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Volume 36

November 2007

Special Issue


Fifth Nepal Geological Congress
on Geology, Environment, and Natural Hazards Mitigation:
Key to National Development
2627 November 2007
Kathmandu, Nepal


Chief Editor
Dr. Rajendra Bahadur Shrestha
Department of Mines and Geology
Lainchaur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: 977-1-4437874

Dr. Dinesh Pathak
Department of Geology,
Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University
Ghantaghar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: 0977-1-4268034
Email: dineshpathak@wlink.com.np

Dr. Naresh Kaji Tamrakar

Central Department of Geology
Tribhuvan University
Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: 0977-1-4332449
Email: ntamrakar@hotmail.com

Dr. Ananta Prasad Gajurel

Department of Geology,
Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University
Ghantaghar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: 0977-1-4268034
Email: apgajurel@yahoo.com

Mr. Ghan Bahadur Shrestha

Mountain Risk Engineering Unit,
Tribhuvan University,
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: 977-1-4331325
Email: info@ngs.org.np

Nepal Geological Society

The views and interpretations in this paper are those of the author(s). They are not attributable to the Nepal Geological Society (NGS) and
do not imply the expression of any opinion concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning
the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress on

Geology, Environment, and Natural Hazards Mitigation: Key to National Development
2627 November 2007
Organised by

Nepal Geological Society

Organising Committee
Convener: Dr. M. R. Dhital

Mr. L. N. Rimal
Vice-President, NGS, Nepal
Dr. Danda Pani Adhikari
General Secretary, NGS, Nepal
Mr. Sudhir Rajaure
Member, NGS, Nepal
Mr. Dharma Raj Khadka
Treasurer, NGS, Nepal
Mr. A. N. Bhandary
Ex-President, NGS, Nepal
Mr. A. M. Dixit
Ex-President, NGS, Nepal
Mr. K. P. Kaphle
Ex-President, NGS, Nepal
Professor Dr. B. N. Upreti
Ex-President, NGS, Nepal
Mr. P. S. Tater
Ex-President, NGS, Nepal
Dr. R. M. Tuladhar
Ex-President, NGS, Nepal
Dr. Toran Sharma
Managing Director, NESS
Dr. V. Dangol
Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Dr. D. R. Kansakar
Department of Irrigation
Mr. G. S. Pokhrel
NEA, Nepal
Mr. S. P. Mahato
DMG, Nepal
Mr. B. M. Jnawali
PEPP, DMG, Nepal
Mr. B. R. Aryal,
DMG, Nepal
Mr. J. N. Shrestha
Ministry of Industries and Commerce and Supply
Mr. J. L. Shrestha
Department of Irrigation
Mr. Keshav Kunwar
Mr. Shiva Kumar Sharma
Himal Hydro

Mr. Hare Ram Shrestha

Mr. J. R. Ghimire
Mr. Soma Nath Sapkota
Mr. Khagendra Nath Kafle
Mr. Subas Chandra Sunuwar
Mr. Durga Prasad Osti
Baneshwor, Kathmandu

Advisory Committee
Professor Dr. M. P. Sharma
Vice-Chancellor, Tribhuvan University
Director General, DMG
Director General, DoI
Director General, DWIDP
Director General, DoR
Director General, DoLIDAR
Managing Director, NEA
Director General, ICIMOD
Mr. M. R. Pandey, Hon. Member, NGS
Mr. B. M. Pradhan, Hon. Member, NGS
Mr. J. M. Tater, Ex-President, NGS
Mr. G. S. Thapa, Ex-President, NGS
Mr. N. D. Maskey, Ex-President, NGS
Mr. N. B. Kayastha, Ex-President, NGS
Mr. V. S. Chhetri, Ex-President, NGS
Dr. P. C. Adhikary
CDG, Tribhuvan University
Mr. D. B. Thapa, Ex-DC, NEA
Mr. P. R. Joshi, Ex-DDG, DMG
Congress Secretariat
Mr. Rajesh Dhungana
Mr. A. M. S. Pradhan
Mr. U. K. Raghubanshi
Mr. B. R. Pant

The Nepal Geological Society is going to organise the Fifth Nepal Geological Congress on the theme Geology, Environment,
and Natural Hazards Mitigation: Key to National Development from 26 to 27 November 2007 in Kathmandu, Nepal. We
express our hearty felicitations to all the participants and guests of the Congress. The Nepal Geological Society is indebted to
the individuals and organisations that generously supported and co-operated to make this Congress a success. We are
confident that this Congress will be an impressive gathering of geoscientists from all over the world.
The Nepal Geological Society expresses its sincere gratitude to the following organisations for providing the generous
financial support:

Butwal Power Company Ltd.;

Cairn Energy PLC 50, Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9BY, United Kingdom;
Dhanvi Cement Pvt. Ltd.;
Hetauda Cement Industries Pvt. Ltd.;
Himal Hydro and General Construction Company Ltd.;
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA); Project Managers, DDC-JV, Udipur, Lamjung;
Nepal Environmental & Scientific Services (NESS) (P) Ltd., and
SILT Consultants (P.) Ltd.

Similarly, the Nepal Geological Society also sincerely acknowledges the following institutions and organisations for
financial support and kind co-operation:

Bhote Kosi Hydropower Project;

Butwal Cement Mills (Pvt.) Ltd.;
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University;
Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University;
Department of Irrigation, Government of Nepal;
Department of Mines and Geology, Government of Nepal;
Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention, Government of Nepal;
DIP Consultancy (P.) Ltd.;
East Consult;
GEOCE Consultants (P.) Ltd.;
Godavari Marble Industries (P.) Ltd.;
Himalayan Sherpa Coal Uddyog;
Himali Gems Industry (Pvt.) Ltd.;
ICIMOD, Lalitpur, Nepal;
ITECO Nepal (P.) Ltd.;
ITECO-CEMAT Geotech Services (P.) Ltd.;
Jagadamba Press;
Manokamana Coal Industries (Pvt.) Ltd.;
Maruti Coal Uddyog;
METCON Consultants;
NAST, Lalitpur, Nepal;
National Society for Earthquake Technololgy-Nepal (NSET-Nepal);
Nepal Metal Company Limited;
Nippon Koei Prvt. Ltd;
NISSAKU Co. (Nepal) Pvt. Ltd.;
Petroleum Exploration Promotion Project, DMG, Government of Nepal;
Prem Coal Uddyog;
Udaypur Cement Industries Limited; and
Vivek Coal Uddyog (P.) Ltd.
R. B. Shrestha, D. Pathak, A. P. Gajurel, N. K. Tamrakar, and G. B. Shrestha

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

General Geology, Tectonics, and Seismicity
Why geological maps?
J. Stcklin ............................................................................................................................................................................... 1
The growth and rise of Tibet: hidden plate tectonics, 4D evolution of the mantle, and topographic evolution
P. Tapponnier .......................................................................................................................................................................... 1
Spatial distribution of frontal faults in Nepal Himalaya
M. R. Dhital ............................................................................................................................................................................ 2
Similar earthquake swarms in the trace of southern Tibetan grabens reveal a subtle strain transient event
along the Main Himalayan Thrust
L. Bollinger, S. Rajaure, and S. N. Sapkota ........................................................................................................................... 3
Seismo-tectonics of the Shillong Plateau - a geodynamic perspective through remote sensing
B. P. Duarah and S. Phukan ................................................................................................................................................... 3
An investigation on the temporal variation of seismicity in Indo-Burma border region
N. C. Barman and S. Kalita .................................................................................................................................................... 4
Dry climatic evidence in central Himalaya around 40 ka from lacustrine sediments of Kathmandu Basin, Nepal
A. P. Gajurel, C. France-Lanord, P. Huyghe,J. L. Mugnier, T. Sakai, H. Sakai, and B. N. Upreti ......................................... 4
Contemporary tectonic stress field in the Himalaya-Tibet orogen: a view from 2D finite element modeling
D. Chamlagain and D. Hayashi ............................................................................................................................................. 5
Geology and tectonic setting of the volcaniclastic succession ofthe Upper Cretaceous,
western Sulaiman fold belt, Pakistan
T. Khan ................................................................................................................................................................................... 6
Depositional environmental change of the Kathmandu Valley sediments inferred from the stratigraphy,
sedimentological and mineralogical study
M. R. Paudel and H. Sakai ..................................................................................................................................................... 6
Petrology of granulites of the Shillong Plateau from west Garo Hills district, Meghalaya, India
B. Bhagabaty and A. C. Mazumdar ........................................................................................................................................ 7
Lithostratigraphy of Baitadi area, far western Nepal
A. S. Mahara ........................................................................................................................................................................... 8
Late Pleistocene plant macrofossils from the Gokarna Formation of the Kathmandu valley, central Nepal
S.. Bhandari, K. N. Paudayal, and A. Momohara .................................................................................................................. 8
Mineralogy, petrochemistry and genesis of scheelite-bearing skarns and related acid magmatism
at Sargipali, Eastern India
S. Chowdhury ......................................................................................................................................................................... 9
Major and trace element geochemistry of granitic augen gneisses from Tamakoshi-Likhu Khola area, east Nepal
K. R. Regmi ............................................................................................................................................................................. 9
Thermal evolution of the Lesser Himalaya, central Nepal: Insights from white mica compositions and K-Ar ages
L. P. Paudel, T. Itaya, and K. Arita ....................................................................................................................................... 10


Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

Geology of the Lesser Himalayan and Higher Himalayan Crystalline sequences of the Everest area
along the Dudh Koshi valley, eastern Nepal Himalaya
S. M. Rai, M. Yoshida, B. N. Upreti, and P. D. Ulak ............................................................................................................. 11
Evidence for seismicity in the lower crust and upper mantle in the Nepal Himalaya, implication
for the rheology of the lithosphere
S. Rajaure, S. N. Sapkota, J. P. Avouac, and L. Bollinger .................................................................................................... 13
An investigation on the seismicity and seismic gaps in the Indo-Myanmar border region
S. Kalita and N.C. Barman ................................................................................................................................................... 14
Engineering Geology and Geophysics
High carbon dioxide flux associated with radon-222 gas exhalation and dipolar self-potential
anomaly at the Syabru-Bensi hot springs in central Nepal
F. Perrier, S. Rajaure, P. Richon, S. R. Pant, C. France-Lanord, A. Revil, S. Byrdina1, S. Contraires,
U. Gautam, B. Koirala, P. Shrestha, D. R. Tiwari, L. Bollinger, L. P. Paudel, and S. N. Sapkota ........................................ 15
Rock squeezing problem in tunnels of Nepal and its prediction
S. C. Sunuwar ....................................................................................................................................................................... 16
Cross-borehole GPR survey for the study of the grouting
S. R. Pant .............................................................................................................................................................................. 16
Quality assessment, reserve estimation and economic analysis of roofing slate in the west central Lesser Himalaya
N. R. Neupane and L. P. Paudel ........................................................................................................................................... 17
Deformation analysis of foundation: a case study from the Bir Hospital Trauma Centre, Kathmandu, Nepal
A. R. Adhikari and A. M. S. Pradhan ................................................................................................................................... 18
Engineering, hydrological, and sedimentation studies of the Kankai River, eastern Nepal
U. K. Raghubanshi ............................................................................................................................................................... 18
Slope stability analysis using GIS on a regional scale
P. Kayastha ........................................................................................................................................................................... 19
Natural Hazards and Environmental Geology
Seismic hazard assessment of NW Himalayan fold-and-thrust belt, Pakistan using deterministic approach
MonaLisa, Azam A. Khwaja, and M. Q. Jan ......................................................................................................................... 21
Disaster vulnerability prediction modeling using GIS in the Agra Khola watershed, central Nepal
P. B. Thapa ............................................................................................................................................................................ 22
Kamikate landslide: a case study of rainfall triggered landslide in far western Nepal
S. K. Dwivedi, G. Ojha, M. P. Koirala, and S. Dwivedi ......................................................................................................... 22
Some notable disasters in Nepal and their mitigation
G. R. Chitrakar, B. Piya, D. Nepali, and S. P. Manandhar ................................................................................................... 23
Geohazards and environmental degradation in some of the urban areas of Nepal
K. P. Kaphle, L. N. Rimal, A. K. Duvadi, B. Piya, and D. Nepali .......................................................................................... 23
GIS-based landslide hazard mapping in Jhimruk River basin, west Nepal
D. Pathak, A. P. Gajurel, and G. B. Shrestha ........................................................................................................................ 25
Landslide and debris flow hazards in the Mugling-Narayangarh Highway section, central Nepal
D. P. Adhikari and S. R. Joshi .............................................................................................................................................. 25


Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Flood hazard mitigation in Barpeta district, Assam, north-east India
N. K. Talukdar and S. Kalita ................................................................................................................................................ 26
Preliminary investigation of Laprak landslide of Gorkha district, west Nepal
R. P. Khanal .......................................................................................................................................................................... 27
The Devastating Ramche Landslide (Rasuwa) and the Future of Polchet Residents
T. Ghimire, L. P. Paudel, and B. Pant ................................................................................................................................... 27
Study of river shifting of Kodku Khola in Kathmandu Valley using remotely sensed data
D. Pathak, A. P. Gajurel, and G. B. Shrestha ........................................................................................................................ 28
Geomorphological observations surrounding Lukla, eastern Nepal Himalaya
S. M. Rai, M. Yoshida, and B. N. Upreti ............................................................................................................................... 29
Sea level changes due to climate change facts and fiction
S. K. Saha and Md. Hussain Monsur ................................................................................................................................... 30
Author Index ......................................................................................................................................................................... 31


General Geology, Tectonics, and Seismicity

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Why geological maps?

J. Stcklin
Erdbuehlstrasse 4 CH-8472 Seuzach, Switzerland

There remains, however, an unchanged responsibility of

the geologist towards the community. He is expected to give
answers to urgent geological problems facing people
concerned with natural environment and hazards, with mineral
resources and exploration, with hydropower, irrigation, soil
conservation, with planning roads and dams, in short, with
problems related to the rocks that form the immediate ground
on which we live. The geological map remains the fundamental
document giving the answers to many of these questions, be
it a map showing the general geology or a map focusing on a
specific geological aspect.

