Geology of the southern Gandghar Range and Kherimar Hills, northern Pakistan Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6q182p57g

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  • The Gandghar Range and Kherimar Hills, located in the Hill Ranges of northern Pakistan, contain rocks that are transitional between unmetarnorphosed foreland-basin strata to the south and high-grade metamorphic and plutonic rocks to the north. The southern Gandghar Range is composed of a succession of marine strata of probable Proterozoic age, consisting of a thick basal argillaceous sequence (Manki Formation) overlain by algal limestone and shale (Shahkot, Utch Khattak, and Shekhai formations). These strata are intruded by diabase dikes and sills that may correlate with the Panjal Volcanics. Southern Gandghar Range strata occur in two structural blocks juxtaposed along the Baghdarra fault. The hanging wall consists entirely of isoclinally-folded Manki Formation, whereas the footwall consists of the complete Manki-Shekhai succession which has been deformed into tight, northeast-plunging, generally southeast (foreland) verging disharmonic folds. Phyllite near the Baghdarra fault displays kink bands, a poorly-developed S-C fabric, and asymmetric deformation of foliation around garnet porphyroblasts. These features are consistent with conditions of dextral shear, indicating reverse-slip displacement along the fault. South of the Gandghar Range, the Panjal fault brings the Gandghar Range succession over the Kherimar Hills succession, which is composed of a basal Precambrian arenaceous sequence (Hazara Formation) unconformably overlain by Jurassic limestone (Samana Suk Formation) which in turn is unconformably overlain by Paleogene marine strata (Lockhart Limestone and Patala Formation). The Hazara and Manki formations, considered to be stratigraphically equivalent, show an increase in metamorphic grade to the north. In the Kherimar Hills, the Hazara Formation is unmetamorphosed, whereas in the Gandghar Range, the Manki Formation is metamorphosed to the greenschist-lower epidote-amphibolite grade. Younger strata in both areas show little to no evidence of metamorphism. The Gandghar Range succession is identical to the succession in the hanging wall of the Khairabad fault in the Attock-Cherat Range, and the Kherimar Hills succession resembles the succession in the footwall of the Khairabad fault. These relationships indicate that the Panjal and Khairabad faults are continuous and juxtapose two major, laterally continuous structural blocks. South of the Kherimar Hills, the Nathia Gali fault brings the Kherimar Hills succession, in which rocks as old as Precambrian are exposed, over the Margala Hills succession, in which the oldest rocks exposed are Mesozoic. To the west, the Cherat and Hissartang faults are considered to be bifurcations of the Nathia Gall fault. The Paleocene Lockhart Limestone is common to the stratigraphic successions on both sides of the Hissartang, Cherat, and Nathia Gali faults. Pre-Paleocene successions differ across the Hissartang and Cherat faults, indicating large amounts of displacement and juxtaposition of the successions in Late Cretaceous time. Pre-Paleocene successions juxtaposed along the Nathia Gali fault indicate that most of the displacement along the fault occurred prior to deposition of the Jurassic Samana Suk Formation. Tertiaty faulting has occurred on the Hissartang, Cherat, and Nathia Gali faults, although this displacement is small relative to the pre-Paleocene displacement. Pre-Paleocene displacement along the Khairabad-Panjal fault cannot be demonstrated due to the absence of Tertiary strata to the north. The Hill Ranges fault system, composed of the Main Boundary thrust and Murree, Nathia Gall, Cherat, Hissartang, Khairabad, Panjal, and Baghdarra faults, forms a hinterland-dipping duplex. The estimated minimum total horizontal separation on the Hill Ranges fault system is 85 km. based on the restoration of projected Paleozoic hanging-wall and footwall cutoffs on a balanced cross section. Crystalline basement is not involved in the Hill Ranges fault system. The sedimentary cover is decoupled from the basement along a detachment that corresponds to the Salt Range thrust.
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