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PGSI. 306
700-2009 (DSK-II)

GEOLOGY
AND
MINERAL RESOURCES
OF
MEGHALAYA
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA
Miscelleaneous Publication
No. 30 Part IV Vol 2(ii) Meghalaya
150
YEARS
in the service of the nation

Published by the order of the Government of India


2009

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Copy right India, Geological Survey, 2009


First Edition : 2009
Second Reprint s: March, 2011

Manuscript processed for printing by:


G. K. KESARI
Geologist (Sr)

under the guidance of :

G. DAS GUPTA B. V. R. REDDY DR. H.S.M. PRAKASH


Director Director AND Director
Publication Division Publication Division Publication Division

Overall supervision by:


B.K. Mohanty Sudipta Lahiri U.K.Behara
Ex-Dy. Director General Dy. Director General AND Director In-Charge

Geological Survey of India


NORTH EASTERN REGION
Shillong- 793 003

Printed at
ESSAR OFFSET
Janapath Lane, G.S. Road, Ulubari, Guwahati-781007, Mobile : +91-9435106080

Price:
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FOREWORD

The Miscellaneous Publication 30 Series of the Geological Survey of India


brings out concise information on the geology and mineral resources of the states of
India. The present volume Part IV, Vol. 2(ii) of the series, pertaining to the state of
Meghalaya, is a revised and updated version of the first edition published in 1974.
During the span of three decades since the first edition was published, enormous
knowledge has been added in the sphere of geology of the area warranting of a revised
edition of this volume. The Geological and Mineral Map presented in this volume
is a modified version based on the 1:2 million scale geological map of North-East
India published in 1998.

Geological Survey of India continues its dedicated work in different realms


of earth science. Revisions have been necessary in the lithostratigraphy of the rock
based on the recent geological mapping and laboratory works.

To augment the mineral resources of the region, exploration was carried out
to find out additional resources of limestone in the Litang valley. An extensive belt
of good quality limestone has been delineated along the southern border of the state
which has opened a new era of establishment of cement and other industries in the
state.

Coal occurrences are mainly confined to the Tertiary sequence and in the
Lower Gondwana sediments located in the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia Hills. There are
other mineral occurrences which will boost the economic development of the state
of Meghalaya, if exploited scientifically and in planned manner.

This publication with update knowledge-base on the geology and mineral


resources of the state of Meghalaya will be of immense use to the professionals,
entrepreneurs and students of geology.

(N. K. DUTTA)
PLACE : Kolkata Director General
November, 2009 Geological Survey of India

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With their four-dimensional minds, and in their inter disciplinary ultraverbal


way, geologists can wiggle out of almost anything.
John McPhee

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CONTENTS
GSI Misc. Pub. 30 Pt. 4 Vol. 2(ii)

Page
1. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................... 1
(I) PHYSIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................................... 1
(ii) CLIMATE ........................................................................................................................................... 3
(iii) FLORA AND FAUNA ......................................................................................................................... 4
(iv) PREVIOUS WORK ............................................................................................................................. 4
(vi) ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................................................. 4

II. GENERAL GEOLOGY AND STRATIGRAPHY ............................................................................ 6


(A) GNEISSIC COMPLEX ........................................................................................................................ 8
(B) SHILLONG GROUP ........................................................................................................................... 9
(C) KHASI BASIC-ULTRABASIC INTRUSIVES ..................................................................................... 11
(D) GRANITE PLUTONS ....................................................................................................................... 12
(i) Kyrdem Granite Pluton ................................................................................................................... 12
(ii) Nongpoh Granite .......................................................................................................................... 12
(iii) Mylliem Granite ........................................................................................................................... 13
(iv) South Khasi Granite ..................................................................................................................... 13
(E) LOWER GONDWANA GROUP ........................................................................................................ 14
(F) SYLHET TRAP ................................................................................................................................. 14
(G) ALKALINE-ULTRAMAFIC-CARBONATITE COMPLEX OF SUNG ............................................... 15
(H) KHASI GROUP ................................................................................................................................ 16
(I) JAINTIA GROUP .............................................................................................................................. 17
(J) BARAIL GROUP .............................................................................................................................. 18
(K) GARO GROUP ................................................................................................................................. 18
(L) DUPI TILLA GROUP ....................................................................................................................... 19
(M) QUARTERNARY AND RECENT DEPOSIT ..................................................................................... 19

III. TECTONIC SET UP ................................................................................................................ 20

IV. STRUCTURE ......................................................................................................................... 22

V. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY ........................................................................................................ 24

VI. MINERAL RESOURCES ......................................................................................................... 25


(i) LIME STONE ................................................................................................................................... 27
(ii) COAL ............................................................................................................................................... 28
Contd.

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(iii) SILLIMANITE .................................................................................................................................. 33


(iv) BASE METAL ................................................................................................................................... 34
(v) FELDSPAR ....................................................................................................................................... 34
(vi) GLASS SAND ................................................................................................................................... 34
(vii) KAOLIN / CLAY .............................................................................................................................. 35
(viii) DIMENSION STONE ....................................................................................................................... 35
LOCALITY INDEX ................................................................................................................ 36
LOCALITY INDEX FOR COAL FIELDS .................................................................................... 38
REFERENCE ......................................................................................................................... 39

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Geology and Mineral Resources of Meghalaya

Introduction

Meghalaya, The abode of clouds, was created as civil sub-divisions. All these administrative units are con-
an autonomous state within the State of Assam on 2nd trolled by the above-mentioned seven districts.
April 1970. The full fledged state came into existence on
21st January, 1972 with Garo, Khasi and Jaintia Hills dis-
(i) PHYSIOGRAPHY
tricts which previously formed a part of Assam State. In
E-W trending Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hill ranges
1981 West Khasi Hills district was carved out from former
occupying the central part of Meghalaya State form ap-
Khasi Hills district and West Garo Hills district was
proximately the watershed for Brahmaputra basin in north
carved from former Garo Hills district, thus creating two
and Meghna basin in south. The Brahmaputra basin oc-
more districts. In 1992, two sub-divisions were upgraded
cupies northern part of the area and comprises three sub

Table 1: Basic Statistics of Meghalaya


Capital City Shillong
Population 2,318822 Forest cover 15690 sq. km
Area 22,489 sq. km Road length 22489 km
Population Density 103 persons/sq. km Total Hard rock area 21,585 sq. km
Villages 5782 nos. Quaternary area 904 sq. km
Literacy 63.31% Hard rock mapping coverage * 21,585 sq. km
Total no. of districts 7 Quaternary mapping coverage * 475 sq. km
Major Minerals Coal, Limestone, clay and Sillimanite.
Minor Minerals Base metals, Bauxite, Phosphate, Glass sand, Iron ore, Platinoids, Rare earths, Gold
and Construction materials.
* Till Field Season 2006.

