Caucasus Tectonics


The Caucasus, including the Greater Caucasus and the Lesser Caucasus, is one of the world’s outstanding natural geodynamic laboratories. For the last 10 million years the Greater Caucasus mountain belt has been shaped due to the interaction of surface processes and tectonic processes at depth.

High rates of uplift have contributed to create Europe’s highest mountains – with summits such as Mt Elbrus (5642m) or Mt. Ararat (5165m) – at the cross-road of Europe and Asia. The tectonic activity, expressed by numerous important thrusts and strike-slip faults, is also the cause of an important earthquake activity. The mountain belt is flanked by some of the world’s most prominent hydrocarbon provinces such as the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, making it an area of high geostrategic importance.