OJMS  Vol.7 No.2 , April 2017
Active Tectonics of the Saymareh-Karkheh River Basin (Northwest of Persian Gulf, Iran)
ABSTRACT
Active tectonics is an indicator of recent movement of mountains and landscapes evolution for regions affected by current tectonic activity. The Saymareh-Karkheh river basin is located on the Zagros Mountain in the west Iran. The Zagros Mountain is an orogenic belt that is formed by the collision between the Eurasian and Arabian plates during Cenozoic. Active tectonics has analyzed by measurement of six geomorphic indices (hypsometric integral, basin asymmetry factor, basin shape, the stream length-gradient, mountain-front sinuosity and valley floor width-height ratio) which they combined to index of active tectonics (Iat). Based on values of this index, the Saymareh-Karkheh river basin was divided into high (Class 2, 18.8%), moderate (Class 3, 70.3%), and low (Class 4, 10.9%) relative tectonic activity parts. The above results confirm the usefulness of geomorphic analyses for regional assessment of active tectonics they are compatible with differential tectonic activity in the High Zagros and Zagros fold and thrust belt. Also, it was revealed that geomorphic indices and using of GIS technics are very useful to investigation of active tectonics in the mountain areas.

1. Introduction

The Saymareh River (with near to 400 km length) has been originated from the Zagros Mountains by combination of Gamasayab, Gharasu and Kashkan rivers and finally flows into the Hour-Al-Azim wetland on the Iran and Iraq border zone. The final segment of this river (with near to 200 km length) is called Karkheh River and totally, it is the third long river (about 755 km) in Iran. The structures of the Zagros Mountains on the northeast margin of the Arabian plate reflect quaternary tectonics of this region. We have used a quantitative method to assessment of quaternary tectonics in the Saymareh-Karkheh river basin. In this paper, for the first time six geomorphic indices: hypsometric integral (Hi), the stream length-gradient (SL), asymmetry factor (Af), mountain-front sinuosity (Smf), valley floor width-valley height ratio (Vf) and basin shape (Bs) have analysed for comparison of different landforms [1] . Then, mean of above index or Iat has calculated for determination of relative active tectonics levels. Previously, this approach has been done in the USA by [2] , Spain by [3] .

2. Geologic Setting

The Saymareh-Karkheh river basin is located on the Zagros Mountain that is an orogenic belt in the southwest Iran. This mountain has formed due to convergent regime between the Arabian and Eurasian plates during Cenozoic. The Saymareh-Karkheh river basin (51,341 km2) is located on the Zagros [4] . The Zagros is underlain by Phanerozoic sedimentary sequences which it has been formed hundreds anticlines and synclines (Figure 1).

The anticlines and synclines have got NW-SE dominant striking in the study area. The folding intensity has decreased toward the southwest. The earthquakes in the study area have got high frequency and small to moderate magnitude, thus seismic analysis of active tectonics is difficult.

The main fault zones of the Saymareh-Karkheh river basin are Kabirkoh, Khoramabad, Kerend and Sahneh faults. The rock resistances have categorized based on rock types as: low (alluvial deposits, marl and conglomerate), moderate (gypsum, dolomitic limestone and gypsums marl), and high (limestone and sandstone) based on [3] . Figure 2 and Figure 3 show lithology and their

Figure 1. Location of the study area (Google Earth 2016).

Figure 2. Geological map of the study area.

Figure 3. Distribution of rock strength levels.

resistant levels.

3. Geomorphic Analysis

Geomorphic indices are useful for quaternary tectonic investigation. We have measured six geomorphic indices mountain-front sinuosity (J), the stream- length gradient (SL), asymmetry factor (Af), hypsometric integral (Hi), basin shape (Bs), and valley floor width-valley height ratio (Vf). These indices have obtained for the Saymareh-Karkheh river basins, that flowing to the south- westward. This basin has divided into 35 sub-basins (Figure 4).

3.1. Stream-Length Gradient

Firstly, the stream-length gradient index has defined by [5] and it was used for many researchers such as [6] .