to district level thus creating two more districts, namely basins, namely Jinjiram, Kulsi and Kopilikalong. The
Ri-Bhoi district and South Garo Hill district. Meghalaya Meghna basin covers cusp sagiform water divide in the
has total geographical area of 22,489 sq. km and is southern part of the state and is sub-divided into two sub-
bounded in northwest and north by Dhubri and Kamrup basins, namely bigger Soneswari Piyaaihgong and smaller
districts of Assam; in northeast, east and parts of south- Barak.
east by Karbi Anglong , North Cachar Hills and Cachar
Almost all the rivers emerge from central hilly tracts.
districts of Assam and the entire south and southwest by
These rivers have wide variations of discharge during lean
Sylhet plains of Bangladesh. There are 32 community de- and flush periods. They have straight courses which are
velopment blocks under direct control of 7 sadars and 8

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2 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

punctuated by rapids and water falls as they are structur- central Khasi Hills. In the north of the Tura Range, the
ally controlled. The rivers of Meghna basin in southern Arbela range runs almost parallel to the Tura range along
part of Khasi and Jaintia Hills have formed deep gorges the east-west alignment.
due to headward erosion of streams along joints in the
Nokrek Peak (1411m) situated about 12 km to the
sedimentary rocks. The rivers flowing towards the north
east of Tura town is the highest peak in the western
meet Brahmaputra river almost perpendicularly, whereas
Meghalaya. The predominant part of Garo Hills range in
in the northwestern part (West Garo Hills) they run par-
height from 450m to 600m.
allel to Brahmaputra river prior to the confluence.
Gneissic rocks are generally exposed in western
Important rivers of Meghna basin are Bugi,
Meghalaya. The southern part of Garo Hills is covered by
Someswari, Rongkhal, Jadukata, Umngot and Lubha and
limestone. The Siju cave is located in this limestone ter-
those of Brahmaputra basin are Kopili, Nynteng ,
rain
Umiam, Umtru, Umngi, Ronga, Dudhnoi, Singra, etc.
In the western Meghalaya, Simsang is the biggest
The areas of central hills have an average annual am-
river. The other rivers are Nitai and Bhugoi. All these riv-
bient temperature of 20C. Elsewhere average annual am-
ers originate in Nokrek region. These rivers flow towards
bient temperature is more than 20C. Hence high altitude
south.
areas have temperate climate and low altitude areas have
tropical to sub-tropical climate. The rivers which flow towards the north to join the
Brahmaputra river are Kishnai, Dudhnai, Rongra, Jimari,
The state of Meghalaya is physiographically a pla-
Gonai etc. The southern rivers are larger than the north-
teau region. The top of this regional plateau is about 1500
ern ones.
m above msl and at the base; the altitude is below 300 m.
The western and northern slopes of this regional plateau Khasi Hills:
are gentle compared to the eastern and southern slopes. The plateau region of central Meghalaya can be
The southern face of this plateau is deeply dissected by broadly sub-divided into three physiographic units:
gorges. The northern part is dotted with numerous dis-
(a) The low hills of the northern belt
sected hills as outliers. In the north, the foot hills gradu-
ally merge with the plains of Assam, but in the south, (b) The central upland zone
abrupt drop in elevation marks the topographic break.
(c) The hills and deep gorges of the southern belt.
Moreover, in the south, a narrow stretch of plain borders
between India and Bangladesh. In the northern belt, a number of low hills lie in the
rain shadow of the main plateau and are devoid of deep
Meghalaya is divisible into three physiographic do-
gorges and steep escarpments. The river Umtrew origi-
mains manifested by the following hill sections.
nates from the foot of the Sohpetbneng peak.
(a) The Western Meghalaya (Garo hills)
The central upland zone may be rightly called as
(b) The Central Meghalaya (Khasi hills) Shillong Plateau. This plateau is also called the Ri Khasi.
The ranges have east-west alignment. The highest peak of
(c) The Eastern Meghalaya (Jaintia hills)
the state is Shillong Peak (1966 m) which is located in the
Garo Hills: - central zone. In this zone, many of the peaks are 1500 m
The principal ranges in the western Meghalaya are above the sea level. The Laitkor Peak is another impor-
the Tura range and the Arbela range. The Tura range tant peak in this zone. To the north of Shillong peak, there
passes through the heart of the Garo Hills from southeast are many smaller peaks like Mawthorew peak (1485 m),
to the northwest. It is 50 km long extending towards the Diengei peak (1770 m), Sohpetbneng (Mai parbet) peak

