Online Public Lecture: Detrital Zircon and Rutile Geochronology, Geochemistry and Provenance of Cambrian Sandstones of Iranian Azerbaijan: Detrital Record of Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Gondwana Passive Margin

Date: 04 December 2020
December 4th, 2020, 5:00 pm (Tajikistan time, GMT+5)
Public Lecture

Mohssen Moazzen 
Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCA-Khorog 

Within the Tethyan belt, the NW Iranian block is bound by two sutures, Sevan-Akera suture in the north, and Zagros suture in the south. The Precambrian geology is poorly constrained. The studied Lower to Middle Cambrian sandstone is thick-bedded with cross-bedding and contains local heavy mineral concentrated lamina probably formed by hydraulic enrichment. The sandstone is overlain by Middle Cambrian dolomite and sandy dolomite. It is mainly litharenite and main heavy minerals are zircon, magnetite, rutile and apatite. Heavy mineral spectrum is supporting a bimodal sediment sourcing from felsic continental rocks and recycled orogenic provenance. Ages of the detrital zircons range from 524 to 2559 Ma, whereby the majority of zircons have ages between 524 and 1000 Ma (Neoproterozoic), and small peaks at 1500-1700, 1800-200 and 2400-2600 Ma. Mesoproterozoic zircons are wholly absent in the detrital record.  Detrital rutile has elevated Cr contents and variable Zr contents (88 to 1087ppm), suggesting derivation mainly from amphibolite-facies metabasic rocks. U-Pb rutile ages range from 600 to 900 Ma. Initial eHf values of the Neo-Proterozoic zircons range from -10 to 20, suggesting the association of highly depleted mantle and crustal magmas, probably formed in an active continental margin. Thus, the Lower- to Middle Cambrian sandstones in the Iranian Azerbaijan were fed from a Neoproterozoic igneous and metamorphic provenance. Whole-rock major and trace elements are in accordance with a detrital material provenance from continental granitoids and Precambrian recycled sediments. These results support the hypothesis that Iranian Azerbaijan Cambrian detritus was supplied from the East African Orogeny and deposited in a passive margin setting in northern Gondwana land.

Prof. Solmaz Mohadjer
Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCA-Khorog  

Lecture Format
This lecture will be conducted online via Zoom video conferencing on Friday, December 4th, at 5:00 pm (Tajikistan time, GMT+5) at
Meeting ID: 825 0759 1455
Passcode: 561711

The online lecture will be delivered in English.

About Prof. Mohssen Moazzen 
Prof. Moazzen's research focus is on the application of petrology, geochemistry and mineralogy to study the geodynamics of the Earth's crust, mantle petrology and evolution of the mountain belts. Also, he has carried on research on mineral resources, especially porphyry copper, gold and molybdenum deposits from a geodynamic perspective. 

Before joining UCA, he served as a Professor at the University of Tabriz (Iran), was a Post-Doctorate Fellow at the University of Manchester (UK), an Associate Researcher at Potsdam University (Germany), and a Research Professor at the Wollongong University (Australia). He holds a Ph.D. from the Manchester University.

Past online lectures are available on the University of Central Asia's YouTube channel at

Ideas presented in this lecture reflect the personal opinion of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Central Asia and/or its employees.
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