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Volume 35 Issue 2
Apr 2024
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Amir Shahzad, George Kontakiotis, Thierry Adatte, Khawaja Shoaib Ahmed, Muhammad Tayyib Riaz, Hammad Tariq Janjuhah, Evangelia Besiou. Multi-Elemental Chemostratigraphy, Sequence Development, Depositional History, and Environmental Importance of Early Eocene Red Beds (Kuldana Formation) in NW Himalayas, Pakistan. Journal of Earth Science, 2024, 35(2): 349-375. doi: 10.1007/s12583-023-1860-6
Citation: Amir Shahzad, George Kontakiotis, Thierry Adatte, Khawaja Shoaib Ahmed, Muhammad Tayyib Riaz, Hammad Tariq Janjuhah, Evangelia Besiou. Multi-Elemental Chemostratigraphy, Sequence Development, Depositional History, and Environmental Importance of Early Eocene Red Beds (Kuldana Formation) in NW Himalayas, Pakistan. Journal of Earth Science, 2024, 35(2): 349-375. doi: 10.1007/s12583-023-1860-6

Multi-Elemental Chemostratigraphy, Sequence Development, Depositional History, and Environmental Importance of Early Eocene Red Beds (Kuldana Formation) in NW Himalayas, Pakistan

doi: 10.1007/s12583-023-1860-6
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  • Corresponding author: Amir Shahzad,
  • Received Date: 14 Feb 2023
  • Accepted Date: 03 May 2023
  • Available Online: 11 Apr 2024
  • Issue Publish Date: 30 Apr 2024
  • The Eocene Kuldana Formation (KF) in the Yadgar area of Pakistan, comprises a diverse range of sedimentary facies, including variegated red beds of shales, mudstones, and sandstones, as well as interbedded limestone and marl. In this study, we conducted an integrated micropaleontological, sedimentological, mineralogical, and geochemical investigation to determine the depositional setting, biochronology, provenance, and paleoclimate of the KF. The study identified six lithofacies and six microfacies, which indicate a variety of environments ranging from floodplains and channels to the margins and shallow marine settings. The nannofossil biostratigraphy places the KF in the Early Eocene, more precisely the NP10 zone (Ypresian), and the fossil zone of benthic foraminifera classifies the study section as the Shallow Benthic Zone SBZ-8 (Middle Ilerdian 2). In terms of petrography, the KF sandstone was classified as litharenite and feldspathic litharenite, while the QtFL diagram suggests a recycled orogen. Geochemical proxies indicate an oxidizing environment, a high-to-low regular sedimentation rate, moderate-to-intense chemical weathering in the source region, and a warm-humid to dry climate during the deposition of KF. Overall, the findings suggest that the deposition of KF marks the end of Neo-Tethys due to the Early Eocene Indian–Kohistan collision and that the uplifting of the Himalayas provided the source for the deposition of KF in the foreland basin. The study provides new insights into the depositional environment, biochronology, provenance, and paleoclimate of KF, and highlights the potential for red beds as reliable indicators of oxygenation levels in proximity to mineral deposits.


  • Conflict of Interest
    The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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