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 3

(1320 m) and Mawpat peak (1590 m). A little north-west plains. The central part is the plateau extension, on which
of Shillong peak is Kyllang Rock (1705 m) which is com- Jowai (1350 m) is located. The southern portion has some
posed of hard granitic rock. In between Mairang and steep escarpments parallel to the southern belt of central
Nongstoin, there lies a peak (1893 m), which is the sec- Meghalaya. The height of the peaks and ridges vary be-
ond highest peak of central Meghalaya. tween 1050 m to 1350m. One of the important ranges in
the south of eastern Meghalaya is Marangkshih range
As the main plateau (i.e. Shillong Plateau) of cen-
(1601 mm) from where the famous Barail Range rims
tral zone acts as a water divide, a number of rivers flow
eastwards to North Cachar.
either towards south or north of Shillong plateau.
The rivers of Jaintia Hills flow towards northeast,
The rivers flowing towards north and north-east are
excepting river Tubha, which flows south-west and joins
Umiam, Umkhen (Barapani), Untrew, Khri etc. the riv-
river Surma in Bangladesh. The most important river is
ers Umiam, Umtrew and Umkhen finally join with
Kopili, which rises from the plateau region east of Passi
Brahmaputra.
and flows towards north-west in Karbi Anglong ultimately
In the south of Shillong Plateau (of the central up- joining Brahmaputra. A major hydel project is located on
land), away from the Laitkor and Shillong Peak, there lies this river just adjacent to the border between Jaintia Hills
a belt of low hills and deep valleys facing Surma Plains. and Karbi Anglong.
In many places, the hills slope very very steeply and
(ii) CLIMATE:
abruptly. The steep and near vertical cliffs and precipices
overlook deep gorges in many places. The hills in this belt As the name suggests, Meghalaya is the abode of
are in north-south alignment. clouds. It receives fairly good quantity of annual rainfall.
It has also the distinction of being worlds wettest place.
Constant erosion of the faces of escarpments by
winds and rain water led to the formation of structural The rainfall distribution pattern is strongly controlled
platforms/plateau remnant. Notable among these plat- by physiography of the region. The clouds formed during
forms are the Cherrapunjee Platform (1337 m), monsoon season and low pressure depression in the Bay
Mawsynram Platform (1305m) and Langkyrdem Plat- of Bengal, after travelling through Sylhet plains of
form. Bangladesh, enter into the state from its southern border.
Abruptly rising hills along the border check the movement
The rivers which flow toward south are Kynshi
of the clouds. Hence they rise and get precipitated. Maxi-
(River Jadukata-in Bangladesh), Uniew, Umngi and
mum rainfall of over 1500 cm has been recorded in the
Umrilang. These rivers have cut deep gorges in Cretaceous
Cherrapunjee, Mawsynram area. IMD data of 1901 to
sandstones and tertiary limestones. In many places, older
1950 reveals that rainfall decreases towards north and
rocks like gneisses and schists have been exposed.
northwest. The central highland plateau areas receive a
In this southern belt, there is a hot spring at rainfall of about 200-400 cm. Nongpoh area is a low rain-
Umjarain, near Jakrem. There are also a number of spec- fall area of less than 200 cm. A vast area stretching from
tacular waterfalls. The Mawsmai (Seven Sisters) falls at Jowai in east to northern parts of Tura in the west experi-
Cherrapunjee is the fourth largest falls in India. It falls ences a rainfall of about 200 to 400 cm. More than 70% of
from a height of 406 m. annual rainfall takes place in the monsoon season extend-
Jaintia Hills: ing from June to September. About 20% of rainfall, owing
due to depression in Bay of Bengal, occurs during pre-
The eastern part of Meghalaya i.e. Jaintia Hills is
monsoon period of March-May and the rest during the
bordered in the north-east by North Cachar and Karbi
period from October to February.
Hills, while in the southern part it is bordered Sylhet

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4 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

(iii) FLORA AND FAUNA: Shillong in 1961, a program of systematic geological map-
ping of the Meghalaya Plateau was undertaken which is
Forests by virtue of their locations at different alti-
still continuing. The contributions by K. Gogoi (1961-62,
tudes are best suited to various kinds of flora and fauna in
62-63, 65-66, 67-68 and 72-73), K.Gogoi and
Meghalaya. But rapid and unplanned destruction of for-
M.D.Limaye (1963-64), M.M.Munshi (1964-65),
ests are fast depleting our natural resources. Many species
M.K.Das and B.Dayal (1964-65), M.K.Das (1965-66 and
of orchids, ferns and rare plants are nearing total extinc-
66-67), S.K.Majumdar (1965-66, 66-67 and 67-68) and
tion. The exotic orchids for which Meghalaya was once
M.G. Rao (1966-67 & 67-68), N.N. Chatterjee (1937),
famous are fast dwindling. Forest fires, cattle grazing, fell-
J.M.Choudhury et. al, (1966) are worth mentioning.
ing of trees and bushes are some of the causes for their
disappearance. The famous pitcher plant is observed in The shelf sediments over the southern part of
the Jaintia Hills only. Meghalaya Plateau were mapped in parts by A.C.
Goswami, M.K.Das, S.C.Talukdar, A.C.Bhattacharyya,
Meghalaya is famous for butterflies. Some of the rare
G.Barman, B.K.Duara, C.Chakravarti, B.D.Adhikari,
butterflies, which used to breed in the interiors of the
K.K.Sen and S.K.Srivastava during the period from 1961-
jungles, also face near extinction because of deforestation.
62 to 1972-73. S.C. Talukdar (1966-68) investigated Sylhet
Forest fires are often responsible for destruction of Trap volcanism along the southern Khasi Hills.
habitats of the wild animals, reptiles and birds. The slow
The systematic geological mapping was continued
loris of Meghalaya jungles are now on the verge of extinc-
in the Meghalaya between 1973 to 84. Various geologists
tion.
who contributed (in part) during this period were
Poaching caused near extinction of wild life. El- K.Gogoi, S.V.Satyanarayana, R.Bandopadhyaya, A.K.
ephants, bison, wild goat, deer, tiger, clouded leopards, Roychowdhury, B. Bhattacharyya, M.K.Das,
pangolin and big birds like hornbill, peacock, pheasant are K.Chandrashekhar, K.Parida, S.Karan, R.N.Parida,
rarely observed. S.K.Wadhawan, G.V.K.Rao, S.S.Nayak, A.B.Dutta,
(iv) PREVIOUS WORK: D.P.Das, P.R.Golani, A.K.Burgohain, R.P.S.Pahuja,
S.C.Mehrotra and H.S.Srivastava.
The earliest geological work on a part of Khasi Hills
was done by T. Oldham (1859). There after geological ac- From 1985 to 1997 the officers who carried out geo-
counts of parts of Khasi and Garo Hills were outlined by logical mapping in various toposheets to fill the gap ar-
H.B. Medlicott (1869), Godwin Austin (1869), La Tou- eas left out by the earlier workers are P.R.Golani,
che (1883,1887) and F.R. Mallet (1887). Their accounts S.C.Mehtra, S.D.Pimprikar, R.P.S. Pahuja, U.P.Singh,
helped considerably in taking follow-up geological map- Aizaz Akhtar, R.S.Rajawat, H.Sarma, P.S.Gill, S.Sarkar,
ping of different parts of Jaintia, Khasi and Garo Hills A.K.Ray, K.K.Gagopadhyay, P.Kapali. A.V.
by later workers viz. R.W.Palmer (1923), C.S.Fox (1936- Gangadharan, B.Chatterjee, N.Jha, M.P.Chawade,
38), V.R.Khedkar (1938-39), P.N. Mukherjee (1938-39) S.Y.Katti, N.K.Agarwal, S.Nag, Tapan Paul, Anshuman
and A.M.N.Ghosh (1936-39), which established a broad Acharya, D.D.Bhatacharya, H.S.Saini, H.Kariyanna, and
geological outline of various rock units and the M.A.Khonglah.
stratigraphy. H.C. Dasgupta (1934), P.Evans (1932) and (v) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
others made valuable observations on the Precambrian
The present compilation of Geology and Mineral
tectono-stratigraphy of the Meghalaya Plateau.
Resources of North Eastern Region under the Misc. Pub-
Since inception of the Assam Circle (later Assam- lication: 30 is an endeavour as per the broader framework
Meghalaya Circle/Regional Geology Divisions of of comprehensive write up of Geology and Mineral Re-
Meghalaya and Assam) of Geological Survey of India at sources of the states of India as formulated by the CHQ.