The geological map was and remains the fundamental

document in classical geological exploration. In Nepal,
geological information up to the middle of the 20th century
was sporadic and geological maps were inexistent. With the
opening of the country in 1950, a sharp rise of geological
activity set in, and a wealth of factual information
accumulated. Particularly in the 1970s, some excellent maps
of selected parts of the High Himalaya were published by
individual explorers, while maps of the geologically less
spectacular but economically more important Lesser Himalaya
were, even if not published, yet produced for public use by
the Department of Mines and Geology, Goverment of Nepal.
Observational facts had priority, interpretation and theory
were of secondary importance.

The choice of the principal subjects of this Congress

(Regional Geology and Tectonics on the one hand, Natural
Environment, Resources and Hazards on the other) and the
maps and reports published in the last years by the
Department of Mines and Geology and by the Geological
Society of Nepal show that the responsible Institutions in
this country follow a course that tries to keep a reasonable
balance between theoretical and applied geology.

A change came about with the advent of plate tectonics.

It brought important new insights into the interior of the
Earth, turned the attention to the oceans, to crustal
differentiations, to processes in the deeper layers of the Globe,
and in general caused a shift of interest from the surface to
the interior of our planet. With it went also a shift of balance
from data to theory, from observation to speculation, from
facts to fiction. Models largely replaced the maps.

The growth and rise of Tibet: hidden plate tectonics, 4D evolution

of the mantle, and topographic evolution
P. Tapponnier
Institut de Physique du Globe, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France

Results of ongoing studies of Cenozoic deformation and

magmatism, coupled with evidence from seismic tomography
experiments and the kinematic picture emerging from
Holocene slip-rate measurements support a growth model of
the 2.5x106 km2 wide and 5000 m high Tibet plateau that
reconciles the two most prominent facets of Cenozoic Asian
tectonics: relief building and strike-slip extrusion.

basins, in the foreland of mantle megathrusts. The crust thus

thickened while the mantle, decoupled beneath gentlydipping decollements, did not. The existence of distinct
magmatic belts younging northwards implies that slabs of
Asian lithospheric mantle subducted one after another under
ranges north of the Gangdese. Reactivation of deep
lithospheric cuts corresponding to Mesozoic sutures of the
Tibetan collage probably controlled diachronous initiation
of subduction from South to North. Oblique subduction of
mantle slabs was coupled with extrusion along sinistral faults
slicing Tibets East side, a slip-partitionning process that
accounts for the striking asymmetry of faulting and mountain
growth towards the Northeast.

The rise of the plateau, at the expense of Asian lithosphere,

likely occurred in three main stages since India collided with
Asia 55Ma ago. It probably involved the successive,
northeastward growth and uplift of 3-500 km-wide crustal
thrust-wedges, with sediment infill of dammed intermontane

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

ocalizing along inherited weak zones. In short, processes
operating beneath the largest plateau on Earth may be little
more than hidden Plate Tectonics.

Ever since the onset of collision, the Indian plate appears

to have overridden its own sinking mantle. Such Indian mantle
does not underthrust Tibet much north of the Zangbo suture,
which argues against models of plateau build-up involving
Indian lithosphere. Tomograms below India confirm that
Asian deformation has absorbed at least H1500 km of
convergence since collision began. Beneath NW-Tibet,
teleseismic tomography implies that the Tarim lithospheric
mantle plunges 45southwards, down to ~300 km.

In the mosaic of basins that makes the bulk of the plateau,

the evolution of river systems and drainage efficiency,
coupled with tectonic uplift provides a robust mechanism to
explain systematic regional differences in Tibetan landscape.
They also provide a unifying mechanism for the formation of
the low-relief interior, and for the origin of the high-elevation
low-relief relict surface in SE Tibet. Consequently, they cast
doubt on the fashionable contention that a continuous, preuplift, low-relief surface formed at low elevation, all the way
to the South China Sea shore, before being warped upwards
in the Late Miocene-Pliocene by lower crustal channel flow.

The thickening crust in Asia appears to hide motions of

lithospheric mantle blocks that are similar to those seen at
oblique convergent margins. Even in the heart of the collision
zone, the continental lithospheric mantle retained enough
strength to behave plate-like, with deep deformation

Spatial distribution of frontal faults in Nepal Himalaya

M. R. Dhital
Central Department of Geology
Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal

the vicinity of Katari, Bagpati, and Kampughat. Hence, the

definition that the MBT separates the Lesser Himalayan and
Siwalik rocks becomes invalid. A closer look at the Siwaliks
reveals that there are a number of independent and
discontinues faults at the foreland front. They too cannot be
classified as a single fault. Generally, about 20 to 30 km long
tight folds extend from the fault tips and there are extensive
areas where the Siwalik rocks are overturned. There are also
a number of backthrusts in the Siwaliks as well as in the
Lesser Himalaya.

Conventionally it has been believed that the Main Frontal

Thurst (MFT) and Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) continue
throughout the Nepal Himalaya as two continues and subparallel faults. However, detailed field studies, the study of
available geological maps, and the analysis of satellite images
as well as SRTM data clearly indicate that the situation is
more complex.
The imbricate frontal faults in the Nepal Himalaya are
generally sub-parallel; they trend from NW to SE and extend
for tens of kilometres. Each of the faults in this fault swarm
terminates in either a fold or another fault. In the latter case,
frequently the fault towards the foreland terminates in the
fault extending from the hinterland.

A normal fault runs very close to the MBT between the

Mahakali River and Budar as well as in the area between
Surkhet and Dang. Steeply inclined Recent gravel beds are
observed in the Siwaliks of the Mahakali area in far-west
Nepal and at Barphalyang in the Ilam district of east Nepal.
Such features clearly indicate that the entire Himalayan frontal
fault system is tectonically active.

The Lesser Himalayan and Siwalik rocks constitute

imbricate slices and duplexes. Consequently, there are outliers
of the Lesser Himalayan rocks in the Siwaliks of east Nepal in

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Similar earthquake swarms in the trace of southern Tibetan grabens

reveal a subtle strain transient event along the Main Himalayan Thrust
L. Bollinger1, S. Rajaure2, and S. N. Sapkota2
Dpartement Analyse Surveillance Environnement, France
Department of Mines and Geology, Kathmandu, Nepal

From December 1996 to February 1997 the Nepal

Seismological Centre (NSC) recorded a simultaneous dramatic
increase in midcrustal seismicity rates in 3 distinct regions,
hundred of kilometers from each other, along the Main
Himalayan Thrust (MHT). Although the rate of seismic
events and their magnitudes differ between clusters, the 3
swarms normalized time structures appear very similar,
including a pre-swarm decrease in event rate. Furthermore,
two swarms appear weeks before their main shock events.
Strikingly, the three regions affected are located in the trace
of Southern Tibetan grabens inclined, a few months later, to
large seismic crisis. The likelihood of three swarms occurring

simultaneously, and depicting the same time structure, by

chance alone, is tested. Its probability, determined using
different approaches, is small. The events may be related to a
single process. A subtle transient slip event along the deeper
part of the seismogenic zone of the Main Himalayan Thrust
is therefore suspected. However, the seismicity rate change
between the clusters appears insignificant. We describe the
stress pattern along the high Himalayan range in Nepal, and
show that the 3 regions affected by the swarms appear more
sensitive than others to small stress changes. Continuous
Everest DORIS station as well as sparse campaign GPS data
allow put an upper bound to this subtle strain transient event.

Seismo-tectonics of the Shillong Plateau - a geodynamic

perspective through remote sensing
*B. P. Duarah and S. Phukan
Department of Geological Sciences
Gauhati University, Guwahati-781 014, Assam, India
(*Email: bpduarah@yahoo.com)

as a result of stress development. The structural interpretation

of Landsat ETM+ and SRTM data shows that the central part
of the Shillong Plateau possesses young topography with
strong structural fabrics along with relatively high
topography aligning NE-SW following the Kolkota-PabnaMymansingh High and if extended passes through Bomdila
in the Himalayas. This alignment has been observed in the
Precambrian Gneissic Complex west of the Proterozoic
intracratonic Shillong Basin. The epicentral plots from 1918
to June 2007 show their high concentration within the Shillong
Plateau aligning along this trend. The active geodynamics of
Shillong Plateau is reflected in its seismic activity. It is
observed that the Brahmaputra river in the plateau frontbetween Palasbari (91o30' 39"E: 26o06'58"N) and Goalpara
(90o37'47"E: 26o11'01"N) has been shifted by more than 5 km
to the north during the period from 1911-2002, which otherwise
a south migrating river. This is also supported by shrinking
pattern of Sandubi (Chandubi) Lake in the Kulsi river
catchment, a north-flowing tributary of the Brahmaputra in
the north-central part of the plateau.

The Shillong Plateau of Northeastern part of India is

tectonically and geologically interesting entity in the
subducted front of Indian Plate below the Burmese Plate to
the southeast and Tibetan Plate to the north, due to the
northeastern journey of the Indian Plate. Structural features,
like horse-tail geometry in the Dafala Hills, east of the Jia
Bhareli river, associated with south-convex foothill ranges in
the eastern Himalaya and exactly similar structural geometry
in the eastern part of Shillong Plateau in Meghalaya seems to
develop due to high resistance received by the Shillong
Plateau in its eastward journey, which is possibly
accompanied by clockwise rotation of the plateau. The wide
separation of the Karbi Anglong Plateau and the Shillong
Plateau to the southeast as compared to the northwestern
part seems to represent the shape of the Kopili Graben. Low
seismic activity in the southeastern part of the Shillong
Plateau might be related to the stress released field generated
by its clockwise rotation. In conformity with this fact, high
concentration of epicenters is observed in the northwestern
part of the Kopili graben, in the central Brahmaputra valley,

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

An investigation on the temporal variation of seismicity

in Indo-Burma border region
N. C. Barman and *S. Kalita
Department of Environmental Science, Gauhati University, India
(*Email: skalita@sify.com)

The Indo-Burma border region within 20o28oN latitudes

and 93o98oE longitudes shows heterogeneous distribution
of earthquakes and on this basis, the region can be divided
into three tectonic blocks - Block-I (20o22.5oN), Block-II
(22.5o25oN) and Block-III (25o28oN). Temporal variation of
earthquakes (M 4mb) in these blocks shows that there is
some similarity in the variation patterns of Block-I and BlockIII (r = 0.77), which indicates that these two blocks behaves
almost similarly in the process of strain accumulation and
release. In all the three blocks, there can be identified a low
seismic activity period (1998-2003). For the belt as a whole,
monthwise distribution of earthquakes (M 5mb) shows some

clustering of earthquakes in the time domain during the high

seismicity phases, which have no regular pattern.
Magnitude-frequency relationship of earthquakes shows
that the values of the constants a and b vary within the
ranges 6.45-7.47 and 0.97-1.18 respectively. Return period
analysis of earthquakes indicates that the method of Least
squares gives better results than that of Maximum
likelihood method. In the region as a whole, the estimated
return periods of earthquakes having magnitudes 6mb and
7mb are found to be 3.8 years and 56 years respectively.

Dry climatic evidence in central Himalaya around 40 ka

from lacustrine sediments of Kathmandu Basin, Nepal
A. P. Gajurel1, C. France-Lanord2, P. Huyghe3,
J. L. Mugnier4, T. Sakai5, H. Sakai6, and B. N. Upreti7
Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra College, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
CRPG-CNRS, BP 20, 54501 Vandoeuvre-ls-Nancy, France
LGCA-CNRS, Universit Joseph Fourier, 38041 Grenoble, France
4 LGCA-CNRS, Universit de Savoie, 73376 Chambry, France
Department of Geoscience, Shimane University, Matsue 690-8504, Japan
Department of Geology and Mineralogy, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-01, Japan
Dean Office, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

The study area of the research work lies in the Kathmandu

Basin. In the northern part of the Kathmandu Basin, delta
formed topographic surfaces are exposed. One of the
prominent and widely distributed sediments below the surface
belongs to the 34 to 50 ka sediments. The sediments are
composed of alternating layers of mud, massive to parallel
and large-scale cross stratified sands and occasional gravel
layers. These sediments can be subdivided into cross
stratified sand beds of delta front facies, black sandy silt of
pro-delta facies and parallel or trough cross-stratified gravelly
sand of fluvial channel facies. Thickness of the sediment
reaches around 40 m. Within the 40 m thick stratigraphy, two
widely traceable marker beds in the northern part of the

Kathmandu Basin are composed of very thick silt beds and

diatomite layer appeared at around 1325 and 1345 m altitudes.
The five meters thick marker bed of mud with around one
meter thick diatomite layer at an altitude of 1325 m is rich in
operculum, gastropods, bivalve and plant fossils. The marker
mud with diatomite layer represents the deposit of decantation
process in lacustrine environment. Highly enriched C and O
isotopes bearing opercula and mollusk shells particularly in
the thick diatomaceous beds correspond to around 40 ka
carbon-14 age. The 13C and 18O isotopic values of operculum
vary, respectively, from -4 to 8 and -2 to 8 in PDB. The
intra-shell 13C and 18O values of a gastropod sampled in
the diatomaceous layer range from 5 to 8 and 4 to 8 in

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

PDB, respectively. In contrast 13C and 18O values of modern
gastropod shells sampled from artificial pond, paddy field
and natural pond in the Kathmandu Valley range,
respectively, from -12 to 2 and -8 to 2 . The rain water
samples collected during 2001 to 2002 near the Tribhuvan

International airport in Kathmandu show the 18O values from

-16 to 7 in SMOW. The highly enriched isotopic signatures
of around 40 ka sediments in the Kathmandu Basin can be
explained by the dry climatic regime in the central Himalaya.

