Mesozoic deltaic system along the western margin of the Indian plate: Lithofacies and depositional setting of Datta Formation, North Pakistan

Iftikhar Ahmed Abbasi*, Mohammad Haneef, Shams Obaid, Farukh Daud, Amjad Waheed Qureshi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Over 1 km thick Mesozoic sedimentary sequence is exposed over a wide area in the Upper Indus basin of north Pakistan along the western margin of the Indian Plate. The Mesozoic sequence is comprised of clastic facies in the lower part, while carbonate facies are dominant in the upper part. About 200 m thick mixed sequence of interbedded sandstone, siltstone, clay, and carbonaceous shale represents the lower Jurassic Datta Formation in the Salt and Trans Indus Ranges in North Pakistan. The Datta Formation constitutes important reservoir horizons in a number of oil fields in the western Himalayan foreland basins where it is encountered at a depth of about 4 km in various wells. The Datta Formation is described from different parts of the range front to understand the internal architecture of various sedimentary facies and their depositional system. The thickness and lithofacies assemblages of the Datta Formation change in different parts of the range front as well as in subsurface of the Upper Indus basin. The Datta Formation represents a coarsening upward deltaic sequence in most parts of the basin. On the basis of lithological variations and sedimentary structures, a number of depositional facies have been recognized which include channel belt facies, floodplain/ abandoned channel facies, swamp facies, and lagoonal facies. Further north, in the Kalachitta and Hazara regions, the siliciclastic facies change to more complex assemblages of interbedded bauxite, silcrete, marl, and some limestone. These sediments represent deposition in a deltaplain setting of a fluvial-dominated delta with northwestward flowing channels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-480
Number of pages10
JournalArabian Journal of Geosciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 4 2012


  • Datta Formation
  • Delta
  • Mesozoic
  • North Pakistan
  • Salt and trans indus ranges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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