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 5

The Director General, Geological Survey of India, The material has been updated from critical reviews
conceived of the project on the write up on geology of from the publication & information division-I CHQ,
the different states of India and this work in North East- Kolkata. An overall co-ordination from Central Head-
ern Region comprises a part of the larger, all India project quarters was needed to orient the objective of this publi-
of Geological Survey of India. cation as per the guidelines set by CHQ.
Publication Division, Geological Survey of India, The co-ordinated efforts of the Deputy Directors
North Eastern Region, Shillong, is indebted to a number General, Geological Survey of India, North Eastern Re-
of officers of Geological Survey of India but for their ef- gion, Shillong along with officers of Regional head quar-
forts this publication would not have been brought out. ters and Operational units of NER facilitated availability
of manuscripts of the different states. Dr.U.K.Mishra,
Different divisions of Geological Survey of India,
Dr.V.V.Sesha Sai and Shri.P.K.Das, Geologists (Sr.), GSI,
Northeastern Region have provided the draft material
NER, Shillong, are thankfully acknowledged for scruti-
which has been compiled, recast and modified as per the
nising and attending to the modifications in the manu-
prescribed format of this publication. Since the work for
script.
this volume started some years before the actual publica-
tion, some of the manuscripts were irretrievable and por- The support provided by Miss Lamonsie Laitflong,
tions had to be rewritten. This would not have been pos- Smt. Aradhana Saikia, and Smt. Dorothy L. Fanai, Li-
sible without the background information on the data brary Information Assistants of the Publication Division,
sources provided by the divisions. Coal Wing, Geologi- GSI, NER, during the composing, editing, and retrieval
cal Survey of India provided the material pertaining to of available material for authentication of details is thank-
the coal chapters of this volume. fully acknowledged.

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General Geology and Stratigraphy

The State of Meghalaya is occupied by rocks belong- age (f) Cretaceous volcanic rocks represented by Sylhet
ing to (a) Archaean (?)Proterozoic Gneissic Complex (b) Trap and Alkaline-Ultramafic-Carbonatite Complex of
Khasi Basic-Ultrabasic Intrusives of Proterozoic age (c) Sung (g) CretaceousTertiary shelf sediments and (h)
Shillong Group of metasediments of Meso-Proterozoic Pleistocene to Recent fluvial sediments.
age (d) Granite Plutons viz. Kyrdem, Nongpoh and
The generalized stratigraphic succession of different
Mylliem Granite Plutons and South Khasi batholith of
litho formation is given below:
Neo ProterozoicLower Palaeozoic age (e) Lower
Gondwana sedimentary rocks of CarboniferousPermian

2.1.1 STRATIGRAPHIC SUCCESSION OF MEGHALAYA

Age Group Name Formation Lithology

Holocene Newer Alluvium Unclassified Sand, silt and clay


(Thickness not known)

Pleistocene Older Allumium Unclassified Sand, clay, pebble, gravel and


(Thickness not known) boulder deposit

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unconformity ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Mio-Pliocene Dupi Tila Formation Mottled clay, feldspathic
(1050m) sandstone and conglomerate

------------------------------------------------------------- Unconformity/Disconformity ----------------------------------------------------------------


Chengapara Formation Coarse sandstone, siltstone,
(700m) clay and marl

Coarse, feldpathic sandstone,


pebble, conglomerate, clay,
Oligo-Miocene Garo Group Baghmara Formation silty clay with a fossiliferous
(530m) limestone horizon at the
top
Siltstone & fine sandstone and
Simsang Formation alternations of siltstone-
(1150m) mudstone

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Coarse sandstone, shale,


Eocene - Barail Group ............................. carbonaceous shale with streaks
Oligocene and minor lenses of coal
Kopili Formation (50m) Shale, sandstone, marl and coal

Palaeocene-Eocene Jaintia Group Shella Formation (600m) Alternation of sandstone,


limestone
Langer Formation Calcareous shale, sandstone,
(100m.) limestone
Mahadek Formation Arkosic sandstone (often
(150 m.) Glauconitic & Uraniferous)

Upper Creetaceous Khasi Group Conglomerate (25m.) Conglomerate


Jadukata Formation Conglomerate/sandstone
(140m)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unconformity -------------------------------------------------------------------------


Creetaceous Alkaline-Ultramafic- Pyroxenite - Serpentinite with
Carbonatite ............................. abundant development of
Complex of Sung melilite pyroxene rock, ijolite,
syenite and carbonatite
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unconformity --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Creetaeous Sylhet Trap Basalt, alkali basalt, rhyolite
(600m) and acid tuff
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unconformity --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Very coarse to coarse grained
Carboniferous Karharbari Formation sandstone with conglomerate
lense, siltstone, shale, carbona-
to Lower Gondwana ceous shale and coal
Basal tillite, with sandstone
Permian bands, siltstone and shale
Telchir Formation
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unconformity --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Granite Plutons :
Kyrdem Granite Pluton
(479 26 Ma) Porphyritic coarse granite,
Neo Proterozoic- Nongpoh Granite pegmatite, aplite/quartz vein
Early Palaeozoic (550 15 Ma) traversed by epidiorite, dolerite
Mylliem Granite and basalt dykes.
(607 13 Ma)
South Khasi Granite
(690 26 Ma)
----------------------------------------------------------------------- Intrusive contact -------------------------------------------------------------------------

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8 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

Khasi Basic-Ultrabasic ............................. Epidiorite, dolerite amphibolite


Proterozoic intrusives (Khasi and pyroxenite dykes and sills
greenstone)

Quartzite, phyllite, quartz-


Palaeo-Meso- Shillong Group ............................. sericite schist, conglomerate
Proterozoic
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Unconformity --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Biotite gneiss, biotite horn-
blende gneiss, granite gneiss,
mica schist, sillimanite-quarz
Achaean (?) - Meghalaya Gneissic schist, biotite-granulite-
Proterozoic Complex amphibolite, pyroxene
granulite, gabbro and diorite

