Document Type : Original Paper


1 Department of Sedimentary Basins and Petroleum, Facaulty of Earth Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University

2 Department of Sedimentary Basins and Petroleum, Facaulty of Earth Sciences,Shahid Beheshti University

3 National Iranian Oil Company, exploration directorate, Tehran

4 Earth Science instute of Jaume Almera, Barcelona, Spain


The Dehdasht Structural Basin, at the boundary of the southern Dezful Embayment and the Izeh Zone, is bordered by large anticlines with Cretaceous to Oligo-Miocene outcrops above hidden basement faults. The drainage system within the Dehdasht Structural Basin and the surrounding is considerably influenced by growth of the Gachsaran diapiric anticlines and salt extrusions and of the boundary anticlines. The Bangestan anticline in the NW of the basin uplifted 655 m since the Maroon River was diverted. Comparing the uplifts recorded in the topography of the large anticlines which are related to the Mountain Front Fault, to their structural amplitudes shows that the Khaviz anticline on the southern Dehdasht Structural Basin has more recent activity than the Bangestan and the Kuh-e-Siah anticlines. Variations of the local base levels along these anticlines with regards to their recent uplift values suggest 30 to 45% contribution of the  thrust faults on their forelimb in the active deformation of the structures bounding the Dehdasht Structural Basin.


Alvarez W. Drainage on evolving fold thrust belts: a study of transverse canyons in the Apennines. Basin Research. 1999; 11: 267–284.

Bretis B, Bartl N, Grasemann B. Lateral fold growth and linkage in the Zagros fold and thrust belt (Kurdistan, NE Iraq). Basin Research. 2011; 23: 615–630.

Burbank DW, Meigs A, Brozovic N. Interactions of growing folds and coeval depositional systems. Basin Research. 1996; 8: 199–223.

Walker RT, Ramsey LA, Jackson J. Geomorphic evidence for ancestral drainage patterns in the Zagros Simple Folded Zone and growth of the Iranian plateau. Geological Magazine. 2011; 148 (5–6): 901–910.

Delcaillau B, Carozza JM, Laville E. Recent fold growth and drainage development: The Janauri and Chandigarh anticlines in the Siwalik foothills, northwest India. Geomorphology. 2006; 76: 241-256.

Burbank DW and Anderson RS. Tectonic Geomorphology. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford. 2001; 270 p.

Jackson J, Norris R, Youngson J. The structural evolution of active fault and fold systems in central Otago, New Zealand: Evidence revealed by drainage patterns. Journal of Structural Geology. 1996; 18: 217-234.

Burbank DW, McLean JK, Bullen M, Abdrakhmatov KY, Miller MM. Partitioning of intermontane basins by thrust-related folding, Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan. Basin Research.1999; 11: 75-92.

Allen M, Jackson JA, Walker R. Late Cenozoic reorganization of the Arabia–Eurasia collision and the comparison of short-term and long-term deformation rates. Tectonics. 2004; 23.

Homke S, Vergés J, Garcés M, Emami H, Karpuz R. Magnetostratigraphy of Miocene–Pliocene Zagros foreland deposits in the front of the Pusht-e Kush Arc (Lurestan Province, Iran). Earth and Planetary Science Letters.2004; 225: 397–410.

Mouthereau F, Tensi J, Bellahsen N, Lacombe O, De Boisgrollier T, Kargar S. Tertiary sequence of deformation in a thin-skinned/thick-skinned collision belt: the Zagros Folded Belt (Fars, Iran). Tectonics. 2007; 26: TC5006.

Berberian M. Master “blind” thrust faults hidden under the Zagros folds: active basement tectonics and surface tectonics surface morphotectonics. Tectonophysics. 1995; 241: 193–224.

Mann CD and Vita-Finzi C. Holocene serial folding in the Zagros. In: Audley-Charles M.G., and Hallam A. (eds), Gondwana and Tethys. Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. 1988; 37: 51-59.

Walpersdorf A, Hatzfeld D, Nankali H, Tavakoli F, Nilforoushan F, Tatar M, Vernant P, Chery J, Masson F. Difference in the GPS deformation pattern of North and Central Zagros (Iran). Geophysical Journal International. 2006; 167: 1077 – 1088.  

Oveisi B, Lavé J, Van Der Beek PA. Rates and processes of active folding evidenced by Pleistocene terraces at the central Zagros front (Iran). In: Lacombe, O., Lavé J., Roure F. & Vergés J. (eds), Thrust Belts and Foreland Basins, Springer-Verlag “Frontiers in Earth Sciences” Series, New York. 2007; 265–285.

Bahrami S. Analyzing the drainage system anomaly of Zagros basins: Implications for active tectonics. Tectonophysics.2013; 608: 914-928.

Mouthereau F, Lacombe O, Vergés J. Building the Zagros collisional orogen: Timing, strain distribution and the dynamics of Arabia/Eurasia plate convergence. Tectonophysics. 2012; 532-535: 27-60.

Ramsey LA, Walker RT, Jackson J. Fold evolution and drainage development in the Zagros mountains of Fars province, southeast Iran. Basin Research. 2008; 20: 23–48.