Contemporary tectonic stress field in the Himalaya-Tibet orogen:

a view from 2D finite element modeling
*D. Chamlagain1 and D. Hayashi2
GPO Box 5467, Kathmandu, Nepal
Simulation Tectonics Laboratory, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
(*Email: dchamlagain@hotmail.com)

In this study, taking observed SHmax as a proxy, it is aimed

to study stress sources, neotectonics and plate kinematics
in the Himalayan-Tibet orogen using two-dimensional elastic
finite element method under plane stress condition.
Furthermore, comparison of recent stress observations with
results of stress modeling is made to refine our understanding
of geodynamics acting in this region. This study mainly
concludes that the convergence normal to the orogen is
essential to reproduce observed SHmax, which in turn controls
the magnitude and orientation of SHmax. The kinematics
equivalent to east-west tectonic escape did not simulate the
observed stress field. Therefore, it is understood that the
present day stress field is mainly governed by the
southeastward tectonic escape of the Tibetan crust rather
than eastward extrusion, and is also supported by GPS data.
There is, however, significant increase in SHmax magnitude
with higher crustal depth because of stress amplification.
Incorporation of suture zones in the models did not change
the orientation of SHmax significantly. Considering these facts,
continuum tectonic model is more preferable than the block
tectonic model for the active deformation of the Tibetan
Plateau. While the models from this study provide a
reasonable interpretation of the stress orientation and
seismicity observed in the India-Eurasia collision zone, some
part of the model lacks good fit with the observed data. This
could be due to perturbation in the stress field associated
with either local or regional structures and their present
movement or far field plate kinematics of the Southeast Asia.

The Himalaya-Tibet orogen and surrounding regions

demonstrate complex contemporary tectonic stress field that
reflects present-day geodynamics of the region. Because of
underthrusting of the Indian plate below the Eurasian plate
thrust faults are propagating to the foreland side of the
Himalaya indicating southernmost front as a most active zone.
This is also shown by focal mechanism solution of a moderate
to large earthquakes that are mainly thrust type events.
However, there are some events along the transverse fault
indicating strike-slip motion. On the other hand, the entire
Tibetan Plateau is characterized by extensional tectonics
evidenced by normal and strike-slip events. Using different
types of tectonic stress indicator (earthquake focal
mechanisms, well bore breakouts and drilling-induced
fractures, in-situ stress measurements; e.g., overcoring,
hydraulic fracturing, borehole slotter; young geologic data
e.g., fault-slip analysis and volcanic vent alignments), World
Stress Map (WSM) project has presented an extensive data
set on stress field in the Himalayan-Tibet region. These data
suggest that the direction of maximum horizontal compressive
stress (SHmax) is almost parallel to the direction of plate motion.
SHmax trajectories radiate laterally from the Tibetan Plateau to
the northern, eastern, and southeastern part of the Chinese
mainland. However, the minimum horizontal compressive
stress (SHmin) direction is arc convex outward from the Tibetan
Plateau. For the Himalaya, SHmax are oriented in the NE
direction in NW Himalaya, NS in central Himalaya and NW
direction in eastern Himalaya. However, eastern syntaxis
shows sharp bending of stress trajectories towards southeast
direction. In general, SHmax shows fan shaped stress field.

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

Geology and tectonic setting of the volcaniclastic succession of

the Upper Cretaceous, western Sulaiman fold belt, Pakistan
T. Khan
(Email: atk298@yahoo.com)
The volcaniclastic rocks of the Upper Cretaceous Bibai
Formation are exposed through out the Ziarat district near
Muslimbagh ophiolite, within the western part of the Sulaiman
Thrust-Fold Belt east of the Quetta Syntaxes. These volcanic
rocks generally comprises basic volcanic rocks, volcanic
conglomerate and breccias, sandstone, mudstone and ash
beds, deposited by various processes of sediment gravity
flows on the western margin of the Indian Plate and indicate
deposition by turbidity currents in over bank (-levee) complex
between channels. The mudstone, possessing occasional
thin sandstone and siltstone beds in lower part and profusion
of shallow marine fauna in upper part, indicate deposition in
lower fan / basin plane conditions and also an overall
swallowing-up trend of the succession. Limestone,
interbedded with volcaniclastic facies in lower part of the
formation, is very finely crystalline (bio-micritic) possessing
foraminifera of the Globotruncana family suggest deposition
during calm periods when gravity flows had been suspended
intermittently. Paleo-current pattern indicate a southsouthwest paleo-flow direction and a source area to the northnortheast of Bibai Peak. Based on characters of various rocks
associations, their vertical and lateral organization, paleocurrent pattern and composition of detritus. The Bibai
Formation developed on the slope of a series of seamounts
(hotspot volcanoes).

Seamounts developed on sea floor of the northwestern

margin of the Indo-Pakistan Plate. Within the Bibai Formation,
it is dominantly composed of volcaniclastic sediments and
rarely lava flows, as the in-situ volcanic rocks. Detailed
petrography and geochemical analyses of clasts of the
volcanic conglomerate and sandstone were carried out to
determine the origin and provenance of volcaniclastic
sediments of the Bibai Formation. Volcanic conglomerate
contains clasts of alkali basalt, picrite, trachy basalt, tepherite/
phonolite, trachy andesite, dolerite, diorite and granodiorite,
which are varieties of the alkaline magma suite. Sandstones
are also dominantly composed of the basaltic rock fragments
and pyroxene. XRF data of both major and trace elements
were plotted in various discrimination diagrams of the volcanic
and associated intrusive rocks indicate that the analyzed
samples fall in the field of within-plate alkali basalt or close to
it suggests that the volcaniclastic sediments of the Bibai
Formation were derived from a volcanic terrain composed of
alkali basalts originated by hotspot volcanism. Trace elements
presented in various spider diagrams suggest that the parent
magma was enriched in mantle source and confirm that the
fragments of the volcanic conglomerate of the Bibai
Formation were derived from a hotspot related (within-plate
setting) volcanic terrene. The paleocurrent data confirms that
these sediments were derived from the volcanic to the northnortheast of the study area.

Depositional environmental change of the Kathmandu Valley sediments

inferred from the stratigraphy, sedimentological and mineralogical study
*M. R. Paudel1 and H. Sakai2

Department of Geology, Tri-chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University, Ghantaghar, Kathmandu, Nepal

Department of Earth Sciences, Kyushu University, Ropponmatsu 4-2-1, Fukuoka, 810-8560 Japan
(*Email: mukunda10@hotmail.com)

Thick sandy and gravelly sequences were recognised

between the central and southern part of the Kathmandu
Basin, which is named as Sunakothi Formation (Fm). We
designated the type locality of the formation at Sunakothi,
3.0 km to the south of Patan (Paudel and Sakai 2005). This
formation is extensively distributed in the Nakkhu, Kodku

and Godawari Khola ranging in altitude from 1420 m in the

southern margin (at Jorkhu) to 1300 m in the central part. The
average thickness of this formation is 45 m. The sedimentary
strata are gently inclined toward the north. On the basis of
geological mapping this formation is located between muddy
part of the Kalimati Formation of the ancient Kathmandu Lake,

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

have hidden history of the draining of the Paleo-Kathmandu
lake, indicates that sediments of this formation were deposited
at the time of lake level rise and fell. The causes of this change
are due to the late Pleistocene climatic change (seasonal and
prolonged dry climate indicated by smectite, and precipitation
of calcite mineral at the basal part of the Sunakothi Formation)
of the Katmandu Valley and triggering of the basin margin
tectonics. Thick gravel sequence in the southern margin is
the alluvial fan before the origin of the ancient lake, while
thick gravelly facies located above the Sunakothi Formation
deposited during the Late Pleistocene age.

and covered by terrace gravel deposits, and divided into the

following four stratigraphic units: (1) muddy rhythmic basal
part, (2) sandy lower part, (3) muddy, sandy and gravelly
middle part, and (4) laminated silty upper part. Basal part
shows transitional from lacustrine to fluvial environment in
the south and prodeltaic toward the basin center. Lower part
shows sandy fluvial to lacustrine delta front, middle part
shows sand bar, muddy floodplain and gravelly channelfill
deposits. Upper part of this formation is restricted only in the
southern part of the basin, and shows marginal shallow
lacustrine environments.
In order to clarify the causes of change from open
lacustrine facies of the Kalimati to Sunakothi Formation,
whether this change has tectonic or climatic origin, we
examined sedimentary facies change and mineralogical study
of this Fm, overlying and underlying Formation. Both
sedimentological and mineralogical study of this formations
indicate that sediments of the Sunakothi Formation which

Paudel, M. and Sakai, H., 2005, Depositional environments and
stratigraphic position of the Sunakothi Formation in the
southern part of the Kathmandu Valley, Central Nepal, Abstract,
the 112th Annual Meeting of the Geol. Soc. Japan, pp. 339.

Petrology of granulites of the Shillong Plateau from

west Garo Hills district, Meghalaya, India
*B. Bhagabaty and A. C. Mazumdar
Department of Geological Sciences, Gauhati University, Guwahati-781014, Assam, India
(*Email: b_bhagabaty@rediffmail.com)

in metapelites and basic granulites, respectively and pressure

around 5.3 5.9 kbar. This P-T estimates of the present study
is relatively lower than the true peak P-T condition of preS2, (M2), assemblages, which may have been modified by
chemical reequilibration during subsequent M3 and M4
stages. The retrograde P-T history is well documented in the
rocks of the area. The retrograde P-T path as revealed by the
mineral assemblages forming corona on granulite facies
minerals (Garnet corona on Pyroxene + Plagioclase in basic
granulites) or restabilisation of Fe +Mn- rich Garnet on
preexisting Garnet or post- S2 fabric defined by Sillimanite +
Biotite + Quartz in metapelites. The thermobarometric studies
on coronitic Garnet in basic granulites quantify an isobaric
cooling (IBC) through 140C during M4 stage with minimal
decrease in pressure about 0.5 kbar; while metapelites indicate
the IBC- path by a decrease of temperature of ~180C for a
decrease of 1.0 kbar. Thus, the present study indicates an
anticlockwise P-T path followed by M1- M2 prograde path
and retrograde M3 and M4 as reflected from thermobarometric
results and critical textures and thereby implying that the
granulite facies netamorphism was caused due to magmatic
underplating beneath the continental crust.

Intercalated and cofolded bands of Mg-poor and Mgrich Cordierite + Sillimanite + Garnet + Orthopyroxene bearing
metapelites and Orthopyroxene + Clinopyroxene
Hornblende bearing basic granulites constitute locally the
garnuite facies terrain in the West Garo Hills district in
Meghalaya, India. These rocks show the evidences of poly
metamorphism indicating the peak events, the pre-S2 granulite
facies metamorphism (M2) which was followed by subsequent
M3, syn-S2, the dominant solid-state fabric-forming episode
in the area. The last metamorphic phase is M4 events
postdated S2. The earliest metamorphic fabrics so far
recognized are as inclusion phases (M1, syn- to post-S1) in
M2 porphyroblasts representing another high-grade
metamorphic events, which erased out due to the subsequent
metamorphic episodes. Petrographic evidences indicate that
metapelites preserve prograde P-T path and high temperature
anatexis of the rocks before attaining granulite facies
condition (M2) while textural features in basic granulites
clearly indicate a prograde path in terms of hornblende
breakdown reaction. The geothermobarometric data on core
composition pre- S2 (M2) mineral assemblages in combination
with a comparison of relevant experimental data indicate that
the peak metamorphic average temperature 730C and 750C

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

Lithostratigraphy of Baitadi area, far western Nepal

A. S. Mahara
Nepal Electricity Authority,
Middle Marsyangdi Hydro electricity Project,
Lamjung, Nepal
Geological mapping of Baitadi and its surrounding area
was carried out focusing on geological mapping and
startigraphic correlation. The metasedimentary rocks of the
Baitadi area are classified into the Patan Group, Baitadi Group,
and Tosh Group. The Baitadi Group contains carbonate rocks
while the Patan Group is devoid of the carbonate rocks. The
Tosh Group is basically a sedimentary rock sequence. The
Patan and Baitadi groups are also distinct with each other by
the characteristic features of coal bands, hematite beds, and
pebbly sandstone of fluvial depositional environment.

The Patan Group includes the Arubata, Bhandali, and

Thum Formations, respectively from bottom to top. Similarly,
the Baitadi Group is divided into the five formations namely:
the Bhumeshor, Satbaj, and Dehimandu, Gadhi, and Julaghat
Formations. The Tosh Group is divided into the Anarkholi
Formation and Katal Formation. The Katal Formation and
Anarkholi Formation are the younger rock units of the Tosh
Group. The stratigraphic units of the area are correlated with
the stratigraphic sequences of central and western Nepal.

Late Pleistocene plant macrofossils from the Gokarna Formation

of the Kathmandu valley, central Nepal
*S. Bhandari1, K. N. Paudayal1, 2 and A. Momohara3
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Senckenberganlage 25, Frankfurt, Germany
Faculty of Horticulture, Chiba University, Matsudo 648, Chiba 271-8510, Japan
(*Email: bhandari_sudarshan@hotmail.com)

The Gokarna Formation, constituting the middle part of

the sedimentary sequence of the Kathmandu valley comprises
alternating layers of carbonaceous clay, silt, fine- to coarsegrained sand and gravel that were deposited at fluvio-deltaic
and lacustrine environment. The organic rich layers of clay,
silt, silty-sand and micaceous fine sand consists of abundant
plant macro-fossils (fruits, seeds and leaves). Plant macrofossil assemblage from the Gokarna Formation (thickness 28.5
m, Dhapasi section) in the northern part of the valley consists
of 48 taxa. Depending upon the available plant assemblages,
six fossil zones, DS-I to DS-VI in ascending order, were
established. The dominant fossil fruits and seeds from these

horizons mainly consists of the herbaceous plants such as

Boehmeria (>20%), Polygonum (>5%), Carex (>17%),
shrubby plants such as Eurya (48%), Rubus (>25%),
Euphorbia (10%) and Zizyphus (>2.5%). The tree plants such
as Ficus (>10%), Pyracanta (>18%) and Carpinus (14%) are
also present abundantly. The lower horizons (DS-I and DSII) were dominated by the herbs and shrubs whereas the
upper horizons were dominated by shrubs and trees. The
shifting of vegetation from herbs to shrubs and trees
indicates a fluctuation of climatic system. This minor
fluctuation might have been due to shifting of cold climate to
warm climate during the deposition of the Gokarna Formation.

