Authors: A. ADAMIA, T. G. CHKHOTUA, T. T. GAVTADZE, Z. A. LEBANIDZE, D. P. ZAKARAIA, N. D. LURSMANASHVILI, N. G. SADRADZE, & G. S. ZAKARIADZE
During the Palaeozoic–Early Cenozoic, Georgia and adjacent areas represented part of the Tethys ocean and its northern margin. At the pre-collisional stage, systems of island-arc and back-arc structures can be distinguished along the southern margin of the East European continent and the oceanic basin. Several events of supra-subduction magmatic activity and obduction of oceanic crust fragments took place during the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Early Cenozoic.
New results obtained through the International Research Group and DARIUS projects can be used to build a base for more precise tectonic zoning of the southern Caucasus and adjacent areas, the correlation of these zones and better substantiated Mesozoic–Early Cenozoic palaeotectonic reconstructions of the region. The final closure of the oceanic and back-arc basins and the formation of the present day structure of Georgia and adjacent countries occurred in the Late Cenozoic. The collision between the Africa–Arabian and Eurasian plates caused inversion of the relief and, in place of the intra-arc and back-arc basins, the mountain fold–thrust belts of the Great and Lesser Caucasus were formed with the Transcaucasian intermontane depression between them. The marine basins of Georgia were replaced by euxinic basins and, later, by con- tinental basins with subaerial sedimentation and volcanism.