Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 311–324 | Cite as

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 the Late Cretaceous

  • Muhammad UmarEmail author
  • Henrik Friis
  • Abdul Salam Khan
  • Gilbert Kelling
  • Akhtar Muhammad Kassi
  • Muhammad Amjad Sabir
  • Muhammad Farooq
Research Article - Earth Sciences


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.


Sediment composition Provenance Weathering Paleoclimate Hot spot volcanism Diagenesis 


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Umar
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Henrik Friis
    • 2
  • Abdul Salam Khan
    • 3
  • Gilbert Kelling
    • 4
  • Akhtar Muhammad Kassi
    • 5
  • Muhammad Amjad Sabir
    • 1
  • Muhammad Farooq
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesCOMSATS Institute of Information TechnologyAbbottabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of GeoscienceAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Centre of Excellence in MineralogyUniversity of BalochistanQuettaPakistan
  4. 4.School of Physical and Geographical SciencesUniversity of KeeleStaffordshireUK
  5. 5.Department of GeologyUniversity of BalochistanQuettaPakistan

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