Document Type : Original Research Paper


Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, Iran


        Folded and faulted Kopeh Dagh-Binalud belt in the northeast of Iran is a part of Eurasia and southern margin of Touran plate. What is now observed is the result of the latest Phase of Alpine folding. The morphology of the area is in early stage and its young folds express direct relevance between topography and geological structures. In order to evaluate uplift and distribution of compressional forces, stream- gradient (SL) and hypsometric (HI) analyses were carried out for 85 subbasins and 98 rivers of the major basins of the area (Atrakrud, Kashafrud, Jajarm, Gorganrud and Tourkamanestan plain rivers). Integration of the morphometric maps of SL and HI illustrates clearly the tectonic anomalies. Five highly uplifted morphotectonic zones were identified based on the morphotectonic indices as follows:
1) The middle part of Ashkabad Fault between geographical coordinates of: 56 47 E, 38 35 N to 57 34 E, 37 56N.
2) Gorganrud's sub-basins particularly located between Shavard fault (in the south) and eastern part of the Khazar fault (in the north).
3) Basins associated with Nokhandan, Qareh –Dagh, Sorkhdeh and Amrudak Faults.
4) Basins associated with Shogan and Gelli Faults are the Jajarm subbasins.
5) The northern foothill basins of BinaludMountain, compared with the southern foothill basins, show remarkable higher uplifting and shortening which seem to be related to the Binaloud and North Neyshabur fault.
In addition to high uplifted zones, some intermediate – low uplifted zones such as west - southwest part of Sarakhs, southern foothill subbasins of Atrakrud (associated with Takalkuh Fault and Ashkhaneh fault zone), Jajarm's subbasin in the eastern part of AladaghMountain were recognized.


Brookfield, M.E.,1998-The evolution of the great river systems of southern Asia during the Cenozoic India- Asia collision:rivers draining southwards.Geomorphology22,285-312.
Burbank, D.W., Anderson, R.S.,2001-Tectonic Geomorphology.Blackwell,Oxford.
Chen,Y.C. et al. ,2003- Along – Strike variations of morphotectonic features in the Western Foothills of Taiwan : tectonic implications based on Stream-gradient and hypsometric analysis , Geomorphology,56,109-137.
Hack, J.T.,1973- Stream-profile analysis andstream – gradient indices.U.S.Geol.Surv.J.Res.1,421-429
Keller, E.A. & Pinter, N., Active tectonic,Prentice Hall.
Hessami , Kh., Jamali, F., Tabassi., H, 2003- Major Active Fault of Iran,IIEES.
Lifton, N.A., Chase, C.G.,1992- Tectonic,climatic and lithologic influences on landscape fractal dimension and hypsometry : implications for landscape evolution in the San Gabriel Mountains,California.Geomorphology5,77-114
Marple, R.T., Talwani, P., 1993- Evidence of possible tectonic up-warping along the South Carolina coastal plain from an an examination of river morphology and elevation data.geology 21 ,651-654.
Meritts, D. & Vincent , K.R.,1989- Geomorphic response of coastal stream to low,intermediate and high of uplift,Mendocino triple junction region,Northern California,Geol.Soc.Am.101,1373-1388.
Seeber,L.,Gornitz,V.,1983-River profiles along the Himalayan arc as indicators of active tectonics.Tectonophysics 92,335-367.
Strahler, A.N.,1952- Hypsometric (area-altitude)analysis of erosional topography.Bull.Geol.Soc.Am.63,1117-1142.