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 GM  Vol.5 No.4 , October 2015
Controls and Implications of Geo-Technical Variation in Quartzose Rocks from Peshawar Basin, North-Western Pakistan
Abstract: Petrographic and geo-mechanical properties of samples representing quartzose rocks of Tanawal Formation (Baja Bamkhel area, Swabi) and Misri Banda quartzite (Nowshera) from Peshawar Basin, NW Pakistan, have been investigated. Although formerly referred to as quartzite, mineralogical composition and textural details support characterization of the studied quartzose samples of Tanawal Formation as blasto-psammite and those of Misri Banda as sub-arkose. The two rock types also show significant differences in terms of matrix and heavy mineral concentrations as well as the degree and frequency of intra-granular deformation. On the basis of unconfined compressive strength (UCS), both fall in the category of very strong rocks. Correspondingly, their specific gravity and water absorption values are high and low respectively and lie well within the range permissible for use as construction material. However, both contain high amounts of deleterious components, i.e. reactive forms of silica (chert and/or strained quartz) and clay minerals. Therefore, they cannot be used as coarse aggregate with Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and asphalt. The modal abundance of quartz is higher in the Misri Banda than the Tanawal samples, but the quartz to feldspar ratios are higher for the latter. Yet, the sub-arkosic Misri Banda rocks are stronger than the Tanawal blasto-psammites, most probably because they are i) almost totally devoid of matrix; ii) finer grained; iii) having a higher percentage of grains with irregular and sutured contacts and iv) lesser abundance of grains displaying intra-granular deformation.
Cite this paper: Zada, K. , Arif, M. , Sajid, M. (2015) Controls and Implications of Geo-Technical Variation in Quartzose Rocks from Peshawar Basin, North-Western Pakistan. Geomaterials, 5, 85-98. doi: 10.4236/gm.2015.54009.
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