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«2006 ea 2015 S 2007ov z of A Caspian Black Sea 2013 Sea rus ho Bosp s nell Sea of rda Da Marmara Aege = Sea an Lev Medite rranea ant n Sea ine Field ...»

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Institute of Geology and

Geophysics of the Azerbaijan

National Academy of Sciences,

Baku, Azerbaijan

12-20 October 2014


2006 ea 2015


2007ov z

of A


Black Sea 2013






nell Sea of


Da Marmara









n Sea


Field Trip Guide of the

Second Plenary Conference

IGCP 610 “From the Caspian to Mediterranean:

Environmental Change and Human Response during the Quaternary” (2013 - 2017) http://www.avalon-institute.org/IGCP IGCP 610 Second Plenary Conference and Field Trip, Baku, Azerbaijan 12-20 October 2014


Organizers: Sponsors Geology and Geophysics Institute of the UNESCO Azerbaijan National Academy of IUGS Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan Avalon Institute of Applied Science, Winnipeg, Canada Authors Elmira Aliyeva, Talat Kengerli, Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Allan GILBERT, Fordham University, U.S.A.

Associated Editor Valentina YANKO-HOMBACH, Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, Ukraine; Avalon Institute of Applied Science, Canada Geology and Geophysics Institute of the

–  –  –

IGCP 610 Second Plenary Conference and Field Trip “From the Caspian to Mediterranean: Environmental Change and Human Response during the Quaternary” (2013 - 2017) http://www.avalon-institute.org/IGCP

–  –  –

Printed in Azerbaijan, Nafta-Press, Baku ©IGCP 610- all rights reserved IGCP 610 Second Plenary Meeting and Field Trip, Baku, Azerbaijan, 12-20 October 2014



Quaternary geology of the region

The Apsheronian Stage

The Bakinian Horizon

The Minghechavir (Urunjik) Horizon

The Lower Khazarian Horizon

The Upper Khazarian Horizon

The Khvalynian Horizon

The New Caspian Horizon

Archaeology of the region

The Old Stone Age

The Neolithic and Eneolithic Ages

The Bronze Age

The Antique Period

The Middle Ages

Description of Field Trips

October, 15: Historical sites (by foot)

Stop 1.1.

The Maiden Tower and Shirvan Shakh Palace

October, 15: Geological sites (by bus)

Stop 1.2.

The Bakinskie Ushi

Stop 1.3.

The Garagush mountain

October, 16: Geological sites (by bus)

Stop 2.1.

Classic stratotype of the Mountain of “Bakinian Stage”; examples of the rapid Caspian Sea level changes in the Pleistocene successions

Stop 2.2.

Mud volcano Dashgil

October, 16: Archaeological sites (by bus)

Stop 2.3.

Gobustan National Park

October, 17: Geological sites (by bus)

Western Azerbaijan and Great Caucasus. Continuous outcrop of the Quaternary continental sediments of Ajinour

Stop 3. 1.

Outcrop Padar “windows.” Continental sedimentation.

October, 17: Historical sites (by foot)

Stop 3.2.

Historical village Lagich

October, 18: Geological sites (by bus)

Stop 4. Exposure of the Quaternary continental and marine sediments of Ajinour (outcrop Turianchay)

October, 19: Historical sites (by bus)

Stop 5.1.

Ancient town of Sheki

Stop 5.1.

1. Khan palace in Sheki town and historical museum

Stop 5.1.

2. First Christian church in the Caucasus in Kish village

October, 19: Geological sites (by bus)

Stop 5.2.

Reference outcrop of the marine Bakinian sediments at Bozdag

October, 20: Archaeological sites

Stop 6. Ancient town of Gabala and archeological museum


IGCP 610 Second Plenary Meeting and Field Trip, Baku, Azerbaijan, 12-20 October 2014

Introduction These Field Trips are carried out within the frame of the IGCP 610 Second Plenary Meeting and follow the Meeting sessions held in Baku, October, 12-14, 2014.

The IGCP 610 Programme is a logical continuation of the previous IGCP 521-INQUA 501 Programme, which was active for five years and covered the coastal areas around the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. The Caspian-Black Sea-Mediterranean ― CORRIDOR‖: in yellow are the locations of IGCP 521-INQUA 501 meetings and field trip sites (2005-2011); in other colors are sites to be studied by the present IGCP 601 Project: 2013 – Tbilisi, Georgia; 2014 – Baku, Azerbaijan; 2015 – VolgogradAstrakhan’ (Lower Volga), Russia; 2016 – Sevastopol (Crimea) and the Taman peninsula, Russia;

2017 – Haifa, Israel, and Istanbul, Turkey.