To measure the values of this index, the drainage network and topographic maps are necessary. The contours distances are selected 20 meters.

The stream-length gradient index has calculated along all of sub-basins using a DEM based on topographic maps (for example sub-basin no.27 in Figure 5). Based on [3] , the results are shown in Table 1 and Figure 6.

3.2. Asymmetric Factor

Firstly, the asymmetric factor (Af) has defined by [7] . The asymmetric factor varies from 19.8 (sub-basin no. 23) to 86.8 (sub-basin no. 4) in the study area and results are shown in Table 1 and Figure 6.

3.3. Hypsometric Integral

Firstly, the hypsometric integral (Hi) has defined by [8] . This index that shows

Figure 4. Thirty five sub-basins of the Saymareh-Karkheh river basin.

Figure 5. Longitudinal river profiles and measured SL values for three basins in the study area.

topographic maturity have calculated for all sub-basins. It ranges from 0.06 (sub-basin no. 1) to 0.47 (sub-basin no. 7). Then, the results have presented in Figure 7 and Table 1.

3.4. Valley Floor Width to Valley Height Ratio

Firstly, Valley floor width to valley height ratio (Vf) has defined by [9] . For measurement of this index, a distance varying from 2 km were set and the values

Table 1. Values of geomorphic indices.

Figure 6. Distribution of six index and classification of them into three classes.

Figure 7. Hypsometry curves of two sub-basins (no. 19, 27).

have measured from topographic maps (Figure 6 and Figure 8). The results are shown in Table 1. The range of Vf is from 0.33 (sub-basin no. 15) to 30.9 (sub-basin no. 17).

3.5. Basin Shape

Firstly, the basin shape index (Bs) has defined by [10] . This index has calculated by using the topographic maps and the results are shown in Figure 6 and Table 1. The basin shape index ranges from 1.12 (sub-basin no. 24) to 4.46 (sub-basin no. 2).

3.6. Mountain Front Sinuosity

Firstly, the mountain front sinuosity index (J) has defined by [9] . We were measured the mountain front sinuosity index for 23 mountain fronts (Figure 6

Figure 8. Location of sections for Smf and Vf calculations.

and Figure 8) by using SRTM images. Our results are shown in Table 1.

4. Results and Discussion

Based on previous work on the salt and mud diapirism [11] - [30] and neotectonic regime in Iran [31] - [36] , Zagros in south Iran is the most active zone [37] - [76] . Then, Alborz [77] - [123] and Central Iran [124] - [152] have been situated in the next orders. Thus, the study area has been affected by an important regional shortening, but this research tried to evaluate levels of relative tectonic activities in a wider region by using of six geomorphic indices. The averages of these indices have used to investigation in the Saymareh-Karkheh river basin. The values have divided into very high, high, moderate and low levels and their distribution are shown in Table 1 (IAT column) and Figure 9.

Figure 9 shows the result of the classification for each basin; 23.7% (12,180 km2) to Class 2; 62.9% (32,318 km2) to Class 3; and 13.3% (6843 km2) to Class 4.

The Sahneh fault zone is the most important part, based on Iat and connects the Morvarid fault in the NW to the Nahavand fault in the SE. Tectonically, the mechanism of the Sahneh fault is high angle reverse with dextral strike slip component, and is compatible with the earthquakes focal mechanism solution, movement of the Arabian plate.

Figure 9. Distribution of Iat classes.

5. Conclusions

The Saymareh-Karkheh river basin in the southwest Iran was selected for investigation of above quantitative method. Six geomorphic indices have measured in the Saymareh-Karkheh river basin. Finally, index of active tectonics was measured by combination of the below geomorphic indices; valley floor width-valley height ratio, mountain-front sinuosity, stream-length gradient, hypsometric integral, drainage basin asymmetry factor and basin shape.

The high values of Iat were found along longitudinal fault of Zagros Mountain such as Sahneh fault zone. The most parts have got moderate levels of active tectonics, because they have shown class 3. Also, the low values of Iat have located on plains and un-faulted areas.