(A) GNEISSIC COMPLEX: sillimanite-quartz schist, calc granulite, saphirine-


cordierite granulite, magnetite-granulite etc. Enclaves of
The Gneissic Complex is exposed mostly in the cen-
anorthositic rocks have been reported in the quartzo-feld-
tral and northern parts of the Meghalaya Plateau cover-
spathic gneiss (e.g. Umkangsin) and the enclaves are com-
ing the districts of West Garo Hills, East Garo Hills, West
posed of plagioclase and pargasite with some epidote and
Khasi Hills & Ri Bhoi. The Archaean Gneissic Complex
opaque minerals.
is represented dominantly by para and ortho-gneisses,
migmatites and metasedimentary bands. These are in- The quartzo-feldspathic gneisses are mostly medium
truded by amphibolites, metadolerites and to coarse grained and composed of quartz, K-feldspar,
metapyroxenites. The gneissic rocks and associated plagioclase, biotite, garnet and a little hornblende with
metasediments have long been recognized as an extension apatite and sphene as accessories. The overall texture of
of Peninsular India (Evans,1932). According to him the the rock is xenoblastic. At places, the gneiss also contain
horizontal movement along the Dawki Fault, detached phlogopite, magnetite, cordierite, spinel, fibrolite and
the Shillong Plateau from the main mass of Indian shield. anthophyllite. The amphibolites rarely show relict sub-
ophitic texture in the less schistose portions. The mineral
The Gneissic Complex has been described as Older
constituents of the amphibolite enclaves are dark green
Gneisses or Gneiss Series or Achaeans in the ear-
hornblende, plagioclase, biotite with occasional quartz,
lier accounts of geology of this part of the country. The
epidote, sphene and magnetite. The granulites and related
Gneissic Complex has complicated and multiple
mafic-ultramafic rocks are in general medium to very
deformational & metamorphic episodes. In general, the
coarse grained, massive and are occasionally associated
grade of metamorphism varies from the greenschist to
with carbonate rocks and are composed predominantly of
amphibolites facies. An abundance of granite gneisses and
calcite, partially serpentinised olivine, tremolite and
a paucity of alluminosilicate index minerals are the domi-
spinel. The micaceous schists often occur as narrow strips
nant characters of the basement complex. The latest ubiq-
within the gneisses with gradational boundary. In the
uitous regional metamorphism presumably has
basement complex, sillimanite-garnet-K-feldspar-quartz
Hercynian characteristic (Mazumdar, 1976).
gneisses/schist without muscovite is a common assem-
Within the gneissic terrain, biotite bearing quartzo- blage. In Sonapahar area the sillimanite gneisses contain
feldspathic gneisses are the most abundant rocks with biotite-cordierite-corundum and chondrodite (?).
patchy enclaves of amphibolite, banded magnetite quartz-
The sillimanite bearing rocks represent per-
ite, quartz-dumonterite-tourmaline schist, mica schist,
aluminous regolith belonging to Proterozoic age. The

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 9

chondrodite, which indicates a low pressure to interme- contact relationship of Basement Gneissic Complex and
diate metamorphism has also been reported in the Shillong Group. Some workers are of the opinion that the
gneisses of Umpirtha area. The assemblage of biotite- contact between the two groups of rocks is transitional
cordierite occurs south of South Khasi Batholith and it where the cover rocks of Shillong Group adjacent to the
represents the metasomatic part of the migmatite. Evi- contact are partly migmatised and others opine that the
dences of retrogression and neocrystallisation have been contact is an erosional unconformity, defined by the dis-
recorded in garnetiferous schist occurring north of South continuous lenses of conglomerate bands. The more de-
Khasi Batholith, where micaceous pseudomorphs of tailed work is being continued to resolve this problem.
aluminosilicate (Andalusite?) are present.
The basement gneisses have been intruded by acid,
All gradations from augen gneiss to streaky gneiss basic and ultrabasic intrusives of various dimensions and
and banded gneiss indicating different stages of shapes. The acidic intrusives are dominated by anorogenic
granitisation are noticed in the gneisses. Mazumdar(1976) granite plutons and veins. The basic/ultrabasic intrusives
has recognized relict augen gneisses which are pre-tectonic include ortho-amphibolite, metadolerite, metagabbro and
and belong to an earlier orogeny. In the banded gneisses, metapyroxenite. Syntectonic intrusives of basic rocks are
quartzo-feldspathic leucosomes alternate with biotite-rich represented by the Khasi Greenstones, while the other ba-
melanosome and the thickness of the gneissic bands var- sic bodies and the ultrabasics were emplaced in the
ies from place to place. Structures like agmatic, stro- gneisses during the post tectonic period. Besides, the base-
matic etc, which are typical fabrics in a migmatite ter- ment gneisses have rarely been injected by thin sheets of
rain, are well displayed at places. Pinching and swelling lamprophyre (near Rongjeng, Umpirtha etc.) and
of the leucosomes along the main S-plane and also carbonatite (near Rongjeng) also.
ptygmatic folding are common features recorded in the
Extensive Rb-Sr isotope studies on the basement
migmatite. In the heart of the gneissic terrain
gneisses of Meghalaya plateau have been carried out. The
homophanous patches of granite-like rocks are recorded,
gneisses have yielded the following ages:
which are developed during the most advanced stage
(nebulite) of the granitisation process. The mobilized Table : 2.1.2 :
rocks are granitic, granodioritic or at places dioritic in
composition. In the mobilized rocks, xenoliths of the Locality Age
country rocks are common. The contact between the
(a) South of Rongjeng 808 Ma
gneiss and the remobilized granitoids is gradational at
many places, while an intrusive relationship has been re- (b) South of Nongpoh 1150 Ma
corded in some other places. Petrographic characters of
(c) Patherkang 1714 Ma
some of the granodiorite-granite rocks indicate that they
belong to plutonic migmatites.
It is evident from the study of many workers that (B ) SHILLONG GROUP :
nonporphyritic granitoid rocks are older than the The Shillong Group of metasediments is exposed in
porphyritic type and these non-porphyritic granitoid rocks the central and eastern part of Meghalaya plateau. In the
of Meghalaya are syntectonic in origin, while the western part, south of Sumer, rocks of the Shillong Group
porphyritic variety have been emplaced as granite plutons were laid over the Gneissic Complex with an
at the post tectonic phase of evolution of the Basement unconformity defined by a basal conglomerate horizon.
Gneissic Complex. Studies have been carried out along However, the rocks near the contact between the Gneissic
Mawshut-Mawlong-Mana-Mawsaw stretch and its exten- Complex and Shillong Group along Mawshut, Mawlong,
sion towards northeast and southwest to understand the Mana, Mawsaw stretch and its extension towards north-