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Mineralogy, petrochemistry and genesis of scheelite-bearing skarns

and related acid magmatism at Sargipali, Eastern India
S. Chowdhury
Department of Geology,University of Calcutta, Kolkata 700 019, India
(Email: sangitageol@rediffmail.com)

In Sargipali of Eastern India scheelite-bearing calc-silicate

skarn rocks are reported in the so-called Gangpur Group, a
metasedimentary geologic unit now in greenschist to
amphibolite facies. The skarn rocks, both calcic exoskarn
(garnet-pyroxene) and endoskarn (pyroxene-epidote) occur
at the contacts of dolomites and granitoids in close
association with the mica schist hosted Proterozoic Pb-CuAg sulfide deposits. The skarn rock itself is barren of sulfide
mineralization. The main constituents of the scheelite-bearing
rocks are clino-pyroxene, garnet, calcic amphiboles (K-rich
ferropargasite and hastingsite, ferrohornblende,
magnesiohornblende, tschermakite and actinolite),
wollastonite, plagioclase, potash feldspar, epidote, sphene,
quartz and magnetite. The granitic complex corresponds to
reduced, highly evolved and metallogenically specialized Stype leucogranites, comparable to those commonly associated
with Mo-poor W-F skarns.

are grossularite-almandine with 1 to 10 mole percent

spessartine while pyroxenes are hedenbergitic to diopssidic
in composition. Average Fe/Mn ratio (and mole percent
hedenbergite) in pyroxene decreases with distance from
garnet zones and correlates with an increase in Mg,
suggesting a progressive depletion of Fe in solution due to
precipitation of Fe-rich garnet, and a progressive enrichment
in Mg in the fluid as it approached equilibrium with dolomitic
wall rocks.
The skarns formed initially at about 5000- 7000 C and of
5-6 kbar pressure in a mildly reducing environment during
the amphibolite-facies regional metamorphism and were
altered subsequently at lower temperatures (< 5000 C).
The paper documented herein comprises a detailed study
of the deposit geology, providing the basis for calc-silicate
mineral chemistry and geochemical investigations of skarn
and granitoids. This paper also summarises the salient
features of the Sargipali granitoid to compare with other worldclass tin-tungsten skarns. This comparison suggests a direct
relationship between magmatic fluid and Sn-W mineralisation,
and the similarity of the geochemical characteristics of the
Sargipali granitoids to averages for W- and Sn- skarn

Three distinct and two poorly developed calc-silicate

zones are observed between dolomite and granitic intrusive
at Sargipali. The zones are characterized by pyroxeneclinozoisite, garnet, epidote and amphibole-plagioclase. The
observed zonal sequence is close to that predicted by a simple
model of cation diffusion metasomatism The calc-silicate
skarns are notably enriched in Al, Mg and Fe, and garnets

Major and trace element geochemistry of granitic augen gneisses

from Tamakoshi-Likhu Khola area, east Nepal
K. R. Regmi
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
(Email: kamalregminp@yahoo.com)

The Himalaya, originating from the collision of India and

Eurasia, is characterised by a widespread occurrence of
peraluminous granitic rocks of different ages at different
structural and tectonic levels. In the Tamakoshi-Likhu Khola
area, east Nepal granitic augen gneisses are exposed in the
Higher Himalayan (HH) crystallines, footwall of the Main
Central Thrust (MCT) and core of Lesser Himalayan (LH)

dome. Major and trace element whole rock geochemistry, and

mineral chemistry of selected minerals, particularly K-feldspar
(Kfs), plagioclase (Pl), garnet (Grt), biotite (Bt), muscovite
(Ms), and tourmaline (Tur) were investigated in these augen
gneisses. The gneisses show high mol. A/CNK values (i.e.,
1.62-2.04 in HH, 1.6-2.7 in MCT footwall and 1.68-2.14 in LH
dome gneisses) indicating their peraluminous nature. The

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

HH gneisses show lowest average SiO2, and highest TiO2,
total FeO, CaO and Na2O contents. K2O/Na2O in these
gneisses is variable (0.27-2.23, 0.42-3.62 and 0.21-2.21
respectively in the HH, MCT footwall and LH dome gneisses).
The gneisses are characterised by high Rb (78-378 ppm in
the HH, 118- 716 ppm in the MCT footwall and 164-510 ppm
in the LH dome gneisses) and low Sr (50-308 ppm in the HH,
8-97 ppm in the MCT footwall and 11-104 ppm in the LH
dome gneisses) contents. Ba content varies from 222 to 640
ppm in the HH, 5 to 642 ppm in the MCT footwall and 208 to
542 ppm in the LH dome gneisses. The gneisses under
consideration have a low Nb/Th ratio (0.38-1.2 in the HH,
0.28-2.23 in the MCT footwall and 0.5-1.78 in the LH dome
gneisses), which is characteristics of crustal material. Other
chemical characteristics i.e., high SiO2, low CaO and MgO

contents, and peraluminous nature of the gneisses suggest

that they are products of crustal melting. The Pl from the HH
gneisses contains the highest concentration of anorthite
component if compared with the Pl from the MCT footwall
and the LH dome. The Mg# of Bt from the gneisses of the HH
crystalline zone, MCT footwall, and LH dome varies from
0.35 to 0.5, 0.24 to 0.49, and 0.14 to 0.23, respectively. The Bt
compositions of augen gneisses from all three zones plot in
the field of Bt of peraluminous (including S-type) granite.
The compositions of Ms from the MCT footwall plot in the
field of secondary Ms of granitic rocks, while the Ms from
the gneisses of the LH dome plot in the field of primary Ms in
the Millers diagram. The Grt from the HH gneisses shows a
retrograde zoning pattern, but that from the MCT footwall
shows a prograde growth zoning pattern.

Thermal evolution of the Lesser Himalaya, central Nepal: Insights from

white mica compositions and K-Ar ages
L. P. Paudel1, T. Itaya2, and K. Arita3
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Research Institute of Natural Sciences, Okayama University of Science, 1-1 Ridai-cho, Okayama 700-0005, Japan.
Hokkaido University Museum, Kita 10, Nishi 8, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan

K-Ar dating was performed on different-sized fractions

(0.5-1, 1-2, 2-4, 4-6 m and #80-100) of nine metapelites samples.
The Tansen Group sample is less recrystallized and yields
extremely old ages (850-1045 Ma) representing the ages of
detrital materials. The Nawakot Complex yields the ages
ranging from 458 to 9.5 Ma. Relatively less-sheared and lowergrade (anchizone) samples containing only S1 white micas
give the ages of 280-458 Ma, representing the timing of M0
(Pre-Himalayan metamorphism). The youngest age (9.5 Ma)
was obtained from the upper part of the MCT zone which
experienced intense ductile shearing resulting in S2 and
recrystallization (M2) at the temperature of 500-650oC during
the MCT activity. Intermediate ages were observed in the
epizone to the lower part of the garnet zone where the rocks
have two types of white micas defining S1 and S2. The
northward younging of white mica ages may have been
resulted from the decrease of M0/M2 mica ratio towards the
north close to the MCT.

The Lesser Himalayan low- to medium-grade metamorphic

rocks in central Nepal are rich in K-white micas occurring as
porphyroblasts and matrix defining S1 and S2. Porphyroclasts
are usually zoned with celadonite-poor cores and celadoniterich rims. The cores are the relics of igneous or high-grade
metamorphic muscovites, and the rims were re-equilibrated
or overgrown under lower T metamorphic conditions. The
matrix K-white micas defining S1, pre-dating the MCT activity,
are generally celadonite-rich. They show heterogeneous
compositional zoning with celadonite rich cores and
celadonite-poor rims. They were recrystallized at lower T
condition prior to the MCT activity. The matrix K-white micas
along S2, synchronous to the MCT activity, are relatively
celadonite poor and were recrystallized under relatively higher
T-condition. Average compositions of recrystallized white
micas show northward increase in metamorphic grade
conforming inverted metamorphism throughout the Lesser


Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Geology of the Lesser Himalayan and Higher Himalayan Crystalline

sequences of the Everest area along the Dudh Koshi valley,
eastern Nepal Himalaya
S. M. Rai1, M. Yoshida2, B. N. Upreti1,3, and P. D. Ulak1

Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University,

Tri-Chandra Campus, Ghantaghar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Gondwana Institute for Geology and Environment,
Hashimoto, Japan
Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
(*Email: santamanrai@yahoo.com)

The 40 km sector from Kharikhola to Gorakshep along the

Dudh Koshi valley is occupied by the Lesser Himalayan
Metasedimentary Sequence (LHS) in the south and the Higher
Himalayan Crystalline Sequence (HHCS) in the north, with
the Main Central Thrust (MCT) between the above two
sequences running at about 2.5 km north from Kharikhola.

The host rocks are folded with the development of major

foliation during the syn-MCT deformation prior to the
intrusion of the granitic pegmatite. Sometimes, pegmatite
carries cleavage, which could be due to late deformation.
Some foliated pegmatite is considered to be partially re-melted
foliated granite of earlier generation.

All rock units of the LHS below the MCT dip towards
NNE while the rocks of the HHCS immediately above the
MCT dip northwards; further north in the middle section,
they dip generally ENE to ESE and megascopic synclinal and
anticlinal folds.

The early granitic pegmatite is also folded with host rocks.

The relationship of folded pegmatite with host rocks, the
development of cleavage in pegmatite and porphyroblasts
developed along the foliation plane of gneiss show that the
major foliation was first intruded by two mica-tourmaline
pegmatite (Mu-rich) and then both of them were folded
together, resulting in the development of the cleavage as
well as flattening of the porphyroblasts. This deformation
could be of the post-MCT.

The main rock types in the LHS are green-schist and

lower amphibolite grade metamorphic rocks. They include
fine-grained garnet-chlorite-muscovite phyllite,
metasandstone and coarse-grained Proterozoic granitic augen
gneiss in the structural lower section (southern part). In the
upper section (northern part), the rocks are medium grained
garnet schist, garnet-muscovite-biotite-graphite schist, and
quartzite. Immediate below the MCT, the rocks are found to
be highly sheared and seem to be gneiss. S-C structures are
prominent showing the south sense of shearing.

Pegmatite locally shows contact effect along with

shearing; e. g., coarsening of biotite clot is observed in some
biotite schist near the contact with a pegmatite intrusion.
This phenomenon is considered to reflect the late stage
activity of the MCT associated with the pegmatite intrusion.
In some places coarse-grained biotite schist occurs intruded
by tourmaline-biotite pegmatite dyke, while in other places,
fine grained biotite schist is seen apart from the intrusion.

The rocks of the HHCS are well foliated, amphibolite grade

metamorphic rocks which are intruded by Palaeozoic and
Tertiary granitoids. The metamorphic rocks are garnet gneiss,
garnet-kyanite gneiss, garnet-sillimanite-biotite gneiss,
quartzite, schist, amphibolite and marble. Granite, pegmatite
and deformed pegmatite are the igneous rocks. In the upper
section, south of Gokyo-Ri, very coarse grained; highly
sheared augen gneisses of about 300 m thick are exposed.
These rocks are pinkish in color due to abundant pink
feldspars. This gneiss could be the Cambro-ordovician
granite. The middle section surrounding Namche Bazar is
dominated by migmatite with migmatitic biotite gneiss, augen
gneiss, granitic gneiss, all carrying more or less sillimanite.
The amount of migmatitic granite decreases southward. The
lower section of the HHCS south of Jorsalle is mostly covered
by biotite gneiss with or without garnet and sillimanite.
Tourmaline-bearing biotite-muscovite granite is common
throughout the middle and lower sections, cross cutting the
gneisses and migmatite.

There are a variety of occurrences of folding, foliation,

schistosity and cleavage, in relation to augen structure,
migmatitic pegmatite and tourmaline granite. Related
observations of their relationships will enrich our knowledge
on the tectono-metamorphic evolution of the HHCS.
The gneisses of the HHCS carry dominant foliation and
show a variety of mesoscopic folds. Earliest isoclinal reclined
folds, earlier tight plunging folds, and later open and kink
upright folds are identified. Some of these structures are
considered to be pre-MCT, and some others are found to be
syn-MCT deformations. The SSW and SSE plunging mineral
lineation marked by mica and sillimanite is developed,
possibly related to the movement of the MCT. The Tertiary
tourmaline granite cutting across gneisses suffers upright
folding and carries cleavage structure parallel to the axial
surface of the fold. In some outcrops, interesting relationships

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

among mesoscopic structures, pegmatite intrusion and
potash-feldspar porphyroblasts are observed.

metamorphism and Miocene granitic intrusion in the higher

section are genetically related. From the field observation of
the middle section of the HHCS, garnet crystals are
transformed to chlorite, indicating the effect of retrograde
metamorphism. It could be related either or both to the latestage activity of the MCT and/or to the normal faulting (South
Tibetan Detachment Fault) event between the HHCS and
Tibetan-Tethys Sedimentary Sequence.

The highly foliated ductile area shows the different

metamorphic episodes. The grade of metamorphism in this
area increases towards the upper section of the zone of the
HHCS from the MCT . The P-T conditions below the MCT in
this region show the inverse metamorphism in the rocks of
the LHS. The development of the MCT, the inverse


Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Evidence for seismicity in the lower crust and upper mantle in the Nepal
Himalaya, implication for the rheology of the lithosphere
S. Rajaure1, S. N. Sapkota1, J. P. Avouac2, and L. Bollinger3
Department of Mines and Geology, Nepal
California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA
Departement Analyse Surveillance Environnement (DASE), France

responding brittally to accumulating stress induced by the

ongoing collision between Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate.
Deeper earthquakes (deeper than km 40) with relatively well
constrained hypocentral depth, though far less numerous,
are also observed. Depth vs RMS plots of such earthquakes
give very interesting results and indicate that the earthquakes
probably fall either in the upper mantle or lower crust beneath
Nepal Himalaya. The depth distribution shows that, in the
Terai region, the rare seismic activity is taking place below or
around the Moho depth. In the Himalaya where depth to
Moho is about 55 km from gravity studies and seismic studies,
some earthquakes fall in the upper mantle. A similar conclusion
was reached by using the seismicity recorded during the
HIMNT experiment. Recently three earthquakes occurred near
or below the Moho based on the depths determined from
arrival times at the seismic network of Department of Mines
and Geology.

