Facies analysis and depositional environments of the Upper Cretaceous Sadr unit in the Nakhlak area, Central Iran

  • Seyed Hamid Vaziri
  • Franz T. Fürsich
  • Nader Kohansal-Ghadimvand
Keywords: siliciclastic, carbonates, homoclinal ramp, rimmed shelf, Cretaceous, Sadr unit, Nakhlak, Central Iran


The up to 258 m thick, carbonate-siliciclastic Upper Cenomanian to Campanian rocks (Sadr unit), which crop out widely in the Nakhlak area of central Iran, consist of conglomerates, sandy limestones and dolostones, calcareous sandstones, sandy-argillaceous limestones and reefal limestones. The lower boundary of the studied section is an angular unconformity and its upper boundary is faulted. Sedimentological and palaeontological data indicate that Upper Cretaceous Sadr unit of Nakhlak area is equivalent to shallow carbonate platform successions of Upper Cretaceous rocks in central Iran, which belong to the central Iranian Plate and were deposited in marginal marine, shallow shelf and moderately deep marine environments. This geological unit can be divided into carbonates, siliciclastics, and mixed carbonate-siliciclastics groups. The siliciclastic facies group was deposited as shorelines, tidal flats, lagoons, and barrier bars indicating shallow shelf environments. The mixed carbonate-siliciclastics facies group was formed in a coastal-delta complex and the carbonate facies group took initially place on a homoclinal ramp which later developed into a rimmed platform due to the expansion of the rudist barrier facies.