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10 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

east and southwest is transitional and partly migmatised tinuous bands/lenses in the quartzites at a number of lo-
at places. calities (viz; Wah Umiam, Sohiong, Mawphlang, Wah
Sohra gorge etc). Although these conglomerates are dis-
The Shillong Group (earlier termed as Shillong Se-
posed along different stratigraphic levels, a broad similar-
ries) was correlated with the Iron Ore Series. The cor-
ity exists in their lithological composition and structure.
relation was based on the presence of magnetite quartz-
The clasts in these conglomerates are subrounded, vary
ite and hematite-quartzite in the Shillong Group occur-
in size from pebble to cobble and even to boulder and are
ring in the northern part of the plateau. Pascoe (1973) cor-
composed of vein quartz and quartzite. It is noteworthy
related the Shillong Group with the Dharwars, though
that boulders of metamorphic rock have been recorded
there exists much difference in their lithology.
in conglomerate from Wah Sohra gorge. The flattened
The Shillong Group has been broadly classified into clasts along the foliation are set in a quartzo-feldspathic
a lower dominantly argillaceous unit and an upper arena- or siliceous matrix. The intensity of flattening varies from
ceous unit. Metamorphism in the former has reached the place to place. In New Kynsew, the conglomerate contains
garnet zone, while the grade of metamorphism in other attenuated pebbles of vein quartz and along the strike ex-
part is relatively low and at several localities the rocks are tension the conglomerate grades into gritty quartzite with
unmetamorphosed. smaller clasts of vein quartz.
The cover metasediments of the Shillong Group The quartzite of the Shillong Group varies in col-
form clastic sequence made up of quartzite and phyllite our, composition, grain size and also in degree of
with subordinate quartz-sericite schist, conglomerate etc. recrystallisation. Gradation from orthoquartzite to arkosic
Both basal and intraformational conglomerates have been quartzite and to phyllite is a common feature. One domi-
recorded in the Shillong Group. The lithopackage forms nant variety of medium grained quartzite contains sand-
broadly a NE-SW trending belt in the eastern part of size grains in a clayey or argillaceous matrix. The sand
Meghalaya Plateau and is traversed by acidic, basic and grains are of quartz, quartzite and chert, some detrital
ultrabasic intrusives. The acidic intrusives are represented grains exhibit overgrowth of authigenic quartz and re-
by large bosses of granites with pegmatites and quartz maining intergranular spaces are occupied by the matrix
veins. The basic and ultrabasic rocks comprise dolerite, material. With increasing recrystallisation, aggregates of
gabbro, Pyroxenite, etc belonging to the Khasi Basic grains of quartz as well as segregation of layers are pro-
Ultrabasic Intrusives. The dating of the intrusives indi- duced in a granoblastic mosaic. In the quartzose aggre-
cates a late Proterozoic age (570-900 Ma). It may be in- gates, polygonisation and development of triple point
ferred that the Shillong Group belongs to Middle junction are noticeable. In such varieties, the primary sedi-
Proterozoic age (900-1600 Ma). mentary fabric is mostly obliterated and the rock resem-
The basal conglomerate defining the unconformity bles an orthoquartzite. The mineral constituents in the
is exposed along the part of the western border of the quartzite are quartz with variable proportion of feldspar,
Shillong Group. In those parts of the contact, where the sericite, biotite, muscovite, garnet, epidote and opaques.
conglomerate is absent, the base of the Shillong Group The biotite and garnet are only occasionally developed
is represented by a sheared ferruginous quartzite. The ba- and the grade of metamorphism is relatively high.
sal conglomerate is thickly bedded and sheared. The bed- The quartzites are often ferruginous and are rarely
ding is well defined at places by pebble layering. Current carbonaceous. The carbonaceous quartzite is traversed by
bedding is preserved occasionally. The clasts are domi- vein quartz and such vein quartz occurring near Tyrsad
nated by vein quartz and quartzite set in a quartzo-feld- is the host rock for gold mineralization. Small lenses of
spathic, micaceous or phyllitic matrix. quartz-sericite/quartz-muscovite schist in the quartzite are
The intraformational conglomerate occurs as discon- common.

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 11

Bedding, current bedding and ripple marks have depositional basin of Shillong Group could be compared
been preserved in the quartzite. Rhythmic alternation of to Synclise of Belousov (1962).
quartzite, finer silty arenites and shale has been noticed
(C) KHASI BASIC-ULTRABASIC INTRUSIVES:
locally (e.g. near Barapani, Lyngkin). Foliation is well de-
veloped in the micaceous portions of the quartzites, while The Khasi Basic-Ultrabasic Intrusives comprising
in the quartz-rich portions, it is weakly developed. In the basic intrusives like epidiorite, metagabbro, metadolerite,
Tyrsad-Barapani Shear Zone, the quartzites of the etc occur mostly as sills, dykes and rarely as phacoliths
Shillong Group are mylonitised. The granulation took in the various subfacies of the Shillong Group. The Khasi
place in multitudes of planes, parallel or sub parallel to Basic-Ultrabasic Intrusives have also intruded the base-
the main foliation. ment Gneissic Complex in the west central part of the pla-
teau. The basic rocks, which are emplaced predominantly
Phyllite, siltstone and shale representing the
in the Shillong Group, are mostly exposed as tabular bod-
argillaceous components of the Shillong Group often
ies, conformable with the beds of the enveloping Shillong
form thick piles in which intercalating bands/lenses of
Group. It has been noticed in several localities (e.g., south
quartzite are common. The pelites are thinly laminated,
of Laitiyngkot, northwest of Sohiong etc.) that the same
vary in colour and at places are well foliated. Gradation
body is partly concordant, while discordant in other parts.
from phyllite to a phyllitic quartzite is a common feature.
One major exposure of the Khasi Basic-Ultrabasic
The phyllite is often ferruginous. The rock is composed
Intrusives has been recorded at the Um Song gorge, where
of very fine grains of quartz, feldspar, chlorite, epidote
it persists along the full stretch (910 m) of the gorge. In
and sericite with minor amount of opaques, muscovite
the areas between Wah Sohra gorge in the east and the
and biotite. The opaques are dominantly represented by
Umiew gorge in the west, a number of basic bodies have
pyrite and iron oxides. Concentration of opaques along
been emplaced in a fork-like pattern and it is presumed
thin layers defining bedding has occasionally been re-
that such sheets might have been originated from a sin-
corded. The foliation is represented by slaty cleavage. The
gle, concealed body. Detached linear bodies of the Khasi
quartzites, which occur as intercalating bands / lenses in
Basic-Ultrabasic Intrusives also occur between Lyniong
phyllite near Tyrsad-Barapani Shear Zone, show evidences
and Barapani with a width of about 500 m and length
of shearing / mylonitisation.
upto 7 km of individual body.
The primary structures (e.g. bedding, current bed-
In weathered outcrops, the basic rocks give a reddish
ding and ripple marks) are very common in
brown colour. The rocks are generally dark green, medium
metasediments of Shillong Group. The schistosity planes
to coarse grained and massive. Near the contact with the
are developed in the proximity to granite plutons. These
Shillong Group, the intrusives are at places, finer in grain
are in general parallel / sub parallel to bedding planes and
size. A crude foliation has developed locally. Late mag-
are often transposed in more metamorphosed parts.
matic granophyric lenses and pneumatolytic quartz veins
In the litho unit occurring at the base of Shillong occur occasionally in the basic rocks. Secondary quartz-
Group, the dip of strata is towards southeast i.e. towards carbonate veins have rarely been noticed.
the central parts of the Shillong plateau. A zone of sub
The Khasi Basic-Ultrabasic Intrusives represents an
vertical dips with local reversals continues northeast from
episode of basic magmatism, between the two major
the west of Mawphlang to Barapani and is accompanied
phases of granitic activities. The emplacement of basic
by shear planes, some mineralisation and reconstitution.
magma was prior to the onset of metamorphism in the
Rocks of Shillong Group are exposed around periphery
Shillong Group. The disposition of the basic bodies is pri-
of Mylliem pluton and South Khasi Batholith and extend
marily controlled by the regional foliation of the Shillong
below the Tertiary cover away from these granite plutons
Group. The Khasi Basic-Ultrabasic Intrusives were
/ batholiths. Mazumdar(1976) suggested that the

