Advertisement

A balanced cross section across the Himalayan foreland belt, the Punjab and Himachal foothills: A reinterpretation of structural styles and evolution

  • Dilip K. Mukhopadhyay
  • Premanand Mishra
Article

Abstract

The Siwaliks in the foothills of the Himalayas, containing molasse sediments derived from the rising mountain front, represent a foreland fold-thrust belt which was deformed during the continued northward convergence of the Indian plate following the continent-continent collision. In this contribution we present balanced and restored cross sections along a line from Adampur through Jawalamukhi to Palampur in the foothills of the Punjab and Himachal Himalayas using published surface/subsurface data. The cross section incorporates all the rock units of the Sub-Himalaya Zone as well as that of the northern Lesser Himalaya Zone. The structural geometry of the fold-thrust belt in this section is largely controlled by three buried thrusts within the Sundernagar Formation of the Lesser Himalaya Zone. Two of these buried thrusts splay from the basal detachment and delineate a buried horse. Three thrusts towards foreland, including the Main Frontal Thrust (inferred to be a blind thrust in this sector), splay from these buried thrusts. In the hinterland, an anticlinal fault-bend fold was breached by a sequence of break-back thrusts, one of which is the Main Boundary Thrust. A foreland propagating thrust system is inadequate to explain the evolution of the fold-thrust-belt in this section. We show that a “synchronous thrusting” model in whichin-sequence initiation of thrusts at depth combined with continued motion on all the thrusts leading toout-of-sequence imbrication at the upper structural levels better explains the evolution of the fold-thrust belt in the Jawalamukhi section. The estimated shortening between the two chosen pin lines is about 36% (about 72 km).