Acknowledgements

This work has been funded by department of geology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research branch, Tehran, Iran. Also, special thanks to vice-presi- dent for research in Science and Research branch, Tehran.

Cite this paper
Rahimi, N. , Arian, M. and Ghorashi, M. (2017) Active Tectonics of the Saymareh-Karkheh River Basin (Northwest of Persian Gulf, Iran). Open Journal of Marine Science, 7, 238-257. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2017.72017.
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[90]   Khodabakhshnezhad, A., Arian, M. and Pourkermani, M. (2008) The Elements of Fold Style Analysis in the Asmari Anticline (Zagros). Journal of Sciences, 18, 129-138.

[91]   Khodabakhshnezhad, A., Arian, M. and Pourkermani, M. (2015) Folding Mechanism in the Asmari Anticline, Zagros, Iran. Open Journal of Geology, 5, 197-208.
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[92]   Khodabakhshnezhad, A., Pourkermani, M., Arian, M., Matkan, A.A. and Charchi, A. (2015) Active Tectonics of Great Karounriver Basin. Geosciences, 24, 13-28.

[93]   Khosroshahizadeh, S., Pourkermani, M., Almasian, M., Arian, M. and Khakzad, A. (2016) Lineament Patterns and Mineralization Related to Alteration Zone by Using ASAR-ASTER Imagery in Hize Jan-Sharaf Abad Au-Ag Epithermal Mineralized Zone (East Azarbaijan—NW Iran). Open Journal of Geology, 6, 232-250.
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[94]   Khosroshahizadeh, S., Pourkermani, M., Almasiyan, M., Arian, M. and Khakzad, A. (2015) Evaluation of Structural Patterns and Related Alteration and Mineralization Zones by Using ASAR-ASTER Imagery in Siyahrood Area (East Azarbaijan—NW Iran). Open Journal of Geology, 5, 589-610.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2015.59053

[95]   Arian, M., Pourkermani, M., Qoreshi, M. and Ahmadnia, A. (2002). Salt Diapirism Along Mengharak Fault System. Proceedings of the 6th Symposium of Geological Society of Iran, Kerman University.

[96]   Bagheri, M., Feiznia, S., Arian, M., Shabanian, R. and Mahari, R. (2013) Continental Trace Fossils in the Semnan Area (Northern Iran). Open Journal of Geology, 3, 54-61.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2013.32009

[97]   Mahmoodi, M., Bahroudi, A., Ghorbani, M. and Arian, M. (2013) Preliminary Exploration of Copper Minerals in Jebal Barez Mountains, Iran. Open Journal of Geology, 3, 201-208.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2013.33023

[98]   Maleki, Z., Arian, M., Solgi, A. and Ganjavian, M.A. (2013) Sediment Deformations on Strike Slip Fault Blocks and Analogue Modeling: A Case Study of the Nezamabad Fault, Interior Fars, Zagros. Journal of Sciences (Islamic Azad University), 89, 39-51.

[99]   Maleki, Z., Arian, M. and Solgi, A. (2014) Structural Style and Hydrocarbon Trap of Karbasi Anticline, in the Interior Fars Region, Zagros, Iran. Solid Earth Discussions, 6, 2143-2167.
https://doi.org/10.5194/sed-6-2143-2014

[100]   Maleki, Z., Arian, M. and Solgi, A. (2015) Folding Pattern in the Fars Province, Zagros Folded Belt: Case Study on the Karbasi and Khaftar Anticlines, Interior Fars, Iran. Solid Earth Discussions, 7, 2347-2379.
https://doi.org/10.5194/sed-7-2347-2015

[101]   Maleki, Z., Arian, M., Solgi, A. and Ganjavian, M.A. (2014) The Elements of Fold Style Analysis in the Khaftar Anticline, Zagros, Iran. Open Journal of Geology, 4, 79-92.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2014.43008

[102]   Maleki, Z., Arian, M., Solgi, A. and Ganjavian, M.A. (2015) Elements of Fold Style Analysis in the Karbasi Anticline, Interior Fars Region, Zagros. Geosciences, 24, 293-302.