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12 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

emplaced in the tensional zones of the extensional regime pegmatite and aplite veins cut across the granitic rocks.
related to the folding deformation of the enveloping
Orientation of euhedral megacrysts of K-feldspar
Shillong Group.
along with trails of biotite impart a NE-SW trending pri-
(D) GRANITE PLUTONS: mary foliation in the rock. Xenoliths of granite gneiss,
metamorphosed mafic/ultramafic rocks, quartzites of the
The Meghalaya Plateau is characterized by a num-
Shillong Group and massive hornblende- dioritic rocks
ber of syn to late tectonic plutons. The Singluli granite
are present in the Kyrdem pluton. Effects of contact meta-
exposed in and around Patharkhang area is the only mi-
morphism evidenced by hornfels in the enclaves are im-
nor post-tectonic granite intrusive so far reported. Some
portant characteristic features. The enclaves of hornblende
of the granite bosses such as Mylliem Granite are
dioritic rocks occur as mappable bodies. The effect of
intrusives into the Shillong Group, while several other in-
granitisation along the margin of dioritic enclaves in por-
trusive bodies at Nongpoh, Hallidayganj, Mawthaliang,
phyritic granite is very common in the area.
Rongjeng, Kyrdem, Kholong etc. have intruded into the
basement Gneissic Complex. A large pluton namely the The coarse grained porphyritic granites are essen-
South Khasi Batholith intrudes into Shillong Group. tially composed of euhedral megacrysts of K-feldspar, al-
bite, biotite and sphene, while apatite and magnetite oc-
The geological map of the Meghalaya Plateau re-
cur as accessories. The presence of partially corroded al-
veals that the plutons are distributed broadly along a NE-
bite, quartz and biotite as inclusions within K-feldspar
SW trending axis close to the western contact between the
megacrysts suggests crystallization of K-feldspar
Shillong Group and the Basement Gneissic Complex and
megacrysts relatively later in the paragenetic sequence. A
also along a NW-SE zone which passes through south of
hypidiomorphic granular texture is exhibited by aggregate
Shillong. Straight margins of some of the plutons (viz;
of quartz, microcline, albite, biotite with minor sphene.
Nongpoh, South Khasi Batholith etc.) might point to
Myrmekitic intergrowth of quartz and plagioclase is also
some pre existing fractures which might have controlled
present. In the modal Q-A-P diagram, the Kyrdem Gran-
their emplacement. Apophyses and veins of the granites
ite falls in the quartz-monzonite, quartz syenite and gran-
in the country rocks, presence of discordant xenoliths
ite fields. Rb-Sr isotopic age for Kyrdem Pluton is 479+/
along with textural features like oscillatory zoning in pla-
- 26 Ma.
gioclase indicate a possible magmatic origin of these gran-
ite plutons. (ii) Nongpoh Granite (55026 Ma):
Amongst the different plutons, the most well stud- The Nongpoh Granite pluton is named after the
ied are the granite intrusives at Mylliem, Nongpoh and town Nongpoh in Ri-bhoi district, which is located in be-
South Khasi, some of which will be discussed as follows. tween Guwahati and Shillong. The pluton occupies an
Besides, other minor plutons with available isotopic age area of nearly 300 sq.km in Meghalaya and extends be-
data are also described in brief. yond the state boundary. The outcrop pattern of part of
the pluton within Meghalaya is broadly rectangular and
(i) Kyrdem Granite Pluton (47926 Ma):
trends roughly ENE-WSW.
The Kyrdem Granite occurs as a small body north-
The Nongpoh Granite is a discordant intrusive and
east of Shillong and has intruded the metasediments of
shows a sharp contact with the Basement Gneissic Com-
Shillong Group. It comprises two major variants viz; a
plex/Shillong Group. The chilling effect at the contact is
coarse grained, porphyritic granite and a fine-grained
not pronounced. Xenoliths of the country rocks occur oc-
granite. The dominant type is coarse grained type, which
casionally in the granite and the contact with the xeno-
is represented by grey and pink K-feldspar bearing vari-
liths is always sharp. Thin veins of the granite traversing
eties. The greyish-white fine grained granite occurs mostly
the xenoliths and the country rocks have been recorded.
as anastomosing veins in the porphyritic granite. Minor

