Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Exploration and Production Division, Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Planktonic foraminifera and major palynomorph groups (i.e. terrestrial, marine, and amorphous organic matter) of the Campanian-Selandian strata of the Gurpi Formation were studied to evaluate the changes in the Zagros paleobasin in southwestern Iran. Planktonic foraminifera were categorized into four morphotypes according to their paleodepth, extending from Morphotype 1, comprising surface generalists, to Morphotype 4, comprising deep-water aphotic heterotrophic species. The relative amount of species belonging to Morphotype 4 is noticeable in the Campanian-Maastrichtian. It shows that the depth of the basin was generally greater than 200 m in the Late Cretaceous. Two major sea-level regressional phases could be recognized during the formation deposition. The first one occurred near the middle of the Maastrichtian in the Contusotruncana contusa Biozone, during which the relative abundance of terrestrial palynomorphs increased prominently, and the species belonging to Morphotype 4 became notably rare. This regression correlates well with the eustatic curves, suggesting that it was controlled by global factors. Also, the species belonging to Morphotype 4 disappeared in the Danian, the relative abundance of terrestrial palynomorphs increased, and the relative abundance of planktonic foraminifera (P%) decreased prominently. However, this regression does not correlate with the eustatic curves and indicates that local tectonic events should be considered. The palynofacies study of the strata shows that during the Campanian-Maastrichtian, the strata were deposited in a deep suboxic-anoxic setting (Palynofacies IX), whereas the Danian strata were deposited in a shallow-shelf setting (Palynofacies VI). The studies show that during the Selandian, the depth of the basin increased again.

Keywords