[103]   Manafi, M. and Arian, M. (2008) basement Tectonics Investigation of Dezful Embayment, between Kazeron and Hendijan Faults. Journal of the Earth, 3, 47-61.

[104]   Manafi, M., Arian, M., Raeesi, S. and Solgi, A. (2013) Tethys Subduction History in Caucasus Region. Open Journal of Geology, 3, 222-232.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2013.33026

[105]   Manuchehri, H., Arian, M., Ghorashi, M., Solgi, M. and Sorbi, A. (2015) Geomorphic Signatures of Active Tectonics in the Chalus Drainage Basin in the Alborz, Iran. Geosciences, 24, 273-280.

[106]   Mardani, Z., Ghorashi, M. and Arian, M. (2011) Geomorphic Signatures of Active Tectonics in the Talaghanrud, Shahrudand Sefidrud Drainage Basins in Central Alborz, N Iran. Geosciences, 20, 159-166.

[107]   Mashal, M., Pour Kermani, M., Charchi, A., Almasian, M. and Arian, M. (2013) Pattern of Structural Geology Underground in Eastern of North Dezfol Embayment. Advances in Environmental Biology, 7, 260-268.

[108]   Mirzeinaliyazdi, S.H., Pourkermani, M., Arian, M. and Almasian, M. (2012) Geometrical Analysis of Fractures in Sabzevar Ophiolite Zone. Journal of Geotechnical Gology (Applied Geology), 7, 359-371.

[109]   Mirzeinaliyazdi, S.H., Pourkermani, M., Arian, M. and Karkheiran, A. (2012) Determination of Stress Orientation in Sabzevar Ophiolite Zone in (Khorasan Razavi Province, Iran). Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 5, 3500-3505.

[110]   Moghimi, H., Arian, M. and Sorbi, A. (2015) Fault Movement Potential of Marzanabad Area, North Alborz, Iran. Open Journal of Geology, 5, 126-135.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2015.53012

[111]   Mosavi, E. and Arian, M. (2015) Neotectonics of Kashaf Rud River, NE Iran by Modified Index of Active Tectonics (MIAT). International Journal of Geosciences, 6, 776-794.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ijg.2015.67063

[112]   Mosavi, E.J. and Arian, M. (2015) Neotectonics of Tabas Area, Central Iran by Index of Active Tectonics (IAT). Open Journal of Geology, 5, 209-223.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2015.54019

[113]   Mosavi, E.J., Arian, M., Ghorashi, M. and Nazemi, M. (2012) Measurements of Geomorphic Indices in Tabas Area. Journal of the Earth, 7, 213-225.

[114]   Mousavi, E., Arian, M. and Ghorashi, M. (2017) Investigation of T Factor Variations along Atrak River to the Caspian Sea. Open Journal of Marine Science, 7, 35-50.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojms.2017.71004

[115]   Mousavi, E.J. and Arian, M. (2015) Tectonic Geomorphology of Atrak River, NE Iran. Open Journal of Geology, 5, 106-114.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2015.53010

[116]   Nazemi, M., Ghorashi, M., Ghassemi, M.R. and Arian, M. (2015) Morphotectonics Features of Alluvial Fans Associated with Active Tectonics (Shotori Mountains, East of Tabas-Central Iran). Geosciences, 24, 91-100.

[117]   Noroozpour, H., Arian, M. and Sorbi, A. (2015) Fault Movement Potentials in the Tehran-Semnan Region (North Iran). Open Journal of Geology, 5, 281-290.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2015.55025

[118]   Nouri, R. and Arian, M. (2015) Structural Control on the Distribution of Hydrothermal Alteration Zones and Mineralization in Dastjerdeh Area Based on Remote Sensing Data, NW Iran. Bulletin of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, 9, 79-86.

