The Bashgumbaz Complex (Tajikistan): tracing the Cimmerian orogeny in the Pamirs.

Zanchetta, Stefano; Worthington, J; Angiolini, L; Leven, E. Ya.; Villa, Igor Maria; Zanchi, Andrea (2018). The Bashgumbaz Complex (Tajikistan): tracing the Cimmerian orogeny in the Pamirs. Gondwana research, 57, pp. 170-190. International Association for Gondwana Research 10.1016/

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We present a new interpretation of the Bashgumbaz Complex (BSC), a fragment of a large mafic-ultramafic nappe exposed along the Alichur Valley in the Pamir, whose significance is of paramount importance for the understanding of the Cimmerian orogeny in South Pamir. The BSC is exposed along the contact between the SE and SW Pamir and consists of a low-grade metamorphic association dominated by gabbros and serpentinized harzburgites with minor bodies of quartzdiorite and plagiogranite tectonically coupled to basaltic and rhyolitic volcanic products. Tectonic slices of metasedimentary rocks are interleaved within the complex. The BSC is in contact with a sedimentary unit rich in olistostostromes with exotic blocks containing a Lower Permian fauna showing affinity with Central Pamir. The BSC is intruded by a Lower Cretaceous granitic body with a U-Pb zircon age of 117 Ma, crosscutting the whole complex. Petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical data suggest a supra-subduction-zone affinity for the gabbros and diorites. Significant enrichment in LILE and LREE compared to HREE, coupled with negative anomalies of Nb, Ti, Zr and other HFSE support this interpretation. U-Th-Pb dating of zircon from a diorite provides a lower Norian (ca. 222 Ma) youngest-crystallization-age constraint, suggesting that the BSC formed in a supra-subduction setting on the South Pamir terrane prior to the collision between Central and South Pamir blocks. It was later underthrust and then obducted onto the southern margin of the closing Rushan-Pshart Ocean, which separated these two Gondwanan terranes during the Permian–Triassic. The obduction of the Bashgumbaz ophiolites can be considered as a time constraint for the collision between the South and Central Pamir terranes, which occurred within the framework of the Cimmerian orogeny that shaped the southern margin of Eurasia.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Isotope Geology
08 Faculty of Science > Other Institutions > Emeriti, Faculty of Science

UniBE Contributor:

Villa, Igor Maria


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




International Association for Gondwana Research




Igor Maria Villa-Toscani

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2019 13:46

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 06:29

Publisher DOI:





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