STRATIGRAPHY, MINERAL POTENTIAL, GEOLOGICAL HISTORY AND PALEOBIOGEOGRAPHY OF BALOCHISTAN PROVINCE, PAKISTAN

Muhammad Sadiq Malkani

Abstract


The Balochistan province represents Triassic to recent strata with different tectonometallic and sedimentary basins like Balochistan basin, part of Indus Suture (Axial Belt), Sulaiman (middle Indus) and Kirthar (lower Indus) basins. Indus Suture separates  the Balochistan  basin (part of Neotethys)  in  the  west and  Sulaiman  and  Kirthar  (part  of  Indo-Pakistan subcontinent) in the east. Balochistan basin represents Cenozoic flysch, accretionary wedge complex and magmatic island arc system, Indus Suture includes the igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic mélanges. The Sulaiman and Kirthar basins consist of Triassic to recent strata. Balochistan is the richest mineral province of Pakistan. The Chagai-Raskoh magmatic arc and Indus Suture are the richest metallogenic zones in  the  Balochistan  province  and  also in Pakistan, however the Sulaiman and Kirthar are trying to lead in sedimentary minerals. Balochistan province has large proven reserves of indigenous iron, copper (associated some gold, silver, molybdenum), lead, zinc, barite, chromite, coal, gypsum, imestone (marble), ochre, silica sand, etc, small deposits of antimony, asbestos, celestite fluorite, magnesite, soapstone, sulphur, vermiculite, etc. Some commodities are being utilized and some are being exported but most of the commodities are waiting for their utilization and developments. Cement raw materials are common and also at one place, so the installation of more cement industries can help a great for the country economy by exporting. Further water resources are two much and water is going into sea after creating flood and loss in the agricultural lands and population, so smaller dams are necessary due to population increasing. The first and huge gypsum deposits of Pakistan are found in Sulaiman foldbelt of Balochistan but not utilizing. Coal production is 58% of country is from Balochistan. The orogeny/tectonics, stratigraphy and fauna of Pakistan show isolation of Indo-Pakistan as island during probably Late Jurassic, or most probably Early Cretaceous to middle Late Cretaceous. Indo-Pakistan shows association with Madagascar and South America (via corridor or Antarctica) before Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous, and early seed radiation and common heredity show relatively high degree of similarity between Late Cretaceous fauna of Indo-Pakistan, Madagascar and South America, otherwise titanosaurian show cosmopolitan. Here most of known informations and newly field data collected by author on stratigraphy, mineral potential, geological history and paleobiogeography of Balochistan province with basinwise are being presented.


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