the Batain area indicates that the Permian to Upper Cretaceous sediments were formerly deposited in the Batain basin, a part of the proto-Indian Ocean, along the present-day eastern Oman margin. This leads us to propose that Permian breakup of Gondwanaland created both continental margins of Oman and led to the opening of two major basins: the neo-Tethyan Hawasina basin in the north and the proto-Indian Ocean Batain basin in the east, the latter separating Arabia from greater India.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)148-160
    Number of pages14
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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