People at Fort Hoofddijk

Hanneke Heida
H. Heida, BSc
Paleomagnetic Laboratory
Fort Hoofddijk
Department of Earth Sciences 
Utrecht University 
Budapestlaan 17, 3584 CD Utrecht 
The Netherlands 

Phone +31 30 253 ....


Research of Hanneke Heida

Rotations and convergence in the Northern Talesh mountains, Iran

The Talesh mountains of NW Iran have a striking characteristic compared to associated mountain ranges (Caucasus and Alborz  mountains), as they have a dominantly N-S strike instead of an E-W one like the larger mountain ranges.

The formation of these mountain ranges is related to collision of a number of continental blocks following subduction of the paleo- and neotethyan terranes, but the exact mechanism that has caused the apparent rotation of the mountain belt remains disputed. Determining the mechanism responsible for the current geometry of the mountain range is a crucial step in understanding the tectonic history of the region.

Recent work by Chris Kuijper has investigated vertical axis rotations of the southern Talesh range at 3 localities, with the results suggesting an increasing clockwise rotation of the Talesh around the Caspian Basin, resulting in a secondary curvature in the orogen, and accounting for part of the convergence between Eurasia and Arabia. However, the mechanism behind this rotation and the role of rigid blocks in the collision are unclear, interpretations being hindered by the complex faulted and folded geometry of the area, and an absence of paleomagnetic data north of the area investigated by Kuijper.

The objective of this project is to better understand the tectonic history of the Talesh area and its relationship to the Alborz range to the east and Caucasus to the west. This requires integrating paleomagnetic and structural research. Field research and sampling of rocks of volcanic origin will be performed in the northern Talesh. In addition, constructing an accurate VGP path for the Talesh requires U/Pb isotope dating is required.

The main questions which will be answered in this research are:

  • Does the Talesh show progressive secondary rotation along the edge of the Caspian Basin?
  • What is the role of strike-slip movement in acquiring the curved geometry of the Talesh?
  • How much convergence between Eurasia and Arabia was accomodated in the Talesh?

publicationsPublications of Hanneke Heida