Palaeogeographical peculiarities of the Pabdeh Formation (Paleogene) in Iran: New evidence of global diversity-determined geological heritage

Habibi T., Nielsen J. K. , Ponedelnik A. A. , Ruban D. A.

JOURNAL OF AFRICAN EARTH SCIENCES, vol.135, pp.24-33, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Unique palaeogeographical peculiarities of sedimentary formations are important for geological heritage conservation and use for the purposes of tourism. The heritage value of the Pabdeh Formation (Paleocene -Oligocene) of the Zagros Fold-Thrust Belt in Iran has been investigated. The uniqueness of its palaeogeographical peculiarities has been assessed on the basis of the literature, field studies of three representative sections in the Fars Province (Kavar, Zanjiran, and Shahneshin sections), and comparison with the similar features known in Iran and globally. The Pabdeh Formation reflects the process of mixed siliciclastic-carbonate ramp progradation and the onset of a typical carbonate platform. The other unique features include representation of mesopelagic palaeohabitat, specific trace fossil assemblages, prehistoric bituminous artefacts (production of which was linked to the Pabdeh deposits), etc. It is established that the palaeogeographical type of geological heritage of the Pabdeh Formation is represented by all known subtypes, namely facies, palaeoecosystem, ichnological, taphonomical, event, and geo-archaeological subtypes. Their rank varies between regional and global. The very fact of co-occurrence of these subtypes determines the global importance of the entire palaeogeographical type in the case of this formation. The establishment of geopark in the Zagros Fold-Thrust Belt will facilitate adequate use of the Pabdeh Formation for the purpose of geotourism development. The aesthetic properties (rocks of different colour and striped patterns of outcrops) increase the attractiveness of this geological body to visitors. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.