Keywords

Balanced cross section Himalayan foreland fold-thrust belt Siwalik Hills crustal shortening synchronous thrusting 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Acharyya S K and Ray K K 1982 Hydrocarbon possibilities of concealed Mesozoic-Paleogene sediments below Himalayan nappes — reappraisal;Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 66 57–70Google Scholar
  2. Baker M, Lillie R J, Yeats R S, Johnson G D, Yousuf M and Zamin A S H 1988 Development of the Himalayan frontal thrust zone: Salt Range, Pakistan;Geology 16 3–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bally A W, Gordy P L and Stewart G A 1966 Structure, seismic data, and orogenic evolution of southern Canadian Rocky Mountains;Can. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 14 337–381Google Scholar
  4. Banks C J and Warburton J 1986 “Passive-roof” duplex geometry in the frontal structures of the Kirthar and Sulaiman mountain belts, Pakistan;J. Struct. Geol. 8 229–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhandari L L 1970 The ‘back thrusts’ of Punjab re-entrant;Pubn. of the Centre of Adv. Study in Geol. Panjab Univ. (Chandigarh)7 179–187Google Scholar
  6. Boyer S E 1992 Geometric evidence for synchronous thrusting in the southern Alberta and northwest Montana thrust belts; In:Thrust Tectonics (ed) K R McClay (Chapman & Hall) 377–390Google Scholar
  7. Boyer S E and Elliot D 1982 Thrust Systems;Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 66 1196–1230Google Scholar
  8. Butler R W H 1982 The terminology of structures in thrust belts;J. Struct. Geol. 4 139–245Google Scholar
  9. Butler R W H 1987 Thrust sequences;J. Geol. Soc. London 144 619–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coward M P and Butler R W H 1985 Thrust tectonics and the deep structure of the Pakistan Himalaya;Geology 13 417–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dahlstrom C D A 1969 Balanced cross section;Can. J. Earth Sci. 6 743–757Google Scholar
  12. Dahlstrom C D A 1970 Structural geology in the eastern margin of the Canadian Rocky Mountains;Can. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 18 332–406Google Scholar
  13. Davis D M and Engelder T 1985 The role of salt in fold-andthrust belts;Tectonophysics 119 67–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Paor D G 1988 Balanced sections in thrust belts. Part 1: Construction;Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 72 73–90Google Scholar
  15. Elliot D and Johnson M R W 1980 Structural evolution in the northern part of the Moine Thrust belt, NW Scotland;Trans. R. Soc. Edin. Earth Sci. 71 69–96Google Scholar
  16. Gahalaut V K and Chander R 1997 On interseismic elevation changes and strain accumulation for great thrust earthquakes in the central Nepal;Geophy. Res. Lett. 24 1011–1014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gansser A 1981 The geodynamic history of the Himalaya; In:Zagros, Hindukush, Himalaya, Geodynamic Evolution (eds) H K Gupta and F M Delany;Am. Geophys. Union Geody. Sr. 3 111–121Google Scholar
  18. Gilluly J 1960 A folded thrust in Nevada — inferences as to time relations between folding and faulting;Am. J. Sci. 258A 68–79Google Scholar
  19. Jadoon I A K, Lawrence R D and Lillie R J 1992 Balanced and retrodeformed geological cross-section from the frontal Sulaiman Lobe, Pakistan: Duplex development in thick strata along the western margin of the Indian Plate; In:Thrust Tectonics (ed) K R McClay (Chapman & Hall) 343–356Google Scholar
  20. Johnson G D, Raynolds R G and Burbank D W 1986 Late Cenozoic tectonics and sedimentation in the north-western Himalayan foredeep: I. Thrust ramping and associated deformation in the Potwar region; In:Foreland basins (eds) P A Allen and P HomewoodSpec. Pubn. Inter. Assoc. Sed. 8 273–291Google Scholar
  21. Karunakaran C and Ranga Rao A R 1979 Status of exploration for hydrocarbon in the Himalayan region — contributions to stratigraphy and structure;Geol. Surv. India Misc. Pubn. 41 1–66Google Scholar
  22. Lillie R J, Johnson G D, Yousaf M, Zamin M and Yeats R S 1987 Structural development within the Himalayan foreland fold-and-thrust belt of Pakistan; In:Sedimentary Basins and Basin Forming Mechanisms (eds) C Beaumont and A J TankandCan. Soc. Petrol. Geol. Mem. 12 379–392Google Scholar
  23. McDougall J W and Hussain A 1991 Fold and thrust propagation in the western Himalaya based on a balanced cross section of the Surghar Range and Kohat Plateau, Pakistan;Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 75 463–478Google Scholar
  24. Medwedeff D A and Suppe J 1997 Multibend fault-bend folding;J. Struct. Geol. 19 279–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mitra G and Sussman A J 1997 Structural evolution of connecting splay duplexes and their implications for critical taper: an example based on geometry and kinematics of the Canyon Range culmination, Sevier Belt, Central Utah;J. Struct. Geol. 19 503–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mitra S 1986 Duplex structures and imbricate thrust systems: geometry, structural position, and hydrocarbon potential;Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 70 1087–1112Google Scholar
  27. Mitra S 1990 Fault-propagation folds: geometry, kinematic evolution, and hydrocarbon traps;Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull. 74 921–945Google Scholar
