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The Cimmerian geopuzzle: new data from South Pamir



Based on its Permian-Triassic stratigraphic and biotic evolution, we correlate the SE Pamir to the Karakoram terrane, and we consider them equivalent, along with the Central Pamir, to the Qiantang Terrane of Tibet, all of Palaeozoic Gondwanan ancestry. We prove the occurrence of a marked Cimmerian unconformity, documented by lowermost Jurassic deposits suturing intensively faulted and folded Permian and Triassic units, which suggests that the South Pamir collided around the T-J boundary with the Central Pamir along the Rushan-Pshart suture. Collision of the Karakoram to the South Pamir happened slightly later along the Wakhan-Tirich Boundary Zone. Progressive time shifting of deformation can be related to the complex setting of the Cimmerian belt, which was subdivided into minor blocks by incipient oceanic basins, providing strong crustal mobility.