A better understanding of the shift of the eastern Paratethys from an open sea to a restricted estuarine system recorded in the Paleocene-Miocene interval of the eastern Paratethys is necessary for understanding the tectonic evolution of this area. Detailed geochemical characterization offers insights not available through traditional methods, and highlights the complicated history of these strata that is so often oversimplified. Additionally, there is substantial evidence for significant terrestrial input throughout the Oligocene-Early Miocene. All of these factors suggest that the Kura Depression underwent a different history than other parts of the Paratethys, including the South Caspian Basin to the east. This has important implications for the tectonic evolution of this area, which records the effects of the Arabian-Eurasian collision and, eventually, the separation of the Caspian Sea to the east from the Black Sea to the west. Additionally, the suspected differences between geochemical character of the source rock where it is exposed versus deeper in the basin where it is generating petroleum are highlighted, suggesting caution in the direct application of outcrop data to basinal petroleum generation models.


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