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Reconnaissance geology of the Central Mastuj Valley, Chitral State, Pakistan

January 1, 1994

The Mastuj Valley in Chitral State is a part of the Hindu Kush Range, and is one of the structurally most complicated areas in northern Pakistan. Sedimentary rocks ranging from at least Middle Devonian to Cretaceous, and perhaps Early Tertiary age lie between ridge-forming granodiorite intrusions and are cut by thrust faults. The thrust planes dip 10? to 40? to the north- west. Movement of the upper thrust plates has been toward the southeast relative to the lower blocks.

If this area is structurally typical of the Hindu-Kush and Karakoram Ranges, then these mountains are much more tectonically disturbed than previously recorded, and suggest compression on a scale compatible with the hypothesis that the Himalayan, Karakoram, and Hindu Kush Ranges form part of a continental collision zone.

The thrust faults outline two plates consisting of distinctive sedimentary rocks. The lower thrust plate is about 3,000 feet thick and consists of the isoclinally folded Upper Cretaceous to perhaps lower Tertiary Reshun Formation. It has overridden the Paleozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Chitral Slate unit. This thrust plate is, in turn, overridden by an 8,000-foot thick sequence consisting largely of Devonian to Carboniferous limestones and quartzites.

A key factor in the tectonic processes has been the relatively soft and plastic lithology of the siltstone layers in the Reshun Formation which have acted as lubricants along the principal thrust faults, where they are commonly found today as fault slices and smears.

The stratigraphic sequence, in the central Mastuj Valley was tentatively divided into 9 mapped units. The fossiliferous shales and carbonates of the recently defined Shogram Formation and the clastlcs of the Reshun Formation have been fitted into a sequence of sedimentary rocks that has a total thick- ness of at least 13,000 feet and ranges in age from Devonian to Neogene. Minerals of potential economic significance include antimony sulfides which have been mined elsewhere in Chitral, the tungstate, scheelite, which occurs in relatively high concentrations in heavy-mineral fractions of stream sands, and an iron-rich lateritic rock.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1975
Title Reconnaissance geology of the Central Mastuj Valley, Chitral State, Pakistan
DOI 10.3133/ofr75556
Authors Karl W. Stauffer
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 75-556
Index ID ofr75556
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse