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The Afghanistan-North Pamir Folded Region

Tectonics :
Territorially, the region embraces the North-West Badakhshan (the Safedhirs and Khwaja
Mohammad ridges) and Western Hendukush, adjoining throughout its length the Region of
Middle Cimmerian Folding along the Main Hari Rod and Central Badakhshan faults. In a northeasterly direction, the Hercynian structures of the North-West Badakhshan pass directly into
Hercynides of the North Pamir and the latter pass into the structures of the Kun Lun. In a southwesterly direction, the structures of the Western Hendukush turn gently north-westwards and
disappear under the Sedimentary Cover of the North Afghanistan Platform, appearing there in
the cores of positive structures and deep incisions of valleys. These structures represent the
Folded Basement of the North Afghanistan Platform.

Structure
The internal structure of the Afghanistan-North Pamir Folded Region is not uniform. Based on
the nature of the sequence and type of the folded structures, as well as the features of
magmatism, the following zones can be delineated within the Afghan part of the region:
Surkhab, Jaway, Faydzabad, West Hendukush, Bamyan and Hazrat Sultan (61, 148, 153, 154,
413, 415).

Regional Geology
Within this territory, Lower Proterozoic rocks are widespread in the Jaway, Faydzabad and West
Hendukush zones.
Jaway Zone
Lower Proterozoic rocks occur in the cores of broad gentle dome-shaped anticlinal highs. The
rocks are compositionally variable gneiss, schist, marble and quartzite regionally
metamorphosed to an amphibolites facies. V. M. Moraliov et al. (351) distinguished three units in
the succession. The lower unit, 1,500 meters thick, consists of two-mica and biotite gneisses,
amphibolite, biotite-hornblende and mica schists, and quartzite. The middle unit (3,000 m) is
composed of two-mica and hornblende gneisses enclosing marble interbeds and lenses. The
upper unit (4500 m) consists of staurolite-garnet, mica, garnet-biotite and biotite gneisses.
The total thickness of the Lower Proterozoic rocks is 7,000 meters, The underlying units being
unknown, the rocks are unconformably overlain by Ordovician - Devonian, Lower Carboniferous
and middle Carboniferous-Lower Permian volcanogenic-sedimentary rocks. A structural
unconformity between the Lower Proterozoic and Middle Carboniferous - Lower Permian
sequences is particularly prominent, The rocks extend into the USSR, where their counterpart is
the Borshitsk Series of metamorphic rocks (73).
Faydzabad Zone
Lower Proterozoic metamorphic rocks compose most of the zone. They are subdivided into
three units.
The lower unit (2,500-4,000 m) consists of biotite, two-mica, garnet-two-mica, biotiteplagioclase-microcline and other gneisses, plagiogneiss, crystalline schist, quartzite and

amphibolite. The middle unit (500-900m.) is composed of marble interbedded with albite-quartz
and two-mica plagiogneisses and schists. The upper unit (1,500-2,500 m) consists of
crystalline schist, gneiss, amphibolite, quartzite and other rocks. The total thickness of the units
which are referred to by some investigators as the Faydzabad Series (162) is 4,500-7,400
meters.
Rock types
The main constituents in all the three units are gneisses, crystalline schists,
marbles, amphibolites and
quartzites.
Gneiss
Biotite-plagioclase-microcline, biotite, two-mica and other varieties of gneiss are distinguished.
The biotiteplagioclase-microcline gneiss has a granoblastic texture and banded structure and
consists of microcline (42%), quartz (25%), plagioclases (16%) and biotite (12%). The
accessory minerals are sphene, zircon and apatite. The biotite gneiss of a lepidogranoblastic
texture and schistose structure consists of plagioclases (medium basicity), quartz, biotite,
apatite and rutile. The two-mica gneiss has a lepidogranoblastic, less frequently, granoblastic
texture, and schistose structure. It consists of: plagioclase, quartz, biotite, muscovite and
apatite. The biotite plagiogneiss is lepidogranoblastic and blastopsammitic in texture and
massive in structure. The rock consists of quartz (30-40%), plagioclases (40-45%), biotite (1520%), apatite and zircon.
Schists
Schists. Several varieties of schist are distinguished: staurolite-garnet-biotite-quartz, garnet-twomica-quartz, garnet-biotite-plagioclase-quartz, garnet-muscovite-quartz, andalusite-sillimanitebiotite-quartz and others. The staurolite-garnet-biotite-quartz schist has a poikilitic texture and
schistose structure. It is composed of quartz (50-55%), fine-flaky muscovite chlorite (20%),
graphite (5-8%), fine-flaky biotite (5%), tourmaline, apatite, garnet, staurolite and biotite. The
garnet-two-mica-quartz schist is of a porphyroblastic texture and schistose, parallel structure. It
is composed of quartz (50-70%), chlorite-muscovite (25-50%), garnet, epidote, graphite, apatite,
zircon and tourmaline. The garnet-biotite-plagioclase-quartz schist bearing large
staurolite crystals has a porphyroblastic texture and schistose structure. The groundmass of the
rock consists of a scaly aggregates of biotite, muscovite and chlorite with quartz and plagioclase
(10-15%) bands and lenses in between. The accessory minerals are apatite, zircon and garnet.
The garnet-muscovite-quartz schist is of a porphyroblastic texture with the granolepidoblastic
groundmass and schistose structure. The rock consists of quartz, muscovite and garnet with
accessory tourmaline and apatite. The andalusite-sillimanitebiotite-quartz graphitized schist has
a lepidogranoblastic, fibrolite texture and schistose structure. The rock consists of interwovenfibrous aggregates of sillimanite, inequigranular quartz and large biotite flakes. The
albite-biotite-quartz-hornblende schist is of a granonematoblastic texture and schistose
structure. It is composed of hornblende (80-90%), albite, quartz and biotite.
Marble
Marble consists chiefly of calcite; dolomitic marble contains insignificant amounts of chlorite,
tremolite and sphene crystals.
Amphibolite
Amphibolite of a nematogranoblastic, occasionally granular texture and indistinctly schistose
structure consists of amphibole (acicular actinolite aggregate), plagioclase and biotite.

Quartzite
Quartzite is coarse-grained. heterogranoblastic-sutural in texture and foliated in structure. It
consists of hicksaw-intergrown quartz grains. Sericite scales, carbonate and epidote are
present.