The previous Plenary Meeting and Field Trips within the frame of the IGCP 610 project were conducted in Georgia in 2013. The present field trips will focus on observations of geological characteristics of Quaternary stratotypes as well as key archaeological and paleontological sites in Azerbaijan. All are easily accessible for study and will be sampled during the Field Trips for further investigation in various laboratories around the world.

The Second Field Trip will focus on the entire spectrum of Quaternary geological sequences exposed in the terraces and ridges of the Caspian region. This includes the stratotype of the Mountain of Bakinian Horizon (ca. 600–450 ka BP) located in the suburbs of Baku on the Absheron peninsula; major exposures in the southwestern part of the peninsula of Garagush mountain, Bakinskie Ushi (Fig. 2). This includes outcrops of the Quaternary deposits at Garamaryam and Turianchay in the Ajinour region, and Bozdag located in the Middle Kura region, which is a reference section of the marine sediments of the Bakinian Horizon in western Azerbaijan. The Neogene-Quaternary boundary as well as the Matuyama-Brunhes Reversal with Olduvai and Jaramillo subchron episodes will be traced.

Quaternary geology of the region The Apsheronian Stage The Apsheronian Stage occurs widely within the Absheron peninsula, Gobustan, and Kura depression. Within the limits of the Absheron peninsula, these sediments (Fig.3) are IGCP 610 Second Plenary Meeting and Field Trip, Baku, Azerbaijan, 12-20 October 2014 stratigraphic analogues to the Gurian Stage (Black Sea region) and the Calabrian stage (Mediterranean region), and they have an extremely widespread occurrence.

Figure 2. Map of Azerbaijan with geological and archaeological sites to be visited during the Field Trips on October 15 (# 1), 16 (# 2), 17 (# 3), 18 (# 4), 19 (#5), and 20 (#6), 2014.

Mollusk fauna recovered from Apsheronian sediments were first studied by Shegren (1891).

These rocks were subsequently studied by Andrusov (1897, 1923), Golubyatnikov (1914), Bogachev (1932), Alizadeh (1935, 1985), Alizadeh (1973), and others.

It should be noted that a significant part of the peninsula where Apsheronian sediments occur has undergone intensive development in recent years. Major exposures have been preserved only in the southwestern and central parts of the peninsula: Garagush mountain, Kergez, Bakinskie Ushi, the village of Gezdek in the Shikhovo region, in the Yasamal' valley, and near the Sabunchi railway station.

–  –  –

Figure 3. Quaternary stratigraphy of Azerbaijan.

IGCP 610 Second Plenary Meeting and Field Trip, Baku, Azerbaijan, 12-20 October 2014 Based on the micro- and macrofaunal complexes and lithological composition, the Apsheronian Stage has been divided into 3 substages.

The Lower Apsheronian deposits overlie the Akchagylian rocks without any notable nonconformity in the Absheron peninsula. These sediments (Garagush, Bakinskie Ushi, Yasamal’ valley) mainly consist of grey, dark-grey, greyish-brown, and brown sandy shales with thin intercalations of volcanic ash and gypsum and also sand, 17 to 35-40 m thick (Fig.

4). At the base of the substage, a bed of black non-carbonaceous shales can be identified. The lower substage contains the following mollusk fauna: Monodacna sjoegreni, Apsheronia

raricostata, Limnaea lossonae, L. ribina, etc. The following ostracods are found:

Trachyleberis azerbaidjanica, T. pseudoconvexa, Leptocythere multituberculata, Lymnocythere acristata, etc. The thicknesses range from 30 m to 500 m (in the SE part).

The Middle Apsheronian substage (Garagush, Bakinskie Ushi, Yasamal’ valley) is represented by grey, dark-grey, and brown sandy shales with thin interbeds of sandstone and sand. The friable, fine and medium grained sand and sandstones which are grey and yellowgrey with gravel, are found in many places. A bed of limestone-coquina, 30 to 40 m thick (Kergez, Garagush) can be seen in the upper part of the section. The occurrence of coarsegrained and rudaceous material in the lithofacies composition testifies to the coastal shallowwater environments there in the Middle Apsheronian Age. The facies shift from deep water setting to shallow water environment resulted in the bloom of ostracod fauna and the origination of numerous new species.

