Petrographic and Mechanical Properties of Sandstone from Murree Formation, Jena Kor Area, Peshawar Basin. A Case Study

Mustafa Yar, Mohammad Arif, Arif Khan Afridi, Muhammad Saeed, Muhammad Ziad, Arshad Ali

Abstract


The Murree Formation is a part of the Miocene molasse sequence of the Peshawar Basin and consists of a series of alternating beds of sandstone, siltstone and shale with subordinate marls and conglomerates. In the present study Murree Formation lies at the Southern margin of Peshawar Basin, Jena Kor area, FR Peshawar. The primary focus of this research is sandstone of the respective formation, which is predominantly fine to medium-grained and moderately to well-sorted. The framework grains (quartz, feldspar and rock fragments) are angular to sub-angular to sub-rounded. Their relative modal abundance and petrographic features reflect the Murree Sandstone is mineralogically submature and texturally immature. The observed heavy minerals include chlorite, zircon, epidote, rutile, illmenite, chromite, sphene, apatite and tourmaline. The sandstone contains an average matrix abundance of 36% and hence classified as wacke. The relative proportion of framework grains of most of the samples lie in the category of arkosic wacke. In order to assess the potential of Murree Sandstone for use in construction, uniaxial compressive strength (77.07+21.61), uniaxial tensile strength (11.53+2.24), shear strength, porosity (1.21%), specific gravity (3.12) and water absorption (0.389%) of three bulk samples were determined. On the basis of these results obtained, sandstones of Murree Formation are regarded as appropriate for construction purposes.

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