  28. Mitra S and Namson J 1989 Equal-area balancing;Am. J. Sci. 289 563–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Morley C K 1988 Out-of-sequence thrusts;Tectonics 7 539–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mugnier J L, Delcaillau B, Huyghe P and Leturmy P 1998 The break-back thrust splay of the main Dun Thrust (Himalayas of western Nepal): evidence of an intermediate displacement scale between earthquake slip and finite geometry of thrust systems;J. Struct. Geol. 20 857–864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mukhopadhyay D K, Bhadra B K, Ghosh T K and Srivastava D C 1997 Ductile shearing and large-scale thrusting in the Main Central Thrust Zone, Chur-peak area, Lesser Himachal Himalaya;J. Geol. Soc. India 50 5–24Google Scholar
  32. Najman Y, Clift P, Johnson M R W and Robertson A H F 1993 Early stages of foreland basin evolution in the Lesser Himalaya, N India; In:Himalayan Tectonics (eds) P J Treloar and M P SearleGeol. Soc. Spl. Pubn. 74 541–558Google Scholar
  33. Parkash B and Kumar S 1991 The Indogangetic basin; In:Sedimentary Basins of India: Tectonic Context (eds) S K Tandon C C Pant and S M Casshyap (Gyanodaya Prakashan Nainital) 147–170Google Scholar
  34. Parkash B, Sharma R P and Roy A K 1980 The Siwalik Group (molasse)-sediments shed by collision of continental plates.Sed. Geol. 25 127–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pilgrim G E and West W D 1928 The structure and correlation of the Simla rocks;Geol. Surv. India Mem. 53, 1–150Google Scholar
  36. Powers P M, Lillie R J and Yeats R S 1998 Structure and shortening of the Kangra and Dehra Dun reentrants, Sub-Himalaya, India,Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 110 1010–1027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Raiverman V, Ganju J L and Misra V N 1979 A new look into the stratigraphy of Cenozoic sediments of the Himalayan Foothills between the Ravi and Yamuna rivers;Geol. Surv. India Misc. Pubn. 41 233–246Google Scholar
  38. Raiverman V, Kunte S V and Mukherjea A 1983 Basin geometry, Cenozoic sedimentation and hydrocarbon prospects in northwestern Himalaya and Indo-Gangetic plains;Petrol. Asia J. 6 67–92Google Scholar
  39. Raiverman V, Srivastava A K and Prasad D N 1993 On the foothill thrust of northwestern Himalaya;J. Himalayan Geol. 4 237–256Google Scholar
  40. Raiverman V, Srivastava A K and Prasad D N 1994 Structural style in northwestern Himalayan foothills;Himalayan Geol. 15 263–280Google Scholar
  41. Raiverman V, Ganju J L, Ram J and Misra V N 1990Geological Map of Himalayan Foothills between Ravi and Yamuna rivers, (Dehra Dun: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation)Google Scholar
  42. Ramsay J G and Huber M I 1987The Techniques of Modern Structural Geology. Vol. 2:Foldsand Fractures; (Academic Press)Google Scholar
  43. Sastri V V 1979 An overview of petroleum geotectonics of the region to the north and south of the Himalaya;Geol. Surv. India Misc. Pubn. 41 247–275Google Scholar
  44. Schelling D 1992 The tectonostratigraphy and structure of the eastern Nepal Himalaya;Tectonics 11 925–943CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schelling D and Arita K 1991 Thrust tectonics, crustal shortening and the structure of the far-eastern Nepal Himalaya;Tectonics 10 851–862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Seeber L, Armbruster J G and Quittmeyer R C 1981 Seismicity and continental subduction in the Himalayan arc; In:Zagros, Hindukush, Himalaya, Geodynamic Evolution (eds) H K Gupta and F M DelanyAm. Geophys. Union Geody. Sr. 3 215–242Google Scholar
  47. Srikantia S V 1977 The Sundernagar Group: its geology, correlation and significance as stratigraphically deepest sediment in the Peninsular of Lesser Himalaya;J. Geol. Soc. India 18 7–22Google Scholar
  48. Srikantia S V and Sharma R P 1972 The Precambrian salt deposits of the Himachal Pradesh Himalaya — its occurrence, tectonics and correlation;Himalayan Geol. 2 22–38Google Scholar
  49. Srikantia S V and Sharma R P 1976 Geology of Shali belt and adjoining areas;Geol. Surv. India Mem. 106 31–116Google Scholar
  50. Srikantia S V and Bhargava O N 1998Geology of Himachal Pradesh; (Geol. Soc. India)Google Scholar
  51. Srivastava P and Mitra G 1994 Thrust geometries and deep structure of the outer and lesser Himalaya, Kumaon and Garhwal (India): Implications for evolution of the Himalayan fold-and-thrust belt;Tectonics 13 89–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Suppe J 1983 Geometry and kinematics of fault-bend folding;Am. J. Sci. 283 684–721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Suppe J 1985Principles of Structural Geology (Prentice Hall Inc.)Google Scholar
  54. Suppe J and Medwedeff D A 1990 Geometry and kinematics of fault-propagation folding;Eclog. geol. Helv. 83 409–454Google Scholar
  55. Tandon S K 1991 The Himalayan foreland: focus on Siwalik basin; In:Sedimentary Basins of India: Tectonic Context (eds) S K Tandon, C C Pant and S M Casshyap (Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital) 171–201Google Scholar
  56. Thakur V C 1993 Geology of Western Himalaya;Phys. Chem. Earth (Pergamon Press)19 1–363Google Scholar
  57. Woodward N B, Boyer S E and Suppe J 1989 Balanced geological cross-sections: An essential technique in geological research and exploration;Am. Geophys. Union Short Course 6 1–132Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of RoorkeeRoorkee, 247667, U.P.India

Personalised recommendations