[119]   Nouri, R. and Arian, M. (2017) Multifractal Modeling of the Gold Mineralization in the Takab Area (NW Iran). Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 10, 105.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-017-2923-2

[120]   Nouri, R., Afzal, P., Arian, M., Jafari, M. and Feizi, F. (2013) Reconnaissance of Copper and Gold Mineralization Using Analytical Hierarchy Process in the Rudbar 1:100,000 Map Sheet, Northwest Iran. Journal of Mining and Metallurgy, 49, 9-19.

[121]   Nouri, R., Jafari, M.R., Arian, M., Feizi, F. and Afzal, P. (2013) Correlation between Cu Mineralization and Major Faults Using Multifractal Modelling in the Tarom Area (NW Iran). Geologica Carpathica, 64, 409-416.
https://doi.org/10.2478/geoca-2013-0028

[122]   Nouri, R., Jafari, M.R., Arian, M., Feizi, F. and Afzal, P. (2013) Prospection for Copper Mineralization with Contribution of Remote Sensing, Geochemical and Mineralographical Data in Abhar 1:100,000 Sheet, NW Iran. Archives of Mining Sciences, 58, 1071-1084.
https://doi.org/10.2478/amsc-2013-0074

[123]   Omidali, M., Arian, M. and Sorbi, A. (2015) Neotectonics of Boroujerd Area, SW Iran by Index of Active Tectonics. Open Journal of Geology, 5, 309-324.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2015.55028

[124]   Pahlavani, A., Pourkermani, M., Arian, M. and Vahabzadeh, G. (2010) Structural Analysis of Emaft Fluorite Mine Region (Savaad Kuh Mazandaran). Journal of the Earth, 5, 75-81.

[125]   Pazhoohan, M., Arian, M., Ghorashi, M. and Khosrotehrani, K. (2014) A Study of Drainage Pattern Responses to Active Tectonics in Tadvan Region, SW Iran. Geodynamics, 1, 36-41.

[126]   Poroohan, N., Poukermani, M. and Arian, M. (2009) An Assessment on Correlations of Seismotectonic Parameters Preceding and Following Roudbar-Manjil Earthquake (Gilan, North of Iran). Australian Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 3, 2643-2652.

[127]   Poroohan, N., Pourkermani, M. and Arian, M. (2013) An Assessment of Relationship in F-Parameter and Paleostress Fields in Heterogeneous Lithologies: Roudbar Area (Northwest of Iran). Australian Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 7, 933-942.

[128]   Pourkermani, M. and Arian, M. (1997) Salt Domes of Central Iran. Journal of Humanities, 3, 29-41.

[129]   Pourkermani, M. and Arian, M. (1997) Seismotectonics. DezAb Consulting Engineers Company Press, Tehran, 270.

[130]   Pourkermani, M. and Arian, M. (1998) Seismicity of Iran. Shahid Beheshti University Press, Tehran, 212.

[131]   Pourkermani, M. and Arian, M. (1998) Tectonic Geomorphology of Salt Domes in West of Zanjan Province, Iran. Geographical Research, 47, 44-53.

[132]   Pourkermani, M. and Arian, M. (1999) Structural Analysis of Halab Fault. Proceeding of the 3rd Symposium of Geological Society of Iran, Shiraz, Iran, 31 August-2 September 1999, 130-132.

[133]   Pourkermani, M. and Arian, M. (2001) Analysis of Structural Specifications in Shah Neshin Area (The Eastern Border of Kordestan Province). Journal of Sciences, 11, 2859-2869.

[134]   Pourkermani, M. and Arian, M. (2001) Structural Geomorphology of Northeastern Kurdistan. Journal of Humanities, 7, 37-48.

[135]   Pourkermani, M., Mohajjel, M., Solgi, A., Arian, M. and Nadri, R. (2012) Active Tectonics of South Qom, a Hazard for New Residential Areas. Journal of Geotechnical Gology (Applied Geology), 8, 203-213.