The total thickness varies from 40 to 500 m. The Middle Apsheronian complex contains a rich mollusk fauna: Monodacna nitida, Parapscheronia raricostata, Absheronia propinqua, Hyrcania hyrcana, etc. The ostracod complex found in Middle Apsheronian sediments contains a large number of varieties: Caspiolla liventalina, Caspiocypris filona, Loxoconcha garschkovi, Leptocythere casusa, L. martha, etc. These sediments were accumulated in the foreshore and shoreface zones of the basin.

The Upper Apsheronian substage is exposed in the area of Shikhova, by the foot of the ―Bakinian Stage‖ mountain: in the area between the village of Shikhovo and Patamdar.

Lithologically, the sediments of this substage are represented by thick limestone-coquina, sand, sandstones with gravel, and sandy clays 120 to 150 m thick. Fauna are represented by the following assemblage of mollusks: Hyrcana hyrcana, H. intermedia, Apscheronia propinqa, Pseudocatillus, Ps. bacuanus, etc.

On the whole, the sediments of the Apsheronian stage are characterized by spatial lithofacies diversity within the Absheron peninsula. This diversity is manifest by the gradual replacement of the thick limestones with the clayey-sandy formations in the SW direction.

In West Azerbaijan, the sections of Apsheronian deposits are classical not only for Azerbaijan but also for the whole Crimean-Caucasian Region.

Outcrops of the marine facies of this regional stage occur on the Bozdag, Duzdag, and Garaja ridges in the southern part of the Adjinohur Region, as well as in the Godjashen-Gheychay folded zone around Mingechavir Water Reservoir and along the Turianchay River (Shirinov and Bazhenov, 1962) (Fig.4, 5). Within Ajinour, the Duzdag section is accepted as a key one, as it reveals a continuous exposure of the marine and coastal-continental formations (600 m).

Apart from the marine and marginal-marine facies, the Apsheronian deposits are also expressed by the continental facies that is well-developed within the limits of the Lower Aras Depression (the so-called Araxes Suite) and the Miskhan-Gafan Zone (the Akeran Suite).

IGCP 610 Second Plenary Meeting and Field Trip, Baku, Azerbaijan, 12-20 October 2014

Figure 4. Cross-section across Ajinour: Qdel = deluvium deposits; Q1-3 = old Caspian deposits;

Ap1 = Upper Apsheronian; Ap2 = Middle Apsheronian; Ap3 = Lower Apsheronian; Ak = Akchagylian; Prd = Productive Series; Prd3 = Kalamadin Suite; Prd2 = Lengebiz Suite; Prd1 = Karanour Suite; Pnt = Pontian; Srm = Sarmat stage; Krg = Karagan stage; Knk = Konk stage;

Tsch = Chokrak stage; Mkp = Maykop Suite; Kn = Kounian Suite; Sum = Sumgayit Suite (from Shirinov and Bazhenov, 1962).

Here, there are the shallow-water gastropods Bythinia aff. fenticulata, Pisidium amicum Mull;

and the onshore forms – Planorbella and Helicella. The thicknesses of the first and the second suites equal 250 m and 200 m, respectively.

IGCP 610 Second Plenary Meeting and Field Trip, Baku, Azerbaijan, 12-20 October 2014

Figure 5. Correlation diagram of the Quaternary sediments along the northeastern foothills of the Lesser Caucasus and Ajinohur region.

1 = mudstone, 2 = sand, 3 = sandstone, 4 = pebbles, 5 = conglomerates, 6 = volcanic ash (from Mamedov and Aleskerov, 1988).

The lower substage outcrops in the dome of the West Godjashen Zone on the northern coast of the Minghechavir Water Reservoir and the Gheychay Anticline in the sections of the Turianchay River. Those are the marine pearly grey and grey sandy shales with sand and sandstone interlayers (300-400 m). In the West, the bench gravel and conglomerate interlayers appear in the upper portion of the section (Fig. 6).

Figure 6. Schematic map of the lithofacies of Lower Apsheronian sediments: 1 = area of erosion, 2 = gravels, conglomerates with rare interbeds of mudstones and sandstones, 3 = sandstones with thin mudstone intervals, 4 = shales, sands, and sandstones, 5 = shales with rare interbeds of sands and sandstones (from Shirinov and Bazhenov, 1962).

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