Thrust kinematics in the Kohat Plateau, Trans Indus Range, Pakistan

Iftikhar Ahmed Abbasi*, Ronan McElroy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The Kohat Plateau consists of a heavily deformed and structurally elevated thrust sheet. Pop-ups, broad synclines and narrow fault- and evaporite-cored anticlines record high-level translation of a large thrust mass along Eocene evaporites. A lower detachment level is also inferred, located at the base of the Mesozoic-Palaeozoic section. This lower detachment is common to both the Kohat and the adjacent Potwar Plateaux whereas the upper level is restricted to the Kohat. Beneath the Kohat, a blind imbricate stack of pre-Tertiary rocks is developed. Above their roof thrust, the foreland basin-fill of Kohat records greater internal deformation compared to that of the adjacent Potwar Plateau. In contrast, the Potwar thrust belt displays a greater amount of overthrusting on its basal surface, this displacement emerging in the Salt Range. Total shortening across the two plateaux is comparable, but is accommodated in an areally smaller thrust belt with a higher structural relief in the Kohat as compared to the Potwar structural province. The resultant geographical offset of the thrust front is denoted by the Hukni-Kalabagh lateral ramp. The differences in the thrust kinematics are tentatively suggested to be caused by the mechanical response of the orogenic wedge to different imposed geometries of the wedge laterally within the basin. The Kohat Plateau appears to have a lower basal dip than does the western Potwar, and thus shows greater internal deformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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