The occurrence of uplifted crust marginal to linear belts of depressed crust forming intermountain basins like that of Clinton Lake, British Columbia, (Renaut 1994); the Salar Grande in the Altiplano "Puna" Plateau of the northern Chilean Andes (Alonso et al. 1991); Eastern Californian Death Valley (Spencer and Roberts 1998; and Roberts and Spencer 1998); Mongolia (David and Nicholas 1994); and Xinjiang (Jiang 1991)
The occurrence of internal drainage and/or limited access to open ocean waters as can be seen in the Aral Sea (Rubanov and Bogdanova 1987); Caspian Sea (Dzens-Litovskiy and Vasil'yev 1973); the early South (Trayner et al 1992) and North Atlantic (Carswell et al. 1990; Tanner 1995; El-Tabakh et al. 1997; and Koning 1998), Late Triassic and Early Jurassic of Gulf of Mexico (Cheong et al. 1992).
The Mesozoic sediments of the northern Atlantic (Carswell et al. 1990; Tanner 1995; El-Tabakh et al. 1997; and Koning 1998) exhibit the presence of an isolated linear belt of interior drainage with a limited or restricted entrance to the sea (Figure 1). Regional drainage tended to flow away from breakup margins and the air system was that of the arid tropics. There was a wide envelope of surrounding continents. Other similar extensional evaporite basins include the Mesozoic of the northern Gulf of Mexico (Cheong et al. 1992); the Mesozoic of the South Atlantic margins (Trayner et al 1992); the Mesozoic of the Yemen rift belt (Youssef 1998, Csato 1998; Csato and Kendall, 1997); the Mesozoic and Tertiary of Eritrea; the East African Rift; the Dead Sea (Neeve and Emery 1967; Kendall and Harwood 1996; Csato et al. 1997), and so on. Evaporite generation during collision of continental plates
The current Arabian Gulf and the underlying Late Mesozoic to Tertiary of the area (Murris 1980), the Fars of Iran (Buchbinder 1995; Aqrawi 1993; and Kashfi 1980) are stratigraphic sections that represent prime examples of a linearly depressed intercontinental compressional zone that has a history punctuated by limited access to the sea and repeated desert climates (Figure 2). This sea represents an isolated linear belt of interior drainage with a restricted entrance to the open ocean. Regional drainage tends to flow into the Arabian Gulf and the air system is that of the arid tropics. There is a wide envelope formed by the surrounding subcontinents of Arabia and Asia Minor.
Other comparable examples from collision margins include sections of the Silurian of the Michigan basin, which is situated on the Cratonic interior landward of the Appalachian Foreland basin (Briggs and Lucas 1954; Briggs and Briggs 1974; Nurmi and Friedman 1974; Gill et al. 1978; Shaver 1991); the Devonian of Western Canada and the Northwest USA where the sediments collected in the Cratonic interior landward of the Cordilleran Foreland basin (Whittaker and Mountjoy 1996; Kendall 1978; Wardlaw and Reinson 1971; and Klingspor 1969); the Pennsylvanian of the Paradox basin which is located in the Cratonic interior landward of the Cordilleran Foreland basin (Kendall 1988; Williams-Stroud 1994); the Permian of New Mexico and west Texas, which is located in the Cratonic interior landward of the Marathon Foreland basin (Ward et al. 1986); the Permian of the Zechstein basin which is located in the Cratonic interior landward of the Alpine Foreland basin (Strohmenger et al. 1996; Smith 1980; Wagner et al 1981; Goodall et al 1991); the Jurassic of the Neuquen basin of Argentina located in the Cratonic interior landward of the Andean Foreland basin (Barrio 1990); the Tertiary of the Mediterranean, which is a basin trapped when oceanic crust was caught between Africa and the Alpine chain (Schreiber 1975); and the Mesozoic and Tertiary of the final phases of the Tethys Sea where the Cratonic interior lies landward of the Alpine/Himalayan Foreland basin in the Caspian Sea (Dzens-Litovskiy and Vasil'yev 1973) and Aral Sea (Rubanov and Bogdanova 1987).
In contrast to the above examples are the Late Paleozoic Khuff Formation of Saudi Arabia (Charara et al. 1991; Al-Jallal 1991, Stump and van der Eem 1994; and Al-Aswad 1997) and the UAE and Oman (Murris 1980) (Figure 3) and early Mesozoic Arab D and Hith Anhydrite Formations of Saudi Arabia, southern Kuwait, and western Iran (Murris 1980; Alsharhan and Magara 1994; and De Matos 1994) (Figure 4).
strata.org/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Load.ashx?type=image&file=anchor.gif); background-repeat: no-repeat;">(Figure 4) Setting of the Late Jurassic Arab D and Hith Anhydrite formations of Saudi Arabia (Golonka et al 1994) which contain evaporites formed when barriers were formed by the movement of what was an original Hercynian horst and block terrain adjacent to the southern shore of the Tethys Ocean and the accumulation of sediment over them. These barriers limited access to the sea punctuating the geological record with evaporites when there was an associated occurrence of repeated desert climates. These bodies of the seawater occurred as isolated linear belts of interior drainage with restricted entrance to the open Tethys Ocean. Regional drainage probably tended to flow into this basin, and the air system was that of the arid tropics. There was a wide envelope formed by the surrounding subcontinents of Arabia and Africa.
In both these cases the sedimentary sections of the Arabian Gulf contain evaporites formed when barriers were formed by the movement of what was an original Hercynian horst and block terrain adjacent to the southern shore of the Tethys Ocean. These barriers accumulated sediment over them and limited access to the sea. This lead to the punctuation of the geological record with evaporites when there was an associated occurrence of repeated desert climates. These bodies of the seawater occurred as isolated linear belts of interior drainage with restricted entrance to the open Tethys Ocean. Regional drainage probably tended to flow into this basin, and the air system was that of the arid tropics. There was a wide envelope formed by the surrounding subcontinents of Arabia and Africa.
Another comparable feature is that of the Lower Cretaceous Ferry Lake Anhydrite of Alabama and Florida (Raymond 1995), which formed behind a carbonate barrier with limited access to the Gulf of Mexico.
The recognition of the strong tie between plate setting and climate can be used to predict the occurrence of evaporites in desert settings. The water resources in these areas of rain shadow and their proximity to the continental margins of lakes and narrow marine bodies match those of the past and lead to the accumulation of evaporites. Here the earth's geologic record provides a strong message that the effects of desertification suggest that evaporites occur in settings associated with the initial phases of continental break up and continental collision.
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