Heydarzadeh K, Ruh J, Vergés J, Hajialibeigi H, Gharabeigli Gh. Evolution of a structural basin: Numerical modelling applied to the Dehdasht Basin, Central Zagros, Iran. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 2020; 187: 104088.

Sepehr M and Cosgrove JW. The role of major fault zones in controlling the geometry and spatial organization of structures in the Zagros Fold-Thrust Belt. In: Ries A.C., Butler R.W.H. and Graham R.H. (eds), Deformation of the Continental Crust: The Legacy of Mike Coward. Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. 2007; 272: 419436.  

Najafi M, Vergés J, Etemad-Saeed N, Karimnejad HR. Folding, thrusting and diapirism: Competing mechanisms for shaping the structure of the north Dezful Embayment, Zagros, Iran. Basin Research.2018; 30: 1200–1229.

Sherkati S and Letouzey J. Variation of structural style and basin evolution in the central Zagros (Izeh zone and Dezful Embayment) Iran. Marine and Petroleum Geology. 2004; 21: 535–554.

O'Brien CAE. Tectonic problems of the oil field belt of southwest Iran. Proceedings of 18th International Geological Congress, London. 1950; Part 6: 45–58.

Khadivi V. Structural analysis of the Kuh-e-Siah anticline and the role of transverse faults on its geometries, NE of the Dehdasht area. Master thesis, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. 2015. Persian.

Aster Global Digital Elevation Model (DEM), V2. USGS, Global Data Explorer.

Burberry CM, Cosgrove JW, Liu JG. Spatial Arrangement of Fold Types in the Zagros Simply Folded Belt, Iran, Indicated by Landform Morphology and Drainage Pattern Characteristics. Journal of Maps. 2008; 4 (1): 417-430.

Favre G. SW Iran, Regional corss sections 10-17, Report No. 1233. National Iranian Oil Company. 1974.

Murris RJ. Middle East: Stratigraphic Evolution and Oil Habitat. Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol. Bull.1980; 64: 597-618.

Ghabeishavi A, Vaziri-Moghaddam H, Taheri A. Facies distribution and sequence stratigraphy of the Coniacian–Santonian succession of the BangestanPalaeo-high in the Bangestan Anticline, SW Iran. Facies. 2009; 55: 243-257.

Emami H, Vergés J, Nalpas T, Gillespie P, Sharp I, Karpuz R, Blanc EP, Goodarzi MGH. Structure of the Mountain Front Flexure along the Anaran anticline in the Pusht-e Kuh Arc (NW Zagros, Iran): insights from sand box models. In: Leturmy P., and Robin C. (Eds.), Tectonic and Stratigraphic Evolution of Zagros and Makran during the Mesozoic–Cenozoic. Geol. Soc., London. 2010; 155–178.  

Melosh BL and Keller EA. Effects of active folding and reverse faulting on stream channel evolution, Santa Barbara Fold Belt, California. Geomorphology.2013; 186: 119–135.

Oberlander TM. Origin of drainage transverse to structures in orogens. In: Morisawa M. and Hack JT (eds), Tectonic Geomorphology: Proceedings of the 15th Annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium, Boston, Allen and Unwin. 1985; 155-182.

Collignon M, Yamato P, Castelltort S, Kaus BJP. Modeling of wind gap formation and development of sedimentary basins during fold growth: application to the Zagros Fold Belt, Iran. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2016; 41 (11): 1521–1535.

Allen PA. Time scales of tectonic landscapes and their sediment routing systems. Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ. 2008; 296: 7-28.

Tucker GE and Slingerland R. Drainage basin responses to climate change. Water Resources Research.1997; 33 (8): 2031-204.

Whipple KX and Tucker GE. Dynamics of the stream-power river incision model: Implications for height limits of mountain range, landscape response timescales, and research needs. Journal of Geophysical Research. 1999; 104: 661-674.

  Ahmadhadi F, Lacombe O, Daniel JM. Early reactivation of basement faults in Central Zagros (SW Iran): evidence from pre-folding fracture populations in Asmari Formation and Lower Tertiary paleogeography. In: Lacombe O., Lavé J.,Vergés J., and Roure F. (Eds.), Thrust belts and Foreland Basins: From Fold Kinematics to Hydrocarbon Systems. Springer-Verlag. 2007; 205–228.

Keller EA, Gurrola LD, Tierney TE. Geomorphic criteria to determine direction of lateral propagation of reverse faulting and folding. Geology. 1999; 27: 515–518.

Llewellyn PG. Deh Dasht geological compilation map, 1:100000. Iranian Oil Operating Companies, Geological and Exploration Division, Tehran. 1973.

Mcleod JH and Akbari Y. Behbahan geological compilation map, 1:100000. National Iranian Oil Company. 1970.

Ehrenberg SN, Pickard NAH, Laursen GV, Monibi S, Mossadegh ZK, Svånå TA, Aqrawi AAM, McArthur JM, Thirlwall MF. Strontium isotope stratigraphy of the asmari formation (Oligocene - Lower miocene), SW Iran. Journal of Petroleum Geology. 2007; 30:107–128.

Pirouz M, Simpson G, Chiaradia M. Constraint on foreland basin migration in the Zagros mountain belt using Sr isotope stratigraphy. Basin Research. 2015; 27: 714-728.