It has recently been argued that the strength of the

continental lithosphere lies in the crust with the upper mantle
being extremely weak. Pivotal to this argument is the
observation that most of the seismicity occurs in the crust
and that the elastic thickness of continental plates is generally
comparable to the depth range of the seismicity. This
hypothesis contradicts the earlier view that seismicity is
bimodal with earthquakes occurring either in the shallow crust
or in the upper mantle, a view that was first promoted based
on the seismicity in the Himalaya and Tibet, and on model of
the lithosphere rheology derived from experimental rock
mechanics. Here we test whether this hypothesis applies in
the Nepal Himalaya in view of recent progress on the Moho
geometry using the seismicity recorded by the National
Seismological Centre of Department of Mines and Geology, Nepal.
The seismicity of Nepal Himalaya is characterized by a
linear and continuous belt of micro-seismic activity which
runs due NW-SE. Majority of the earthquakes have indeed
shallow depths and the depth ranges between 10 and 25 km.
However a number of earthquakes are relatively deeper
(23<depth<70) either beneath the Himalaya or the Terai Plain,
this is for example the case of the 1988 Udayapur earthquake
mainshock and aftershocks occurred below mantle as has
been demonstrated from waveform modeling.

To reduce the uncertainties either the current geometry

of station-distribution should be modified so that the
seismicity would lie well inside the network or a couple of
temporary seismic stations should augment the currently
existing network especially in the far-west. In addition to
modification in the geometry of the network, some short
period stations must be replaced by either broadband seismic
stations or long period seismic stations. Data from such threecomponent stations would help to routinely determine better
depths of earthquakes using waveform inversion technique.

To assess further the depth distribution of earthquakes

in the Himalaya we have relocated the seismicity recorded at
the National Seismological Centre (NSC) seismic stations.
The data comes from the bulletins of NSC of Department of
Mines and Geology (DMG), Government of Nepal, and were
relocated using the double difference technique. Hypocenters
are next compared with the location of the Moho derived
from seismic experiments which were run across the Himalaya
of central Nepal and eastern Tibet.

In any case the data available to date makes it clear that

both the upper mantle and lower crust at front of the
Himalayan range are deforming brittally, generating
earthquakes. This shows that there is no weak decoupling
lower crust, as also inferred from gravity modeling assuming
the classical jelly-sandwich rheology. So it is probable that
both the crustal and upper mantle contribute to the strength
of the lithosphere needed to support the weight of the
Himalayan arc.

Most earthquakes depths fall in the range between 10

and 25 km revealing that the upper part of the crust


Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

An investigation on the seismicity and seismic gaps

in the Indo-Myanmar border region
*S. Kalita and N.C. Barman
Department of Environmental Science, Gauhati University,
Guwahati 781 014, India
(*Email: skalita@sify.com)

The Indo-Myanmar border region is a complex

geotectonic setting due to the interaction between the active
north-south convergence along the Himalayas and the eastwest convergence and folding within the Indo-Burman ranges
with very high seismicity. It belongs to the north-south trading
Indo-Myanmar Orogenic Belt. The elongated region within
20o-28oN latitudes and 93o-98oE longitudes shows that the
region is seismically active and maximum number of
earthquakes falls on and around the Eastern Boundary Thrust
(EBT) that is parallel to Indo-Burma plate boundary and Shan
Boundary Fault (SHF) towards the southern portion of the
belt. On the other hand, less number of earthquakes fall in
and around schuppen belt towards northwest of the study
region. The epicentral map of the region shows an elongated
narrow zone of concentration of epicenters with significant
variation of seismic activity in its different sections, which
might be due to the local differential geology (rock properties)
along the arc and differences in the generation of stress in
different section of the arc. On the basis of this variation

pattern of epicentral density, the belt can be divided into

three tectonic blocks - Block-I (20o22.5oN), Block-II (22.5o
25 oN) and Block-III (25o28oN). The concentration of
earthquakes is found more in the central portion of the
elongated belt, which may indicate accelerated convergence
process. Moreover, the geographical and the depth
distributions of earthquakes clearly reflect the tectonic
behaviour of the region.
Epicentral plots of the earthquakes (Me5 mb) in the
latitude-time (year) domain for the period 1964-2005 show
some elliptical gaps of different sizes at different locations
and time span. However, no definite pattern can be visualized
and therefore, it is very difficult to explain the occurrences
and the seismic potential of these gaps. As per present
situation the gap region is prominent around latitude 22O N
in which there is a possibility of occurrence of a major
earthquake in near future.


Engineering Geology and Geophysics

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

High carbon dioxide flux associated with radon-222 gas exhalation

and dipolar self-potential anomaly at the Syabru-Bensi
hot springs in central Nepal
F. Perrier1, S. Rajaure2, P. Richon3,1, S. R. Pant4,
C. France-Lanord5, A. Revil6, S. Byrdina1, S. Contraires1,
U. Gautam2, B. Koirala2, P. Shrestha2, D. R. Tiwari2, L. Bollinger3,
L. P. Paudel4, and S. N. Sapkota2

Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, UMR 7154, 4, Place Jussieu, 75005 Paris, France
National Seismic Centre, Department of Mines and Geology, Lainchaur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Dpartement Analyse Surveillance Environnement,
Commissariat lnergie atomique, 91680 Bruyres-le-Chtel, France
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Nepal
Centre de Recherches Ptrographiques et Gochimiques/CNRS, BP20 54501,
Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, USA

self-potential anomaly has also been found, with a negative

pole reaching -180 mV at the main gas discharge, and a wide
positive lobe on the terrace above. This dipolar anomaly, the
largest reported so far, is interpreted in a hydroelectrical
numerical model assuming a primary upward fluid flow
associated with the gas, coupled with a secondary flow
towards the springs, taking into account the resistivity
structure obtained from profiles of electrical resistivity
tomography. Thus, the Syabru-Bensi hot springs provide a
unique opportunity to study the generation of electrical
currents associated with biphasic fluid flow in a
geodynamically active area. A pilot multidisciplinary team
has now undertaken a multidisciplinary study of the
geological, geophysical and geochemical properties of the
Syabru-Bensi geothermal system. Studying the spatial and
temporal variations of the gas discharges and the associated
properties of the hot springs may lead to important clues on
the presence and displacements of crustal fluids in relation
with the nucleation of large earthquakes in the Nepal

Gas discharges have been identified at the Syabru-Bensi

hot springs, located at the Main Central Thrust zone in Central
Nepal and characterized by a water temperature reaching
61C, high salinity and high alkalinity. The gas is mainly dry
carbon dioxide, marked by a 13C isotopic anomaly of -0.8.
The diffuse carbon dioxide exhalation flux, mapped by the
accumulation chamber method, reaches 19 000 gm-2day-1,
comparable with values measured on active volcanoes. Radon
exhalation flux at the soil surface has been measured at more
than sixty points in the vicinity of the main gas discharge.
Extreme values, larger than 2 Bqm-2s-1, similar to peak values
measured in volcanic areas or above uranium waste piles, are
observed in association with the larger values of the carbon
dioxide exhalation flux. This high radon exhalation thus results
from emanation at depth, producing a radon concentration in
the pore space varying from 25 000 to more than 50 000 Bqm-3,
transported to the surface by the flow of carbon dioxide. The
high radon-222 content of the carbon dioxide offers an
interesting tracing method and an additional practical tool
for long term monitoring, for example to study transient
changes preceding large earthquakes. An extended dipolar


Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

Rock squeezing problem in tunnels of Nepal and its prediction

S. C. Sunuwar
Butwal Power Company Limited, Kathmandu, Nepal

Squeezing may stop or continue for a long time. In worse

case tunnel can be collapsed. Therefore reshaping and resupporting of the tunnel is time consuming and expensive.
Rock squeezing problem delays construction schedule during
underground excavation and this led to cost overruns paid
by the owner or severe financial strains on the contractors.
So it is important to recognise the conditions that are likely
to result in rock squeezing. In general all prediction theories
are based on overburden depth and rock mass strength/or
rock mass characterisation to predict the phenomena. It is
found that squeezing ground conditions are greatly influenced
by strength, stress condition (overburden), orientation of
discontinuity, pore water pressure, excavation methods and
stiffness of support but contributions are not the same degree
which has been experienced during the construction of the
different hydropower project in Nepal. Therefore none of
them give accurate results but provide a good indication of
potential occurrence of squeezing.

Rock squeezing is a common problem in the Nepal

Himalayas while tunnelling through low strength rock, fault
and shear/weak zone. It reduces the cross-section of a tunnel
caused by the in situ stresses, which exceed the rock mass
strength. Time of deformation and degree of squeezing
generally depends on overburden pressure and non-swelling
clay content. Higher the overburden pressure and clay content
higher the degree of squeezing.
Rock squeezing problems such as inward movement,
invert heaving and buckling of walls/crown has been
experienced during tunnelling through low strength rock
(phyllite, schist, shale, mudstone etc.), shear zones and faults
containing considerable amount of non-swelling clay. Based
on the squeezing experienced from the different projects of
Nepal, larger convergence was recorded in the section where
tunnel axis is parallel to the foliation with gently dipping and
containing considerable amount of seepage and non-swelling
clay. In the Nepal Himalayas, maximum convergence of 30%
of the tunnel size is recorded from the Modi Khola
Hydroelectric Project while tunneling (Sharma, 2000).

In this paper rock squeezing problem in different tunnels

of hydropower projects and its prediction are presented.

Cross-borehole GPR survey for the study of the grouting

S. R. Pant
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal

To check the effectiveness of the grouting in the Flip

Bucket Area, Spill Way, Damsite of Middle Marsyangdi
Hydroelectric Project cross-borehole ground penetrating
radar (GPR) tomography survey was carried out. The test
was carried out in two pairs of boreholes. The first pair was
BH-1 and BH-2 and the second pair was BH-3 and BH-4.
Second pair of boreholes was taken as model site.

method adapted was Zero Offset Profiling (ZOP) and Multiple

Offset Gathering (MOG). The Observation interval was 25
cm. The antenna centre frequency used was 200 MHz. The
distance between the pair of boreholes BH-1 and BH-2, BH3 and BH-4 was 6 m. In cross-borehole GPR tomography
measurement of the arrival time of waves are carried out with
high accuracy. Propagation of the GPR waves linearly
depends on the porosity (water filled) and the chemistry
(electrical conductivity) of the water: higher the porosity
slower the velocity and higher the electrical conductivity
greater the attenuation of the GPR waves. So, GPR tomograms
can be used to quantify the subsurface.

In the first pair of boreholes BH-1 and BH-2 cross borehole

GPR tomography survey was conducted before grouting and
after grouting. Before grouting measurement was carried out
on June 11, 2006 and after grouting measurement was carried
out on June 28-30, 2006 and September 25-26, 2006. The
measurement in the pair of model boreholes BH-3 and BH-4
was carried out in June 29-30, 2006. The data acquisition

The results of the investigation were useful to know the

subsurface before and after the grout injection. Before

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

grouting the porosity of the fractured rocks between the pair
of boreholes BH-1 and BH-2 was between 15% to 20%. This
value is low in comparison with porosity of granular material.
In principle GPR monitoring of grout study should be much
more effective for high porosity formation. Between the pair
of boreholes BH-1 and BH-2 grouting is effective below the
depth of around 7.5 m. The September monitoring indicates
that the GPR wave velocity has been increased in the most
part of the subsurface from 0.10 m/ns to 0.11 m/ns at depth

greater than 7.5 m. In this zone porosity has also been reduced.
There is no clear evidence of the change in the physical
parameters (velocity, porosity and electrical conductivity) at
depth less than 7.5 m and between 18 m and 20 m. This may
be due to the high velocity of the groundwater flow in these
zones. The velocity between the pair of model boreholes BH3 and BH-4 is greater than 0.11 m/ns. In this model site porosity
is less than 12% and the predominant value of porosity is
around 10%.

Quality assessment, reserve estimation and economic analysis of roofing

slate in the west central Lesser Himalaya
N. R. Neupane and L. P. Paudel
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

Quality assessment, reserve estimation and economic

analysis of roofing slate can be carried out at Tharpu of
Tanahun District which lies in the Nawakot complex of the
Lesser Himalaya. It represents a part of northern limb of the
Mahabharat Synclonorium. Petrological study (pressure and
temperature of metamorphism from mineral assemblage in thin
section) and physio-chemical test (flexure testing, water
absorption, weathering resistance, abration resistance,
sulphuric acid immersion test, wetting and drying test) have
been done in the laboratory for quality assessment.
Geological mapping and preparation of columnar sections
have been done in the field for Reserve Calculation. The total
reserve of an area is determined by dividing the tonnage with
its tonnage factor. The volume is calculated by multiplying
the total cross-section area by the perpendicular distance
between each cross-section. Cost Benefit Analysis was
applied for cost and benefit of slate mining to evaluate the
viability of the slate business.

grain ranges from 36.37 to 59.78 MPa with average value 43.1
MPa and SD of 9.59 MPa. Similalry, the elasticity of the tested
sample of slate ranges from 1055.4 to 2974 MPa having mean
value of 1774 MPa and SD of 740 MPa. Water absorption by
weight is 0.789 to 1.473 having mean value 1.02 and SD 0.3.
While, the weather resistance of the slate lies within 0.31 mm
to 0.55 mm with average value of 0.41 mm and SD is 0.1.
Abrasion by weight has a range from 14.3 to 20.4 with average
value 16.22 and SD 2.73. The permeability, sulphuric acid
immersion, and wetting and drying tests give excellent results
to the slate.
It was observed that from the field study, there is finegrained with a fairly perfect natural cleavage, readily splitable
into thin and smooth sheets of slate at Seratar (3000 m
northwest from Tharpu Bazaar) and Otandi (1000 m west from
Tharpu Bazaar). Due to this thin splitting properties, most
slate are used for roofing purpose. On the basis of physiochemical testing and Petrological study, the slate of Nourpul
Formation at Seratar and Benighat slate at Otandi are best for
roofing as well as construction purpose even though inferior
to the ASTM standard.

