Pressure solution–dissolution imparted strike–slip movement: a case study from the Khyber Limestone, Pakistan

  • Asghar AliEmail author
  • Naveed Khan
  • Sohaib Ahmad
  • Rafique Ahmad
Original Paper


Bedding parallel stylolites (BPS), N–S trending microscopic to macroscopic normal faults, and N–S trending calcite-filled veins in the E–W trending Early Devonian Khyber Limestone are synchronously formed as a consequence of vertical shortening. Veins, early stylolite surfaces, and flow folds that oriented oblique to stylolite surfaces have been dissolved in a way that they appear to be displaced by a fault with a strike–slip components. These apparent strike–slip movements along the younger stylolite surfaces have been imparted by selective pressure dissolution of the oblique calcite-filled veins in the Khyber Limestone. The concentration of insoluble residue along the stylolite interface has also facilitated strike–slip movement in an opposite direction to apparent displaced by pressure dissolution. Crosscutting relationship of calcite-filled veins and BPS led to distinguish at least two generations of vein and stylolite formation across the region.


Early Devonian Khyber Limestone Stylolites Displacement Flow folds Veins 



The logistics support of the Department of Geology, University of Peshawar is highly appreciated. We appreciate the thin section preparation and petrographic facilities of the same department.

Funding information

Financial support for this work was received from the Department of Geology, University of Peshawar.


  1. Ahmad S, Ali A, Rehman K (2017) Micro–meso and macroscopic structures interrelationship on the western limb of the Hazara Kashmir Syntaxis, Pakistan. Acta Geol Sin Engl Ed 91(5:1573–1623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ali A, Faisal S, Rehman K, Khan S, Nijat U (2015) Tectonic imprints of the Hazara Kashmir Syntaxis on the Northwest Himalayan fold and thrust belt, North Pakistan. Arab J Geosci 8(11):9857–9876CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ali A, Habib U, Rehman UA, Zada N, Abidin UZ, Ismail M (2016) Tectonic imprints of the Hazara Kashmir Syntaxis on the Mesozoic rocks exposed in Munda, Mohmand Agency, Northwest Pakistan. Acta Geol Sin 90:440–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alvarez W, Engelder T, Lowrie W (1976) Formation of spaced cleavage and folds in brittle limestone by dissolution. Geology 4(11):698–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bell TH, Hobbs BE (2010) Foliations and shear sense: a modern approach to an old problem. J Geol Soc India 75:137–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bell TH, Johnson SE (1989) Porphyroblast inclusion trails: the key to orogenesis. J Metamorph Geol 7:279–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bell TH, Johnson SE (1992) Shear sense: a new approach that resolves problems between criteria in metamorphic rocks. J Metamorph Geol 10:99–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bell TH, Newman R (2006) Appalachian orogenesis: the role of repeated gravitational collapse. In: Butler R, Mazzoli S (eds) Styles of continental compression . Special Papers of the Geological Society of America 414:95–118Google Scholar
  9. Blenkinsop GT (2000) Deformation microstructures and mechanisms in minerals and rocks. Kluwer Academic Publishers, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  10. Burg J-P, Brunel M, Gapais D, Chen GM, Liu GH (1984) Deformation of leucogranites in the crystalline Main Central Thrust sheet in southern Tibet (China). J Struct Geol 6:535–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. DiPietro JA, Pogue KR (2004) Tectonostratigraphic subdivisions of the Himalaya: a view from the west. Tectonics 23:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ebner M, Koehn D, Toussaint R, Renard F, Schmittbuhl J (2009) stress sensitivity of stylolite morphology. Earth Planet Sci Lett 277:394–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Frisch W, Meschede M, Blakey R (2011) Plate tectonics. Springer, pp 1–212Google Scholar
  14. Hayward N (1992) Microstructural analysis of the classic snowball garnets of Southeast Vermont. Evidence for nonrotation. J Metamorph Geol 10:567–587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kazmi AH, Jan MQ (1997) Geology and tectonics of Pakistan, vol 569. Graphic Publishers, KarachiGoogle Scholar
  16. Khan MA, Ali A, Haneef M (2010) To assess the effects of geology on Jabba Dam Khyber Agency. Project of BAK Engineering ConsultantsGoogle Scholar
  17. Koehn D, Ebner M, Renard F, Toussaint R, Passchier WC (2012) Modelling of stylolite geometries and stress scaling. Earth Planet Sci Lett 257:582–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Larson PK, Ali A, Shrestha S, Soret M, Cottle JM, Ahmad R (2018) Timing of metamorphism and deformation in the Swat valley, northern Pakistan: insight into garnet-monazite HREE partitioning. Geosci Front in PressGoogle Scholar
  19. Passchier CW, Trouw RAJ (2005) Microtectonics, volume 1, Second editionGoogle Scholar
  20. Pogue KR, DiPietro JA, Khan SR, Hughes SS, Dilles JH, Lawrence RD (1992) Late Paleozoic rifting in northern Pakistan. Tectonics 11:871–883CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rolland A, Toussaint R, Baud P, Schmittbuhl J, Conil N, Koehn D, Renard F, Gratier JP (2012) Modeling the growth of stylolites in sedimentary rocks. J Geophys Res 117:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Royden LH & Burchfiel BC (1987) Thin-skinned N-S extension within the convergent Himalayan region: gravitational collapse of a Miocene topographic front. Continental extension tectonics (Eds Coward MP, Dewey JF and Handcock PL) Geological Society London Special Publication 28: 611–619Google Scholar
  23. Shah SM, Siddiqui RA, Talent JA (1980) Geology of the eastern Khyber Agency, N.W.F.P. Geol Surv Pak Rec 44:90Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asghar Ali
    • 1
    Email author
  • Naveed Khan
    • 2
  • Sohaib Ahmad
    • 3
  • Rafique Ahmad
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of PeshawarPeshawarPakistan
  2. 2.Danna Geophysics UmerkotSindhPakistan
  3. 3.Mineral Development DepartmentPeshawar SecretariatPeshawarPakistan
  4. 4.Department of GeologyBacha Khan UniversityCharsaddaPakistan

Personalised recommendations