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Faculty:  Faculty of Civil Engineering

 

Department: Department of Civil Engineering

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UNIVERSITY
OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, LAHORE

 

Title
of Assignment:  Geology
of Salt Range

 

Submitted to: Sir
Mirza Muhammad Zaid

Submitted From:  Taha
Usama

                               2017-CIV-81

                               [email protected]

                               0333-6776767

 

Geology of Salt Range

Introduction

                     The Salt Range forms the
southern border of Potowar Basin in northern Pakistan, along the northwestern
margin of the Indo-Pakistani Plate.
The
origin of its name came  from the
occurrence of huge
deposits of rock salt fixed in the Precambrian intense red marls (a
loose or crumbling earthy deposit (as of sand, silt, or clay) that contains a
substantial amount of calcium carbonate  1 ) of the Salt
Range Formation.
2        

 

The Salt Range is one of the most significant geological regions
in Pakistan. It is easily reachable and displays a wide variety of geological features
and paleontological leftovers. All
the strata are
excellently exposed due to lack of
vegetation.

It has, therefore, been rightly called a field museum of geology
and paleontology. The Salt Range
therefore owes a great deal to international scientific and educational value,
and is worthy of conservation and preservation.

 

Geology

Below
is the detail of rocks that form the salt range and their presence in Pakistan.

Precambrian Rocks

The Precambrian rocks
present in the Salt Range belong to the Salt Range Formation, The Salt Range
Formation is widely exposed along the southern edge of the Salt Range from east
to west and in the Trans Indus Surghar Range. The Salt Range Formation is split
into three members:2

Sahiwal Marl Member
Bandarkas Gypsum Member
Billianwala Salt Member

Properties

Precambrian rocks are
deep-seated (they are called basement rocks) and tend to be poorly exposed at
Earth’s surface. The rocks are severely metamorphosed. The rocks contain few
fossils (correlation is difficult).3

Creationists have long
discussed that ‘Precambrian’ rocks (which evolutionists regard as the Earth’s
oldest rocks) were formed before Noah’s Flood. They are claiming it because few
fossils had been reported from Precambrian rocks.

Since fossils came from
Noah’s Flood and onwards it was commonly argued non–fossiliferous rocks must
have formed before the Flood. But this argument can no longer be applied to the
Precambrian. Discoveries have shown there are many fossils in the Precambrian.

For example, algae fossils
(stromatolites) are very widespread in rocks dated as Precambrian.3

 

 

 

Khewra Sandstone

The “Khewra
Group” of Noetling (1894) was formalized as Khewra sandstone
after  its main type section of the Khewra town in the Punjab
Province. Khewra Gorge having latitude 32°40’N and longitude 73°00’E in the
Eastern Salt Range Punjab Province, was designated as the type locality.

 

 

Paleozoic Rocks

The
Paleozoic rocks present in the Salt Range are of Cambrian and Permian age. The
Cambrian sequence
comprises four formations:
Baghanwala Formation,

Jutana
Formation,

Kussak
Formation
Khewra Sandstone

Properties

Maps tell that about 20% of the surface
of the Earth is covered by Paleozoic rocks. These rocks are usually well
preserved, although mineralogical reformations   (e.g.,
recrystallization) and physical disruption (e.g., faulting and folding) are
common. Therefore, Paleozoic rocks represent a important and accessible part of
the rock record.4

Many rocks are economically important. For example, much of
the limestone quarried for building and industrial purposes, as well as the
coal deposits of Western Europe and the eastern United States, were formed
during the Paleozoic. 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mesozoic Rocks

 

Rocks that were formed
during the “Age of the Dinosaurs”, the Mesozoic Era, are found in the
Connecticut River Valley in portions of the States of Connecticut and
Massachusetts.   Rocks of the Mesozoic Era have been dated as having
been formed during the period from about 65 to 248  million years ago.6

 The Triassic Mianwali Formation
is very well exposed in the Nammal Gorge as well as in the Dhak Pass, where
beautiful Ceratites specimens can be found along the roadside .The lower
contact of the Mianwali Formation with
the Permian Chhidru Formation is a paraconformity  (A type of unconformity in which strata are parallel  ). The Triassic and Jurassic succession contains
both marine and non-marine strata. Amongst Cretaceous rocks, the Chichali Formation
(formerly known as the “Belemnite Beds”) is very well exposed in the Chichali
Gorge (a narrow valley between hills or mountains, typically with steep rocky
walls and a stream running through it. ) where it bears a wealth of belemnites
in the form of a “graveyard”; this formation is alsoexposed in other
parts of the Kohat-Potowar basin.

 

 

 

 

 

Cenozoic Rocks

 Cenozoic rocks are especially common –in western North America
–also found along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts –horses, rhinoceroses, rodents,
rabbits, and camels have very good fossil records Good Fossil records. 7

Paleogene rocks are mostly present in the central and western Salt Range
as well as in the Trans-Indus Surghar Range. These rocks are oil bearing in the
adjacent Kohat Potowar basin, where the Paleocene Lockhart Limestone acts as a
reservoir rock, the Patala Formation as main rock and the Nammal Formation and
Sakesar Limestone as cap rocks (a layer of hard impervious rock overlying and
often sealing in a deposit of oil, gas, or coal. The Patala Formation, of Upper
Paleocene and Lower Eocene age, also contains larger foraminifera (a
single-celled planktonic animal with a perforated chalky shell  ). The Lower Eocene Nammal Formation and
Sakesar Limestone are exposed throughout the Salt Range and Surghar Range,and
are rich in age diagnostic larger foraminifera, including Nummulites,
alveolinids and assilinids. The Choegali Formation (formerly known as “Bhadrar
Beds”), of Lower Eocene age, is only exposed in the central Salt Range.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.            Marl.  cited 2017; 11th Edition:Available from:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marl.

2.            Sameeni,
S.J., The Salt Range: Pakistan’s unique
field museumof geology and paleontology. 2017. Chapter 6.

3.            Precambrian rocks.  cited 2017; Available from: http://www.geologyclass.org/Precambrian%20Concepts.htm.

4.            Ronny Nalin,
P. The Paleozoic Rock Record: A Broad
Overview of Features and Trends. 
February 26, 2016                ;
Available from:
https://grisda.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-paleozoic-rock-record-a-broad-overview-of-features-and-trends/.

5.            Paleozoic Rocks.

6.            Mesozoic Rocks of the Connecticut Valley,.
2017; Available from: http://www.geologicresources.com/dinosaur_SP.html.

7.            Cenzoic Life. 2017; Available from: http://slideplayer.com/slide/7933387/.

 

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