pp 1–14 | Cite as

A Novel Approach to Evaluate, Highlight, and Conserve the Geologically Significant Geoheritage Sites from the Peshawar Basin, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan: Insights into Their Geoscientific, Educational, and Social Importance

  • Muhammad YaseenEmail author
  • Mukhtiar Ghani
  • Muhammad Naveed Anjum
  • Muhammad Sajid
  • Irfan Ullah Jan
  • Mubbashir Mehmood
  • Emad Ullah
  • Waqas Muzaffir
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Geoheritage: the foundation for sustainable geotourism


The Peshawar Basin, Pakistan, is a renowned example of a middle Paleozoic lithological succession filled with 0.8-Ma-age mega lake sedimentation, and also the site of two tectonic major thrusts named the Main Mantle Thrust (MMT) and Main Boundary Thrust (MBT), respectively. Unfortunately, two geologically significant geosites, known as the Nowshera Reef Complex (NRC) and Gohati Rhyolite deposits (GRD), have limited research and international geological exposure, and are at risk of mining destruction as they are currently not geoheritage sites. The NRC is a spectacular example of a complete reef setting including back, fore, and core reef sections, which are seldom found in the world. An equally important geosite worth preserving is the GRD. For evaluating the geoconservation merit of geosites, a geoscientific inventory method has been applied in this study. The method considers representativeness, integrity, accessibility, and scientific and esthetic value criteria of each geosite. The quantification of the geosites is based on four categories of values: intrinsic value, scientific value, tourism value, and value of management. The final results indicate that both the geosites hold international significance in the relevance score (IR), and have high tourist potential due to their esthetic and intrinsic value. These results reflect the high representation of geological and geomorphological processes documented at the geosites. Despite these results, both geosites are currently on the verge of permanent destruction due to pervasive mining excavation acquiring construction materials. Unfortunately, some outcrops have already been completely mined, but some are only at risk and can be saved. The conclusions raise the need for planning and implementing management procedures to increase the conservation and sustainability parameters of the proposed NRC and GRD geosites.


Geoheritage Conservation Peshawar Basin Carbonate reef Rhyolite Pakistan 


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Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyAbdul Wali Khan University MardanKhyber PakhtunkhwaPakistan
  2. 2.National Centre of Excellence in GeologyUniversity of PeshawarPeshawarPakistan
  3. 3.Geological Survey of PakistanQuettaPakistan
  4. 4.Department of GeologyUniversity of PeshawarPeshawarPakistan
  5. 5.Institute of GeologyUniversity of the PunjabPunjabPakistan

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