The stratigraphic and structural evolution of the Dzereg Basin, western Mongolia: Clastic sedimentation, transpressional faulting and basin destruction in an intraplate, intracontinental setting

J. P. Howard*, W. D. Cunningham, S. J. Davies, A. H. Dijkstra, G. Badarch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Dzereg Basin is an actively evolving intracontinental basin in the Altai region of western Mongolia. The basin is sandwiched between two transpressional ranges, which occur at the termination zones of two regional-scale dextral strike-slip fault systems. The basin contains distinct Upper Mesozoic and Cenozoic stratigraphic sequences that are separated by an angular unconformity, which represents a regionally correlative peneplanation surface. Mesozoic strata are characterized by northwest and south-southeast-derived thick clast-supported conglomerates (Jurassic) overlain by fine-grained lacustrine and alluvial deposits containing few fluvial channels (Cretaceous). Cenozoic deposits consist of dominantly alluvial fan and fluvial sediments shed from adjacent mountain ranges during the Oligocene-Holocene. The basin is still receiving sediment today, but is actively deforming and closing. Outwardly propagating thrust faults bound the ranges, whereas within the basin, active folding and thrusting occurs within two marginal deforming belts. Consequently, active fan deposition has shifted towards the basin centre with time, and previously deposited sediment has been uplifted, eroded and redeposited, leading to complex facies architecture. The geometry of folds and faults within the basin and the distribution of Mesozoic sediments suggest that the basin formed as a series of extensional half-grabens in the Jurassic-Cretaceous which have been transpressionally reactivated by normal fault inversion in the Tertiary. Other clastic basins in the region may therefore also be inherited Mesozoic depocentres. The Dzereg Basin is a world class laboratory for studying competing processes of uplift, deformation, erosion, sedimentation and depocentre migration in an actively forming intracontinental transpressional basin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-72
Number of pages28
JournalBasin Research
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE

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