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Synorogenic carbonate sedimentation in the Zagros Peripheral Foreland Basin: the Sinjar Formation in Sulaimani area, Iraqi Kurdistan region as a case study


This study is to recreate a tectonic and depositional model of the limestones which crop out in the southwest of Sulaimani City on an elongate homoclinic ridge of the Baranan Mountain oriented NW–SE. This has been accomplished by the incorporation of lithofacies and microfacies. The limestones are characterized by yellowish (milky) to bluish-gray, well-bedded to massive, fossiliferous-reefal limestone with gastropod and pelecypods. Ninety-five samples are gathered for petrographic study under the reflected light microscope, in addition to extensive field inspections in five sections. As a result, it appears that the marginal platform and associated facies dominated through the Late Paleocene-Early Eocene cycle, with coralgal boundstone and nummulitic grainstone on the platform build-up, fore-reef shoal algal bioclastic-nummulite, echinoid packstone on the platform edge, and lagoonal peloidal, miliolid, soritids, algal wackestone to packstone on the top platform. Furthermore, it was determined that the Sinjar Formation is synorogenic carbonate sedimentation that evolved as a shallow-water limestone on the distal part (forebulge) of the Paleogene Zagros Peripheral Foreland Basin. Mixed-supported conglomerate lenticular beds founded in marl and marly limestone of the uppermost part of the Sinjar Formation manifest a subsequent erosion of subaerial areas and shallowing upwards from the Sinjar (Khurmala) Formation to the Gercus Formation. Finally, the Tectonic configuration of Zagros Peripheral Foreland basins during Paleocene to Eocene is presented by the sedimentation of Red Bed Series (molasse facies) in the wedge-top, Kolosh Formation (turbiditic facies) in the foredeep, Sinjar Formation (carbonate facies) on the forebulge, and Aliji Formation (open marine facies) in the back-bulge depozones.

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Correspondence to Hemin Muhammad Hama Salih.

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Hama Salih, H.M., Baziany, M.M., Hama Salih, T.M. et al. Synorogenic carbonate sedimentation in the Zagros Peripheral Foreland Basin: the Sinjar Formation in Sulaimani area, Iraqi Kurdistan region as a case study. Arab J Geosci 15, 1716 (2022).

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  • Sinjar Formation
  • Zagros Foreland Basin
  • Synorogenic carbonate sedimentation
  • Baranan anticline
  • Iraqi Kurdistan Region