The major slate deposits of the study belong to the

Benighat Slate and Nourpul Formation of the Lesser Himalaya.
The pressure and temperature of the metamorphism on the
basis of b0-spacing and IC methods are 4.23 kbar and 380C
for Benighat Slate and 5.10 kbar and 375C for Nourpul
Formation roofing slate.

The total probable reserve of the slate calculated by the

cross-sectional method is to be 52.9 million m3 at Otandi.
Mining method appropriate for the slate deposit is open pit
mining. As cost benefit analysis show that B/Q = 1.23, the
mining of slate is profitable. For profitable business, the
benefits and cost ratio should always be greater than one.

Flexure strength of the slate along grain ranges from

26. 26 to 50.57 MPa with average 36.24 MPa and standard
deviation (SD) of 9.28 MPa. While, the same property across


Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

Deformation analysis of foundation: a case study from

the Bir Hospital Trauma Centre, Kathmandu, Nepal

A. R. Adhikari and A. M. S. Pradhan

(*Email: ajay_adhikari7@hotmail.com)

The rapid increase in population of Kathmandu valley in

last two decades has demanded the construction of
multistoried buildings. Statistical analysis shows that the
deformation after the construction of structures are rarely
considered during the design phase of the structure which
can be vulnerable to the structure itself. The excessive
settlement of the foundation causes the failure of the
foundation and ultimately the building causing the huge
amount of lives and property loss. The failure process is
more pronounced when the foundation is placed in soft fluviolacustrine sediments of Kathmandu valley. Therefore, this
paper aims in estimating the settlements and deformation
after construction of structure by manual and Finite Element
Methods. The subsurface stratification, their geotechnical
properties; size and shape of foundation and that of building
were considered for deformation analysis of foundation. The

geotechnical properties are found in the laboratory and few

are estimated by graphical methods.
The deformation analysis of the foundation should be
considered in two aspects i.e. bearing capacity failure and
settlement. Settlement calculated by conventional test
methods i.e.oedometre test, compressibility index are purely
one-dimensional and doesnt represent the actual value where
lateral influences are possible. The settlement by
conventional methods is 41.6 mm for stratification below 4 m
depth and 24 mm for stratification below 8 m depth. Whereas,
using finite element method, it is 42 mm for stratification below
8m depth using same parameters valid for the site and
considering the horizontal displacement. The stress
distribution and depth of foundation favors the foundation.

Engineering, hydrological, and sedimentation studies

of the Kankai River, eastern Nepal
U. K. Raghubanshi
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University,
Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal

With the development of human civilization and rapidly

growing population the demand and uses of water resources
is growing abruptly. Water resources have been used for
domestic water supply, industrial use, irrigation and
hydropower. For the country like Nepal where there is the
spatial and temporal variations of water availability and the
demand for various uses, there are the great challenge in
water resources management and managing the conflicts in
the allocation of water among the different water sectors as
well as among different regions.

variation in sediment transportations. The efficiency and

workability of different water resource projects like Irrigation,
Hydropower and Domestic water supply projects are badly
affected by the sediment problems.

Similarly, the sediment related issues of the watershed

have to be addressed as well. Every year million of tons of
sediment get transported by drainage networks in Nepal. The
effect of temporal and spatial variation of hydrological
conditions in diversified geographic condition creates

The Kankai River is one of the class IIb type rainfed

perennial river of eastern Nepal. The study area has warm
temperate rainy climates with mild winter. Upper part of basin
basically consists of granitic gneiss of Cambro-Ordovician
age lower part consists of Quaternary rocks. The present

If proper condition and relations between hydrological

system and sediment problems are well known, the conflicts
and the risks in water resources management can be minimized
and proper planning and development of future water
resources project can be done effectively and efficiently.


Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Structures and natural river channel with different structural
geometry and variable slope values, the flow varies from Subcritical, Critical to Super-critical condition.The Kankai River
is gravelly river with more than 60% gravel of gneiss and
remaining other are of different metamorphic and sedimentary
rocks. There is a seasonal, temporal and spatial variability of
sediment yield in the watershed of the Kankai River. By
applying the Regional Regression Relationship method, the
sediment yield of Kankai River is estimated to be 0.148 million
ton/year. Critical Bed Shear Stress varies from 0.589N/m2 for
sand to 19.625 N/m2 for gravel. The shield parameter
(dimensionless shear stress) varies from 0.7 to 0.021 for gravel.

study is basically focused on two parts. One is the

hydrological analysis, which includes rainfall, discharge and
climatic factor analysis; prediction of the flood, estimation of
evapotranspiration, runoff, and also includes the open
channel hydraulics and study of some hydraulic structures.
Similarly second part includes some parts of sedimentation
engineering which includes sediment properties, sediment
sampling techniques, sediment yields, hydraulics of sediment
transport and sediment routing.
Rainfall Intensity in the study area is moderate to heavy.
Potential Evapotranspiration (PET) obtained by Penmans
method show maximum PET during the month of May and
minimum during January. Among different major crops, PET
of rice is high (107.21 cm in total cropping period) and that of
wheat is low with PET=38.90 cm. Annual runoff coefficient of
the Kankai river basin is 0.65. For the different Hydraulic

Mobility No. related to weight concentration of bed

material load is calculated to be 0.2161.Sediment accumulation
and transportation is influnced by hydrological activities and
geological condition of watershed.

Slope stability analysis using GIS on a regional scale

P. Kayastha
(Email: prabinkayastha@yahoo.com)

Stability of land is indispensable for the safety of human

life and development of infrastructure. Landslides are the
most common natural hazards in Nepal, where about 83% of
the area are in the mountainous and hilly regions. In this
study, a slope stability analysis on a regional scale is
presented for a area of 347 km2 of Dhading district, Nepal.
A physically based slope stability model coupled to a
simplified groundwater flow model is used to estimate soil
wetness index, and factor of safety maps are produced for
three steady state scenarios (completely dry, half-saturated,
and completely saturated soils) and one quasi-dynamic
scenario (soil wetness resulting from extreme daily rainfall
events with return periods of 25 years) with both methods
based on infiltration and contributing area. One model is
developed from these three steady state scenarios. These
models help the engineers and planners to apply landslide
hazard models on a regional scale to the regions that generally
lack advanced information systems with the presented
methodology and basic GIS tools.

The quantitative relation ships between stability and

factors affecting stability are established by the Certainty
Factor (CF) model. The affecting factors such as land use
pattern, soil types and steepness (slope type) are recognized.
From CF value, the most significant factors are selected.
Based on the model developed on the basis of three steady
state scenarios, 27.71 of the research area is unconditionally
stable and 0.59 of the research area is unconditionally
unstable. According to the results of three steady states and
one quasi-dynamic state model, there is a decrease in stability
from completely dry condition to completely saturated
condition. In all scenarios, very steep slope area (slope
angle more than 300) contributes to areas prone to failure. In
addition, areas having poorly graded gravel and clayey
gravel have more effect in instability of slope than those
areas having other types of soils.


Fifth Nepal Geological Congress


Natural Hazards and Environmental Geology

Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Seismic hazard assessment of NW Himalayan fold-and-thrust belt,

Pakistan using deterministic approach
MonaLisa1, Azam A. Khwaja2, and M. Q. Jan1

Department of Earth Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad (45320), Pakistan

Higher Education Commission, Islamabad, Pakistan

Seismic Hazard Assessment (SHA) of the entire

seismically active NW Himalayan Fold and Thrust Belt that
incorporates deterministic approach has been carried out for
the first time. Additional information in the form of earthquake
catalogue, delineation of 40 active faults in a structural map,
their relationship to the seismicity, focal mechanism studies
of 45 events, establishment of seismotectonic zones has also
been undertaken.

Range and acting as a buttress to the south verging

Strike slip solutions from the hinterland zone are related
to the ongoing uplifting in the Nanga Parbat-Haramosh massif
and the Besham dome. In the foreland zone a regional shear
couple between the N-S trending sinistral Chaman Fault and
the Jhelum Fault at the western and eastern margins
respectively is forming the Reidel structures (synthetic
shears). A few strike slip solutions represent the P shears
(secondary shears). Involvement of basement in the
deformation process shows that models of thin-skinned
tectonics formulated by different workers may not be valid.

Distribution of 813 events within study area indicates

that seismicity (4.0 Mw) appears to be associated with both
the surface and blind faults. At the same time, clustering of
events in specific parts along the surface faults shows that
some fault segments, especially in the hinterland zone are
more active. In parts of the active deformational front like
Salt Range, southern Potwar and Bannu, lesser seismic
activity (4.0 Mw) could be due to the damping effect of the
thick Precambrian salt.

Considering a number of geological and seismological

factors, four seismotectonic zones have been established.
The b value for the Peshawar-Hazara Seismic Zone (PHSZ) is
1.16 followed by 1.12 for the Surghar-Kurram Seismic Zone
(SKSZ). The other two, Swat-Astor Seismic Zone (SASZ)
and Kohat-Potwar-Salt Range (KPSZ) have identical values
of 0.95 thereby indicating occurrence of more events of
relatively higher magnitude as compared to the other two
seismic zones. Mean activity rate of earthquakes (l) ranges
from 4.26 to 1.73. In decreasing order the values are 4.26, 2.62,
2.07 and 1.73 for PHSZ, SASZ, KPSZ and SKSZ respectively.
Using 4 regression relationships, the maximum potential
magnitude (m1) has been determined for the 40 Quaternary
faults. In each seismic zone the highest value within the
seismic zone represents its m1. Results show that m1 is 7.8 in
the hinterland (SASZ and PHSZ) and 7.4 in the foreland part
(KPSZ and SKSZ).

Majority of the earthquakes (86%) range in magnitude

from 4.0 to 4.9 Mw followed by 107 events (13%) having
magnitude ranging from 5.0 to 5.9 Mw. The remaining 1%
range from 6.0 to 6.7 Mw. There is a predominance of shallow
seismicity (<50 km focal depth). Even within this depth range,
about 81% of the events have focal depths of <25 km. Larger
magnitudes events are more in the hinterland zone. In contrast,
based on distribution of 683 (4.0 Mw) events from the
adjoining areas, a deeper level of seismicity (50 to 200 km)
prevails especially in the Hindukush Range of Afghanistan.
Focal Mechanism Solutions (FMS) of 45 earthquakes
(Mw4), including 21 from the Hinterland zone and 24 from
the Foreland zone show dominance of strike slip faulting (27
out of 45). 11 indicate thrusting, 6 reverse faulting and 1
normal faulting solution. Tectonic complexity seems to be
due to interplay of a variety of factors. Thrust and reverse
solutions near the northern collisional boundary have mostly
NE-SW directed P-axis orientations. Imbricate thrusting,
breaking and thickening of the crust is believed to be
occurring due to the steep bending of the underthrusting
plate at the collisional boundary. Another compressional EW direction in the southwestern portion suggests the
presence of a restraining bend in the Chaman Fault (the
western plate boundary). A single normal faulting solution
from this part could be similar to the one in the Central Salt

SHA incorporating deterministic approach has been

undertaken at 10 sites (Astore, Bannu, Kaghan, Kohat,
Mangla, Malakand, Muzaffarabad, Peshawar, Talagang and
Islamabad). Pakistan does not have an attenuation equation
of its own. The two equations of Ambraseys et al., (1996) and
Boore et al., (1997) have been used and the results obtained
using the equation of Boore et al (1997) have been preferred.
PGAs estimated applying Deterministic Seismic Hazard
Assessment (DSHA) shows higher values for Muzaffarabad
(0.79g), Islamabad (0.75g), Kohat (0.75g) and Peshawar
(0.64g). Lower values are obtained for Malakand (0.5g), Astore
(0.47g), Talagang (0.47g), Kaghan (0.46g), Mangla (0.4g) and
Bannu (0.27g). Important faults that can be potentially
hazardous to all the sites have been identified.


Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

Disaster vulnerability prediction modeling using GIS

in the Agra Khola watershed, central Nepal
P. B. Thapa
Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra Campus,
Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
(Email: geoscithapa@yahoo.com)

The disaster vulnerability has showed the successful

modelling utilizing the key indicators as landslide, debris flow
and flood. The modelling result found that very high
vulnerability areas are mainly confined in upper and middle
reaches of the Agra Khola watershed and such spatial
localization of very hazards is attributed to the presence of
favourable geo-environmental conditions. Also a few localized
scattered distributions of very high vulnerable zones are seen
to be embedded in the medium to high vulnerable zones in
the rest of the area. Detrital materials on the steep hill-slope
in the very high to high vulnerable zones may remobilize that
may cause catastrophic disaster in the downstream
catchments if the extreme weather event again recur in the area.

Disaster vulnerability analysis is an important concern in

the mountainous terrains of Nepal Himalaya. The mountain
hill-slope of Agra Khola watershed, central Nepal had suffered
from a large number of landslides, debris flows, and floods in
1993. Considering watershed as the most representative
disaster site, Geographic Information System (GIS) database
after 1993 i.e. year 1993-2007 were spatially integrated to model
the disaster vulnerability prediction compiling the extensive
field surveyed data and derivatives of Digital Elevation Model
(DEM). In the prediction model, input variable were adjusted
in interactive manner and the GIS process adopted the
statistical method (multivariate) to combine the disaster
causative variables that have led to past disaster event. The
predicted vulnerability is descretized into five different levels
using natural junk break method with some adjustment by
overlying the past disaster evidences.

Kamikate landslide: a case study of rainfall

triggered landslide in far western Nepal
S. K. Dwivedi1,2, G. Ojha2, M. P. Koirala1, and S. Dwivedi3
Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Geo-Engineering and Design (GED) Consultants, Kathmandu, Nepal
Department of Water-Induced Disaster Prevention, Lalitpur, Nepal

The Kamikate landslide lies near Matena village of the

Mahendranagar Municipality in far western Nepal. This
landslide has been threat to local people and has caused
shifting of the Kamikate Khola and erosion of fertile land
downstream. Geologically, the area falls in the sub-Himalayan
zone of far western Nepal. Landslide area is characterized by
highly fractured and weathered alternating sedimentary beds
of sandstone and mudstone. As the permeability of these

rocks is high this causes large amount of precipitation to

infiltrate. A detailed study of causes and mechanism of failure
was carried out in the field. Based on the field assessment,
recent satellite image study, arial photo investigation and
safety factor analysis it reveals that the landslide is quite
unstable in the monsoon period. Therefore, countermeasures
plan such as gulley protection works; bio-engineering works
which are urgently needed are discussed in the paper.


Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Some notable disasters in Nepal and their mitigation

*G. R. Chitrakar, B. Piya, D. Nepali, and S. P. Manandhar
Department of Mines and Geology, Lainchour, Kathmandu, Nepal
*(Email: gyanic@hotmail.com)

Nepal is facing different types of disaster such as

earthquake, landslide, flood, thunderstorm, GLOF, avalanche,
fire, drought, and epidemic. These disasters are found to
occur in different parts of the country due to various reasons
in different periods. It is said that Nepal Himalaya is seismically
very active due to presence of numerous active fault and
thrusts, which were formed as a result of the collision between
Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate some 40 Million years ago.

hilly region causing a death toll of 178 people and 721 people
In the same way, due to rugged mountain topography, its
fragile geological nature, and high intensity rainfall during
the monsoon, the mountain terrains are vulnerable to
landslides and debris flow. Landslides are occurring in every
monsoon period causing loss in lots of life and properties.
The landslides and debris flows during 1993 was a nightmare
that had taken the lives of 1259 people affecting 44 districts
and damaging many bridges and dams as well bringing a
total loss of more than 47194 Million Rupees. Disaster such
as floods, landslides, thunderbolt, fire, hailstorm, windstorm
and epidemic brings a huge loss in life and properties every
year. Many national and international organizations are
working in disaster management to cope with natural disaster
and to reduce its impacts. This paper mainly deals with natural
disaster related to earthquake, landslides and floods and its
mitigation to make people aware of such kind of
disaster in future.

Nepal has suffered a lot from past earthquakes as

evidenced from historical earthquakes bringing a great loss
of lives, properties and infrastructures affecting the
development pace of the country. Records of historical
earthquakes dating back to 1255 A.D. and the earthquake of
1934 both of which are considered as great devastating
earthquakes in the past have caused wide spread losses of
lives and properties including damages of numerous physical
infrastructures. Similarly two moderate earthquakes of July
29, 1980 and 21 August, 1988 hit the country in Far Western
Region and Eastern Region triggering many landslides in

Geohazards and environmental degradation in

some of the urban areas of Nepal
*K. P. Kaphle, L. N. Rimal, A. K. Duvadi, B. Piya, and D. Nepali
Department of Mines and Geology, Lainchaur, Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepal lies in the central part of the seismo-tectonically

active Himalayan belt. It is prone to natural hazards like
earthquake, flood, landslide, debris flow, glacial lake outburst
flood (GLOF), sinkholes, windstorm, thunder etc. Natural
hazards bring the disasters in vulnerable areas and disturbs
the social system, degraded the environment, aggravate the
poverty and eco-system in the affected areas. In the last 23
years natural disasters had caused tremendous losses of lives
(about 22,000 people), properties, severe damage of
infrastructures costing billions of dollar, and overall set back
of development and consequently GDP loss and environment
degradation. Their frequency is also increasing due to
improper land use, haphazard settlements, unplanned

infrastructure development, high population growth rate,

uncontrolled multiple human activities etc.
Both natural and man-made hazards are deteriorating the
natural environments mostly in urban areas. Since there is no
effective weather forecasting and early warning system for
such disasters the vulnerable people hardly find time to reach
safe places and save from possible disaster. Previously the
Government of Nepal put its efforts mainly on post disaster
activities like rescue, relief and rehabilitation. Only after the
Dig Tso glacial lake outburst flood in 1985, earthquake in
eastern Nepal in 1988, Flood and Landslide disaster in Central
Nepal in 1993 and their severe effects causing tremendous

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

building code in some of the municipalities, some
announcement on radio and television about the
precautionary measures for fire in dry season, epidemic in
rainy season, daily weather forecast and early warning system
for Tso Rolpa glacier lake and celebrating earthquake day to
make the people aware of earthquake. As a part of
preparedness the Government organizations, UN agencies,
NGOs and INGOs have started to make the people aware of
various types of disasters and their possible effects by
organizing Workshop/Seminars, giving training, rehearsal,
drill etc. They are also lunching disaster management
programs in most vulnerable 20 districts. At the same time
the concerning Government departments are preparing and
publishing hydrological and meteorological information,
geological maps, hazard maps, engineering and
environmental geological maps which are quite helpful for
infrastructure development planning, disaster management,
environment protection in urban as well as other parts of the
country. Recently to meet the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) the government is exercising to make development
work programs compatible with the disaster management so
that to reach the national goal as identified by poverty
reduction strategy paper (PRSP) to alleviate the poverty in
the country.

loss of lives, properties and damage of infrastructures, the

government and the people realized the importance of predisaster preparedness. For preparedness and mitigation of
hazards the geological, engineering and environmental
geological, geomorphological and land use maps, hazard maps
and hydrological information are extremely important. Now,
the government and the people are a bit aware of disaster
events and their devastating results. They also realized that
the effect of disasters can be reduced considerably if the
people are timely well prepared to face such disasters. After
having the experiences of the above-mentioned disasters the
government has developed the capabilities in emergency
response. As a result logistic support management system is
fairly improved but more efforts are warranted to identify
hazard risk areas and make the people aware of the possible
hazards. In this respect Engineering and Environmental
Geological Maps of major cities prepared by Department of
Mines and Geology could be one of the guides for Planners,
Engineers, Decision makers and the people to be familiar with
such hazards and prepared accordingly. One of the examples
is frequently appearance of sinkholes in different parts of
Pokhara city and recently appeared large sinkholes in
Chipledhunga/ Newroad near to the office of Pokhara Sub
metropolitan City indicate that such maps are valuable guide
for infrastructure development planning, disaster
management etc.

Reform in the existing Natural Calamity Relief Act 1982 is

necessary so as to give more emphasis in disaster
preparedness and mitigation. Similarly formulate the policy
guidelines, prepare hazard maps of the whole country and
engineering and environmental geological maps of all the
major cities/town, identify the vulnerable areas categorically
in these maps, develop early warning system for major
disasters and all these information should be provided (make
available) to the peoples working in the infrastructure
development, planners, decision makers, all stakeholders and
the people at large. All these works will help in preparedness,
disaster mitigation, environment protection and over all
disaster management in the country.

Under the provision given in Natural Calamity Relief Act

1982, Natural Disaster Relief Committees like central, regional,
district and village (local level) have been formed. Central
Disaster Relief Committee (CDRC) and District Disaster Relief
Committee (DDRC) play very active role in close cooperation
and coordination with UN bodies, Nepal Red Cross Society,
NGOs and INGOs in post disaster activities like response,
rescue and relief operations, and rehabilitations works.
In 1994 the Yokohama Strategy for a Safe World provided
guidance on reducing disaster risk. The Government of Nepal
had prepared the National Building Code in 1994 and the first
National Action Plan for disaster management in 1996 and
partly implemented it. The Action Plan has been updated in
2005 but still sufficient importance is not given for
preparedness at any level except enforcement of national

This paper is based on the compilation of the works carried

out by the authors in the last few years and other available


Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

GIS-based landslide hazard mapping in

Jhimruk River basin, west Nepal
*D. Pathak1, A. P. Gajurel1,, and G. B. Shrestha2

Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Tri-Chandra Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal

Mountain Risk Engineering Unit, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
(*Email: dineshpathak@wlink.com.np)

The West Rapti River is one of the major rivers in west

Nepal that is having two main tributaries namely the Madi
River and Jhimruk River. Out of around 4,500 km2 area of the
Rapti Basin, the Jhimruk Basin accounts around 960 km2. The
Jhimruk River Basin mainly covers the Pyuthan District. The
altitude of the basin reaches as high as 3,200 m. The catchment
area of the basin is quite diverse in nature because of
considerable difference in geology, altitude, climatic,
biological and land use conditions. The study area primarily
lies in the Sub-Himalaya (Siwaliks) in the south and Lesser
Himalaya zone in the north. These two zones are separated
with each other by the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT). The
Siwalik rocks are basically consisting of sedimentary rocks
(mudstone, sandstone, and conglomerate), while the Lesser
Himalayan rocks are basically the low grade metamorphic
rocks (e.g., slate, phyllite, schists, garnet-schists,
metasandstone and quartzite). Generally, the range exhibits
very rugged terrain with deeply dissected gullies and steep
slopes. Water induced hazards, basically landslide, debris
flow and flood hazards are frequently reported from the area.

requires knowledge of the processes active in the area being

analyzed, and factors (geological and triggering) leading to
the occurrence of landslides. Landslide and debris flow hazard
assessment in the Jhimruk River Basin was carried out based
on the primary data collected from the field as well as the
information extracted from the aerial photographs and satellite
images. All these information were integrated in the GIS
database, which were used to prepare several thematic layers
like DEM, slope map, aspect map, land use map, drainage
density map, geological and geomorphical map, landslide and
debris distribution map. These were further analysed and
processed in GIS environment in order to generate landslide
and debris flow hazard maps. There are various methods to
carry out the GIS based hazard zonation. Knowledge based
approach, information value method, and fuzzy methods are
some of the widely used method in landslide hazard zonation
using GIS. Each method has both the superiority and
drawback. In the present study, the knowledge based
approach has been utilized. The result of the analysis is the
generation of landslide and debris flow hazard zones. The
generated hazard model was validated with the help of the
observed landslides landslide/debris flow areas and a good
agreement between the observed and predicted slide/flow
zones was obtained.

Landslide hazard is typically depicted on maps, which

show spatial distribution of hazard classes, or landslide
hazard zonations. The development of these zonations

Landslide and debris flow hazards in the Mugling-Narayangarh

Highway section, central Nepal
*D. P. Adhikari1 and S. R. Joshi2

Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

Department of Irrigation, Jawalakhel, Kathmandu, Nepal
(*Email: adhikaridp@ntc.net.np)

The MuglingNarayangarh (MUNA) Highway section

belongs to the Siwaliks in the south and the Lesser Himalaya
in the north. The Siwaliks consist of boulder beds,
conglomerates and sandstones whereas the Lesser Himalayan
rocks include the Kunchha Formation, Fagfog Quartzite,
Dandagaun Phyllites, Nourpul Fommation, Dhading

Dolomite, and Benighat Slates. The Main Boundary Thrust

(MBT) and three other thrusts, namely the Kamalpur Thrust
(KT), Simaltal Thrust (ST), and Virkuna Thrust (VT) in the
north of the MBT and a large number of normal faults and
folds of local and regional scales are the main tectonic features
in the area. Brittle rocks, especially dolomite, quartzite, and

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

or their combination, seismic shaking, and slope undercutting
are the key triggering factors. Rainfall, progressive state of
landslide movement, the presence of terrain in the landslide
path and other inherent material properties are the sustaining
destabilizing factors.

amphibolite are jointed and intensely fractured, making the

slope vulnerable to rock falls and slides. Phyllites and slates
have undergone high degree of weathering and have some
ductile deformations. The basin has either unstable dip slopes
mantled by discontinuous, thick unconsolidated soil cover
or vertical cliffs. Bouldery loose sagging masses are
widespread and the slopes are chronically unstable at places.
Sometimes the whole mountain appears moving down under
the influence of toe cutting action.

For the purpose of landslide hazard assessment, the

MUNA areas was divided into rock and soil slopes and the
ratings for geological, engineering geological, geomorphic
and other attributes were applied and a landslide hazard map
was prepared. Based on the hazard rating, the area was divided
into low, medium, high, and very high hazard zones. The low
hazard zone is considered stable, whereas the medium hazard
zone may have possibilities of landslide occurrence for the
given conditions. Old landslides with some renewed activities
and some areas without actually initiating movement but
having marginal stability due to active geological process
and increased human activities are placed under the high
hazard zone. Areas in and adjacent to the fault and thrust
zones with active landslides and the terrain encountered in
the landslide path are considered as very high hazard zones.
The low, medium, high and very high hazard zones delineated
in the area are estimated to represent about 30 %, 40 %, 15%,
and 15 % of the total area, respectively. The geological and
tectonic processes and engineering geological conditions
are the main factors in the occurrence of landslide and debris
flows while rainfall and other human activities are the main triggers.

Landslide and landslide-induced debris flow, especially

during the monsoon period, are the common causes of
damage, destruction and casualties and frequent Highway
blockage in the MUNA section. Concept of three stability
states - stable, marginally stable, and actively unstable states,
offers a useful framework for understanding the causes and
development of slope instability. It can be viewed as existing
at various points along a stability spectrum ranging from
high margins of stability with low probabilities of failure at
one end, to actively falling slopes, with no margin of stability,
at the other. Four groups of factors, such as pre-disposing,
preparatory, triggering and sustaining factors were identified
in promoting the instabilities. The preparatory destabilizing
factors effective in long-term include weathering, tectonic
uplift, thrusting, faulting, and shearing, and that effective in
short-term are erosion, deforestation, and other human
activities. Intense or sustained rain fall of monsoon season

Flood hazard mitigation in Barpeta district,

Assam, north-east India
N. K. Talukdar1 and S. Kalita2
Physics Department, M.C. College, Barpeta, Assam, India
Department of Environmental Science, Gauhati University, India

Flood is almost an annual feature in the district of Barpeta,

Assam. The geographical area of the district is that it
comprises 4.2 percent of the total area of the state. The district
is prone to severe flood hazard mainly by the rivers Manas,
Beki, Pahumara, Kaldia and their tributaries. The average
annual peak discharge four rivers Manas, Beki, Pahumara
and Kaldia are found to be 275.04, 3219.85, 139.48 and 163 m3/sec,
respectively. The recurring floods of characteristically high
magnitude have assumed devastating heavily affecting the
agricultural lands, crops cattle and people of the district.

protection have been studied carefully. Embankment is the

main structural feature used to mitigate floods in the district.
It has been observed that percentage of total affected area is
increasing with subsequent increase in length of the
embankments. In recent years, breaches in embankment have
shown an increasing trend. Other temporary and light
protection measures are boulder bars, spurs and boulder filled
dams. These measures are now insufficient to mitigate severe
flood. The strategies for flood management in Barpeta district
have taken for discussion in the light of recent thrust on
flood management. Non-structural measures including
watershed management and flood plain also studied in
this context.

