Sediment composition and provenance of the Pab Formation, Kirthar Fold Belt, Pakistan: signatures of hot spot volcanism, source area weathering, and paleogeography on the western passive margin of the Indian plate during Late Cretaceous

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  • Muhammad Umar, Department of Earth Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan
  • Henrik Friis
  • Abdul Salem Khan, Centre of Excellence in Mineralogy, University of Balochistan, Quetta , Pakistan
  • Gilbert Kelling, School of Physical and Geographical Sciences, University of Keele, United Kingdom
  • Aktar Muhammad Kassi, Department of Geology University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Amjad Sabir, Department of Earth Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Farooq, Department of Earth Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan
Petrographic and geochemical data collected from the Pab Formation, a late Cretaceous clastic sequence exposed in the Kirthar Range of western Pakistan, yield important clues about the influence of the varied source regimes, transportation routes and volcanic input that have influenced the composition of sediments comprising this formation. Detrital compositional modes, petrotectonic discrimination diagrams and paleocurrent data all demonstrate that
the Pab sands were ultimately derived from granitic–gneissic terranes forming the Indian Craton, exposed to the E and SE of the study area, with probable supplementary contribution from the mature, ancient sedimentary cover of the craton. These data also confirm that the two contemporaneous depositional
systems operating during accumulation of the Pab Formation in this area were supplied from somewhat different sources and through different routes. Sediments deposited in the Central Kirthar sub-basin were derived from the East,
while coeval deposits within the Southern Kirthar sub-basin were supplied from SSE and include relatively fresh volcanic detritus that is interpreted as the product of the major Deccan Trap volcanic episode, initiated during late Maastrichtian times. Moreover, geochemical indicators demonstrate that the ultimate composition of Pab sediments has been strongly influenced by intense chemical weathering, associated with warm/humid climatic conditions in the source areas, accompanied by significant diagenetic effects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArabian Journal for Science and Engineering
Volume39
Issue1
Pages (from-to)311-324
Number of pages14
ISSN0377-9211
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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