Northeastern Section - 42nd Annual Meeting (12–14 March 2007)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 11:35 AM


KRASOVEC, Mary1, MARTIN, R.J.1, O'CONNOR, Tim2, ADAMIA, Shota3 and BOMBOLAKIS, E.G.2, (1)New England Research, Inc, 331 Olcott Drive, Suite L1, White River Junction, VT 05001, (2)Geology and Geophysics, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, (3)Georgian Geological Service Center, Tbilisi, 380030, Georgia,

The Caucasus region has long been considered to be an example of indenture tectonics. The proposed Borjomi-Kazbegi sinistral fault is considered the western boundary of the actively indenting wedge. However, an improved seismic network density has led to recent unpublished observations noting a lack of seismicity on the proposed Borjomi-Kazbegi fault. These new observations call into question the existence of the fault, and with it, the tectonic model of the region. To clarify this anomaly, geologic and geophysical field research was carried out on the proposed Borjomi-Kazbegi fault during the summers of 2005 and 2006.

Since the Borjomi-Kazbegi fault is also proposed to be a major crustal structure, a multi-disciplinary approach was utilized for this investigation. Precise GPS instrumentation was used to map multiple local geologic marker beds across the proposed line of the fault, and gravimetric and magnetic surveys were used to map deeper structures. The results showed no evidence of a strike slip fault. Localized marker beds, which included lithologic contacts, structural folds, quaternary lava deposits and several sills, continue uninterrupted across the proposed fault zone. Data from the gravimetric and magnetic surveys also show no discontinuity across the proposed fault line. In addition, the newly collected geophysical data agrees with the results of gravity and magnetic surveys carried out during the Soviet period. The Soviet data has more extensive areal coverage, and also shows no evidence of a major strike slip fault in the region. Currently, the field observations support a model that suggests active shortening in the Borjomi region is accommodated predominantly by thrust faulting.