Lateral growth of Safeen anticline as deduced from drainage analysis, Iraqi Kurdistan Region
Safeen anticline is one of the largest anticlines in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR), with NW – SE trend. The anticline shows clear lateral growth as deduced from different anomalous drainage patterns and forms, besides different geomorphological forms, which are indicative of lateral growth. Among those forms are water gaps, wind gaps, abandoned alluvial fans, and different shapes of valleys. Two hanging synclines exist on both sides of the anticline forming unique geomorphological and structural forms in IKR. The anticline is developed in the High Folded Zone (HFZ) of Iraq. It is part of the Zagros Fold–Thrust Belt (ZFTB), with the exposed rocks of the Qamchuqa Formation (Early Cretaceous), which consists mainly of limestone and dolostone, which are the oldest rocks in the core of the anticline. Two main streams named Shaqlawa and Kori dissect the anticline from the northern and southern sides. We have explained their trends and abnormal courses. We have used geological maps and high-resolution satellite images to interpret geomorphological forms and to confirm the lateral growth of the anticline. A field investigation was carried out to check and confirm the interpreted data; accordingly, we identified the anticline's lateral growth based on the interpreted geomorphological and structural forms.