The remote Waziristan region of northwestern Pakistan includes outcrops of the India-Asia suture zone. The excellent exposure of the Waziristan ophiolite and associated sedimentary lithosomes and their inaccessibility made the use of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data desirable in this study. Landsat TM data were used to create a spectral ratio image of bands 3/4, 5/4, and 7/5, displayed as red, green, and blue, respectively, and a principal component analysis image of bands 4, 5, and 7 (RGB). These images were interpreted in the context of available geologic maps, limited field work, and biostratigraphic, lithostratigraphic, and radiometric data. They were used to create a coherent geologic map of Waziristan and cross section of the area that document five tectonic units in the region and provide a new and more detailed tectonic history for the region. The lowest unit is comprised of Indian shelf sediments that were thrust under the Waziristan ophiolite. The ophiolite has been tectonically shuffled and consists of two separate tectonic units. The top thrust sheet is a nappe comprised of distal Triassic to Lower Cretaceous Neotethyan sediments that were underthrust during the Late Cretaceous by the ophiolite riding on Indian shelf strata. The uppermost unit contains unconformable Tertiary and younger strata. The thrust sheets show that the Waziristan ophiolite was obducted during Late Cretaceous time and imply that the Paleocene and Eocene deformation represents collision of India with the Kabul block and/or Asia.
Additional publication details
New structural and stratigraphic insights for northwestern Pakistan from field and Landsat Thematic Mapper data