The structural and non-structural mitigation measures

taken by the state government to provide reasonable flood


Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Preliminary investigation of Laprak landslide

of Gorkha district, west Nepal
R. P. Khanal
Department of Mines and Geology, Lainchaur, Kathmandu, Nepal
(Email: rpkhanal03@hotmail.com)

Owing to a heavy rainfall on 3rd July of 1999 in the northern

belt of Gorkha district, a large landslide had occurred at Laprak
village. Besides the high intensity of the rainfall, steep
topography of the area, highly weathered and fractured rocks,
soft soil covers, unfavorable orientation of the bedding plane,
and day to day human activities (mainly deforestation and
heavy cultivation) against the natural stability are the principle
causes for the occurrence of landslides.

even after seven years. The landslide has heavily damaged

the houses and cultivated land. The inhabitants of the village
are at risk from the threat of landslide every year, especially
during the monsoon. Several transverse cracks up to 30 cm
width are observed in the landslide area. The whole Laprak
village is also situated on the old landsides. Two major
landslide scarps are observed nearly 300 m upslope and 20 m
downslope of the main village.

This preliminary study was carried out in order to find

out the geological setting, the causes of landslide in the area
and appropriate preventative methods to be applied to
mitigate the landslide problem. The studied area consists of
high-grade metamorphic rocks like gneiss and garnetiferous
schist with grey to white quartzite of Higher Himalaya
crystalline. The gneiss in the landslide area is highly sheared,
fractured and deeply weathered. The present landslide of
Laprak village is active and continuously progressing towards
the settlement area of the village. As the sliding process is
still active and it is creating severe problems to the village

There is an urgent need of sound and sustainable

technical measures to be applied to prevent the landslide
problem in the area. Regular monitoring of the landslide
should be carried out in order to find its nature, activities and
expanding behaviour. However, a more extensive study of
the Laprak Landslide is required, including seismic and
electrical tomography, slope stability analysis, geotechnical
investigation and risk mapping in order to find landslide depth,
subsurface characteristics and probable severity of the

The Devastating Ramche Landslide (Rasuwa) and

the Future of Polchet Residents
T. Ghimire, L. P. Paudel, and B. Pant
Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University,
Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal

The Ramche landslide is located at the 36-km sector of

the Trisuli-Dhunche motor road in the Rasuwa district.
According to the local residents, it was first activated in 1983
and reactivated at the night of 14 August 2003 killing 23 army
men on the site and injuring many others. Since then the
landslide is active.

joint and foliation. Bedrock is exposed both at the crown and

toe of the slide. The motor road passes across the slide.
Diversion of stream water over the colluvium for irrigation,
increased infiltration due to excavation for making road
together with sealing effect of highly impermeable Kuncha
phyllites at the base of the colluvium has increased pore
water pressure in the soil. Reduced soil strength due to pore
water pressure together with vibration of land due to heavy
traffic have caused the debris to flow downslope on the rock surface.

Geologically, the landslide is at the southern limb of the

Kuncha-Gorkha anticlinorium formed by alternating bands
of metasandstones and chlorite-phyllite. Up to 30 m thick
loosely packed colluvium (fine-grained sand to huge
boulders) is filled in a wedge-shaped structure formed by

The slide seems more active in the monsoon time and

relatively stable in the winter. The movement rate is more

Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

than a meter per year. It has developed several cracks on the
surface causing collapse of houses. The slide has put more
than 100 people and their cattle living in 16 houses of Polchet
village and at immediate risk. Further, two high-tension poles
of Chilime hydropower and the 36-km sector of the TrisuliDhunche road have been destabilized by the slide.

So far, there have been no efforts to stabilize the slide and

protect the life of Polchet residents. Preliminary, observation
shows that effective drainage control and abandoning rice
cultivation may help in reducing pore water pressure and
stabilize the landslide. However, a detailed study is needed
before taking any preventive measures.

Study of river shifting of Kodku Khola in Kathmandu Valley

using remotely sensed data
*D. Pathak1, A. P. Gajurel1, and G. B. Shrestha2
Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Tri-Chandra Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal
Mountain Risk Engineering Unit, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
(* Email: dineshpathak@wlink.com.np)

between Gwarko and Hattiban as well as around the housing

complex at Harisiddhi. Near Balkumari, there has been
significant course change of river that is resulted both from
the man-made and natural causes during the last 19 years
(between 1988 and 2007). Three different channels (two traces
of natural and one man-made active channel) of the Kodku
Khola are observed near Gwarku Cinema Hall. It is a good
example showing how the meandered river is shifting its
course naturally and also it is confined to very narrow channel
due to engineering constructions around the river banks.
The private housing company has diverted the Kodku Khola
channel by constructing bank protection wall between Gwarko
and Hattiban. Similar is the case in Harisiddhi. The emerging
housing complexes are the prime reasons for the artificial
river shifting of Kodku Khola.

Kodku Khola (river) is north flowing tributary of the

Manahara River and is located in the southern part of the
Kathmandu Valley. The catchment area of the Kodku Khola
is around 34 km2 and the head ward area is occupied by steep
mountainous terrain and composed of hard rocks (e.g.
limestone, sandstone, shale etc.). The Kodku Khola flows
through the semi-consolidated fluvio-lacustrine sediments
of the Kathmandu Basin fill deposits before merging to
Manahara River. In this study, the natural river shifting as
well as shifting caused by the human interferences and their
environmental consequences is studied.
The temporal remote sensing data (aerial photo and
satellite images) and field survey has revealed that the river
shifting is intense in the lower reaches of the river. Two basic
factors are mainly responsible for the shifting of rivers: manmade river shifting that is induced due to intense population
concentration in the Kathmandu valley and the river shifting
caused by natural river processes. The areas in the lower
reaches of the river are densely populated. Large number of
buildings and infra-structures are under construction near
by the river sides.

When the river is confined to narrow channel, both the

upstream and downstream areas are affected. During the field
observation, it has been observed that there has been quite
significant flooding effects and river aggradation. Further,
river breaching within the confined channel has also caused
inundation at the agricultural areas as well as settlements
around the banks of the river, the downstream area being at
high risk.

The Kodku Khola changes its course ranging from 19-60

m at Balkumari, 16-98 m at Gwarko (near Cinema Hall), 25-82 m


Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Geomorphological observations surrounding Lukla,

eastern Nepal Himalaya
S. M. Rai1, M. Yoshida2, and B. N. Upreti1,3

Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University,

Tri-Chandra Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal
Gondwana Institute for Geology and Environment, Hashimoto, Japan
Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University,
Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal
(*Email: santamanrai@yahoo.com)

major landslide stage occurred. In this stage the upper

Nachipan terrace, moraine and earlier landslide materials were
collapsed down as a single major landslide stage. (f) Then
again erosion process occurred on later major landslide stage
and lowest Nachipan terrace stage was developed. (g) Finally
recent river terrace deposits were formed by the Dudh Koshi

The geomorphological observations were carried out in

the area of Lukla and its surroundings: Nachipan, Rondinma,
Chaurikharkha, Muse, Nakchun, Tate and Surke villages. The
Dudh Koshi River runs along N-S direction crossing these
different villages. The heights of the different platforms of
the different areas and river floors show the correlations of
height spans with permanent or mean height of the plains
(Fig. 1).

Rondinma platform, located to the NWW direction from

Lukla village consists of subrounded to rounded pebbles,
cobbles and boulders carried by the Dudh Koshi valley.
Chaurikharka platform, located NNW direction from the Lukla
village is topographically flat and is covered by huge boulders
of mainly quartzite, partly of biotite-sillimanite-garnet gneiss
and granite. Below the sediments, the materials could be the
continuation of Nachipan glacial moraine stage. Muse
platform, located to the south of Chaurikharka platform is
mainly covered by huge boulders of mainly biotite-sillimanitegarnet gneiss, with less migmatized biotite gneiss. At lower
part of Muse platform, few rounded gravels are also found.
Lukla platform has very gentle topography (less than 15
degree) and consists of mainly angular to sub angular
colluviums and is partly by terrace sediments. Some large
boulders found at the lower part of Lukla platform consist of
mainly biotite-sillimanite-garnet gneiss. Similarly Tate
platform, located to the W from the Lukla village has gentle
topography (less than 25 degree) and contains mainly of
large boulders of colluvium materials and few fluvial
sediments. Therefore, different platforms contain different
types of sediments: moraine, colluviums and alluvium during
their development stages.

The different platforms are surrounded by steep

topography containing different rock types: mainly of biotitesillimanite-garnet gneiss, partly of quartzite and Miocene
granite/pegmatite belonging to the Higher Himalayan
Crystalline Sequence (HHCS).
The different platforms contain moraine, colluviums and
river terrace deposits. The Nachipan platform, located to the
NNW direction from Lukla village consists of moraine,
colluviums and terrace deposits. Regarding geomorphic
development of the Nachipan platform following stages can
be summarized: (a) Main glacier moraine sediments carried
by the Dudh Koshi River were deposited. This stage of
evolution is main glacial moraine stage. (b) This moraine
deposit was eroded by the same river and river terraces were
deposited over the moraine deposit. This stage is called as
upper Nachipan terrace stage. (c) This stage was followed
by earlier main landslide stage. In this stage, moraine deposit
as a landslide (colluviums) covered the terrace deposit. (d)
Then erosion process occurred on moraine, terrace and main
landslide (colluviums) deposits by the Dudh Koshi River.
Then terrace deposits were formed over moraine deposit.
This stage is called as lower Nachipan terrace stage. (e) Later


Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

Sea level changes due to climate change facts and fiction

*S. K. Saha and Md. Hussain Monsur
Department of Geology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000
(*Email: Subrotakumat_saha@yahoo.com)

Climate is increasingly warmer almost every day, a general

paradox to the commons. This is what has become known as
Global Warming. The driving idea is that there is a linear
relationship between CO2 increase in the atmosphere and
global temperature. The fact, however, is that temperature
has constantly gone up and down. From 1850 to 1970, an
almost linear relationship with solar variability; not CO2 was
observed. For the last 30 years, the data sets are so
contaminated by personal interpretations and personal
choices that it is almost impossible to sort up the confusion
in reliable and unreliable data. Most remarkable in the record
of climatic changes during the last 600 years are the cold
periods around 1450, 1690 and 1815 and their correlation with
periods of Solar Minima (the Sprer, Maunder and Dalton
Solar Minima). The driving cyclic solar forces can easily be

extrapolated into the future. This would call for a new cold
period or Little Ice Age to occur at around 2040-2050. Still,
we hear nothing about this. It is as if IPCC and the Kyoto
Protocol enthusiasts want to switch off the Sun itself. In
the global warming concept, it has been constantly claimed
that there will be a causal rise in sea level; a rise that already
is in the accelerating mode, in the near future to cause
extensive and disastrous flooding of low-lying coastal areas
and islands. Is this facts or fiction? It is true that we are
flooded by this information. The recording and understanding
of past changes in sea level, and its relation to other changes
(climate, glacial volume, gravity potential variations, rotational
changes, ocean current variability, evaporation/precipitation
changes, etc.) is the key to sound estimates of future changes
in sea level.


Journal of Nepal Geological Society, 2007, Vol. 36 (Sp. Issue)

Author Index

Joshi, S. R. 25

Adhikari, A. R. 18
Adhikari, D. P. 25
Arita, K. 10
Avouac, J. P. 13

Kalita, S. 4, 14, 26
Kaphle, K. P. 23
Kayastha, P. 19, 34
Khan, T. 6
Khanal, R. P. 27
Khwaja, Azam A. 21
Koirala, B. 15
Koirala, M. P. 22

Barman, N. C. 4, 14
Bhagabaty, B 7
Bhandari, S. 8
Bollinger, L. 3, 13, 15
Byrdina, S. 15

Mahara, A. S. 8
Manandhar, S. P. 23
Mazumdar, A. C. 7
Momohara, A. 8
MonaLisa 21
Monsur, Md. Hussain 30
Mugnier, J. L. 4

Chamlagain, D. 5
Chitrakar, G. R. 23
Chowdhury, S. 9
Contraires, S. 15

Dhital, M. R. 2
Duarah, B. P. 3
Duvadi, A. K. 23
Dwivedi, S. 22
Dwivedi, S. K. 22

Nepali, D. 23
Neupane, N. R. 17

Ojha, G. 22

France-Lanord, C. 4, 15

Pant, B. 27
Pant, S. R. 15, 16
Pathak, D. 25, 28
Paudayal, K. N. 8
Paudel, L. P. 10, 15, 17, 27
Paudel, M. R. 6
Perrier, F. 15
Phukan, S. 3
Piya, B. 23
Pradhan, A. M. S. 18

Gajurel, A. P. 4, 25, 28
Gautam, U. 15
Ghimire, T. 27

Hayashi, D. 5
Huyghe, P. 4

Itaya, T. 10

Raghubanshi, U. K. 18
Rai, S. M. 11, 29
Rajaure, S. 3, 13, 15

Jan, M. Q. 21


Fifth Nepal Geological Congress

Regmi, K. R. 9
Revil, A. 15
Richon, P. 15
Rimal, L. N. 23

Talikdar, N. K. 26
Tapponnier, P. 1
Thapa, P. B. 22
Tiwari, D. R. 15

Saha, S. K. 30
Sakai, H. 4, 6
Sakai, T. 4
Sapkota, S. N. 3, 13, 15
Shrestha, G. B. 25, 28
Shrestha, P. 15
Stcklin, J. 1
Sunuwar, S. C. 16

Ulak, P. D. 11
Upreti, B. N. 4, 11, 29

Yoshida, M. 11, 29


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Journal of Nepal Geological Society

Registration No. 1/042/043
US Library of Congress Catalogue Card No.: N-E-81-91064
ISSN 0259-1316
Published by:

Nepal Geological Society, PO Box 231, Kathmandu, Nepal

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