[136]   Pourkermani, M., Qorashi, M., Arian, M., Sorbi, A., Farokhnia, A. and Solgi, A., 2003. Structural Features in Western Part of the Lut Region. Iranian Journal of Geology, 1, 29-44.

[137]   Qorashi, M. and Arian, M. (2011) Tectonics of Iran. Geologic Survey of Iran, Tehran, 336 p.

[138]   Rafiee, P., Baghbani, D., Aghanabati, A. and Arian, M. (2015) Microbiostratigraphy and Lithostratigraphy of the Upper Permian Dalan Formation in Kuh-E-Surmeh (Zagros Basin, Southwest Iran). International Journal of Geography and Geology, 4, 68-73.
https://doi.org/10.18488/journal.10/2015.4.4/10.4.68.77

[139]   Rahimi, N. and Arian, M. (2014) Tectonic Geomorphplogy of Kangavar-Sosangerd Region, West Iran. Advances in Environmental Biology, 8, 119-124.

[140]   Razaghian, G. and Arian, M. (2015) The Emergent Salt Diapirs in the East Zagros, Iran. Open Journal of Geology, 5, 718-726.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2015.510063

[141]   Rockwell, T.K., Keller, E.A. and Johnson, D.L. (1985) Tectonic Geomorphology of Alluvial Fans and Mountain Fronts near Ventura, California. In: Morisawa, M., Ed., Tectonic Geomorphology. Proceedings of the 15th Annual Geomorphology Symposium, Allen and Unwin Publishers, Boston, 183-207.

[142]   Sadeghi, R., Saeedi, A., Arian, M., Ghorashi, M. and Solgi, A. (2015) Comparison of Strain Ellipsoid Shape in the South of Ardabil Range (NW), Based on the Results of the Magnetic Susceptibility Anisotropy and Paleostress Methods. Open Journal of Geology, 5, 611-622.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2015.59054

[143]   Shafiei Bafti, A., Pourkermani, M., Arian, M. and Ghorashi, M. (2014) The Study of Uplift Movements of Jorjafk Fault by North Front Davaran Mountains Rivers. Geosciences, 23, 115-122

[144]   Sistanipour, A. and Arian, M. (2015) Geometric Analysis of Davaran Fault System, Central Iran. Open Journal of Geology, 5, 458-469.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2015.56043

[145]   Sorbi, A., Arian, M. and Pourkermani, M. (2009) The Movement Potential Evaluation of the Major Quaternary Faults in Tehran Quadrangle. Journal of the Earth, 19, 176-182.

[146]   Sorbi, A., Arian, M. and Pourkermani, M. (2011) The Application of Geomorphic Indices to the Assessment of Relative Tectonic Activity Levels in Tehran Quadrangle. Journal of the Earth, 6, 1-9.

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[148]   Taherkhani, B., Nazari, H., Pourkermani, M. and Arian, M. (2015) Geometry and Recent Kinematics of the North Qazvin Fault: Morphotectonic Approach. Geosciences, 24, 29-38.

[149]   Tajali, S. and Arian, M. (2016) Petrophysical Evaluation and the Effect of Shale Layers on Net Pay Zone Thickness in the Marun Oil Field, Iran. Open Journal of Geology, 6, 763-773.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2016.68059

[150]   Toudeshki, V.H. and Arian, M. (2011) Morphotectonic Analysis in the Ghezel Ozan River Basin, NW Iran. Journal of Geography and Geology, 3, 258-260.
https://doi.org/10.5539/jgg.v3n1p258

[151]   Toudeshki, V.H., Pourkermani, M., Arian, M. and Khosrotehrani, K.H. (2011) Influence of Structures on the Ghezel Ozan River. Geosciences, 21, 55-60.

[152]   Vaseghi, H., Maleki, Z. and Arian, M. (2016) Structural Style in the Zagros Fold-Thrust Belt: The Gavbast Anticline, Coastal Fars. Open Journal of Geology, 6, 109-116.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ojg.2016.62011

 
 
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