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 13

Although the greater part of the pluton is homophanous, of microcline-microperthite set in a groundmass of pla-
a primary foliation is imparted at places by preferred di- gioclases, quartz, K-feldspar and biotite. Apatite, zircon,
mensional orientation of megacrysts of microcline, sphene, epidote, muscovite, sericite and opaques occur as
mostly along the fringe of granite bodies. accessories. The texture is porphyritic to hypidiomorphic-
granular.
The granite is very coarse grained, mesocratic and
porphyritic. The phenocrysts of twinned, perthitic micro- Xenoliths of quartzite and small restites of fine to
cline occur within groundmass consisting mainly of pla- medium grained biotite rich porphyritic granites occur
gioclase, quartz, biotite and microcline. Accessory min- within the Mylliem Granite. Such xenolithic inclusions
erals include sphene, apatite, zircon, epidote and opaque show sharp contacts with the enclosing porphyritic gran-
ores. Inclusions of plagioclase, biotite and quartz occur ite. Mineralogically, the non-porphyritic granite is simi-
in the phenocrysts of microcline. Such inclusions of bi- lar to the porphyritic granite excepting that the former
otite and quartz exhibit at some portions, dimensional contains relatively more biotite. It is apparent that the
alignment parallel to the longer dimension of the granite inclusions are co-generic in nature. In addition,
megacrysts. Plagioclase occurs as twinned subhedral patches \ aggregates of chlorite have also been noted in
grains. Myrmekitic intergrowth is not very common. the southern margin of the Mylliem pluton.
Quartz mostly occurs as anhedral grains and often cor-
Thin veins of pegmatite, aplite and quartz are nu-
rodes microcline, plagioclase and biotite. Biotite and mus-
merous in the pluton. The pegmatites contain biotite, mus-
covite are at places, marginally altered to chlorite and
covite, tourmaline and magnetite indicating
sericite respectively. Microcline occurs in the groundmass
pneumotolysis, related to the late phase of acid
rarely and such grains show perthitic texture occasionally.
magmatism.
Xenolithic inclusions represented by aggregates of biotite-
sphene-opaques are recorded in some localities. (iv) South Khasi Granite (690+/-19 Ma):

(iii) Mylliem Granite (60713 Ma): The South Khasi Granite occurs as intrusive both in
the Basement Gneissic Complex and the metasediments
The granite pluton near Mylliem off Shillong in East
of Shillong Group. Both Porphyritic and fine grained
Khasi Hills district intrudes the quartzite of the Shillong
homophanous pink granite form the South Khasi Gran-
Group. It occupies an area of about 40 sq. km. and is
ite. Porphytitic granite component of South Khasi Gran-
broadly elliptical in outline with the longer axis trending
ite is petrographically similar to those of Kyrdem and
nearly E-W being oblique to the NE-SW trend of the en-
Nongpoh Granites. It is mostly composed of coarse
veloping metasedimentary rocks.
megacrysts of K-feldspar set in a groundmass of fine
The contact between the Mylliem Granite and the grained K-feldspar, quartz, orthoclase and biotite. NE-
enclosing Shillong Group is sharp and discordant. Apo- SW trending foliation is well developed in the porphyritic
physes, tongues and veins of the granite occur within the granite defined by the orientation of megacrysts of K-feld-
quartzite near the margin of the pluton. spars. The youngest variant of the South Khasi pluton is
equigranular, medium grained pink granite. It comprises
Primary foliation has been recorded in the Mylliem
of orthoclase, quartz, plagioclase and biotite. The plots
Granite towards its southern and eastern margin, while
in modal Q-A-P diagram show that South Khasi porphy-
the bulk of the granite body is homophanous. The folia-
ritic granite falls in granite/quartz monzonite/quartz sy-
tion is defined by preferred orientation of megacrysts of
enite field. Several xenoliths/enclaves of amphibolites,
microcline (layer dimension 4 cm in average) and the fo-
diorite and granite gneiss occur in the South Khasi Plu-
liation trends broadly parallel to the margin.
ton. Rb-Sr isotopic age of South Khasi Granite is 690+/
The Mylliem Granite is coarse to very coarse- -19 Ma.
grained, porphyritic containing white or pink phenocrysts

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14 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

(E) LOWER GONDWANA GROUP: ness and vary in size from small pebbles to cobbles.
The occurrence of Lower Gondwana rocks was first Well preserved impressions of Vertebraria sp. and
reported by Fox (1934) and later by Fermor (1935). Fox Glossopteris sp. are collected from the reddish brown to
reported plant fossils and some pieces of vitrinised coal black micaceous shale underlying the coal band.
which confirms its Gondwana affinity. Acharyya and
(F) SYLHET TRAP:
Ghosh (1968a) grouped the entire sequence into
Karharbari Formation. Banerjee et.al, (1977) on the ba- The Sylhet Traps are represented by plateau (flood)
sis of mega and microflora, assigned a lower Barakar age basalts exposed in a narrow E-W strip (80 km long and 4
to the fossiliferous carbonaceous shale. De and Boral km wide) along the southern border of the Shillong Pla-
(1978) classified these sediments into the Talchir and teau; the maximum exposed thickness is 550-600 m.
Karharbari Formations. These apparently overlie the eroded Precambrian base-
ment and are overlain non-conformably by the Upper Cre-
The Lower Gondwana sediments in the area occur
taceous-Eocene sediments. The sediments and the lavas
as an isolated N-S trending linear body in the western
form a monoclinal flexure and the sediments at the crest
part Garo Hills. The Gondwana rocks are mostly con-
of the monocline have subsequently been eroded expos-
cealed under the thick cover of Brahmaputra alluvium.
ing the traps as inliers at places. The flexure in the
Talchir Formation: Therriaghat-Shella sector with its E-W axis changes along
its trace westward to a high angle reverse fault through
The Gondwana sequence in the area starts with the
normal and vertical faults (Dauki fault), which mark the
boulder conglomerate which is exposed south of
exposed limit of the Sylhet Traps to the south. The traps
Singrimari township at the junction of the road leading
to the north at Therriaghat are in contact with the gneisses
to Tura. The road cutting shows khaki to dirty green shale
and granites along an E-W fault, termed the Raibah fault.
overlain by a layer of conglomerate. This sequence can
Immediately south of this fault, the traps dip at 45-50
be further traced towards north in the Boldamiri nala
to the south. At the southernmost limit, they again dip at
where the section exposes, for about 10 m, alternating se-
10-35 along the monocline or at 50 against the Dauki
quence of conglomerate and shale. The shale is khaki
fault (e.g Umngi River section). Laterally they dip together
green to pale greenish, silty and micaceous in nature. The
with the sediments southwest along the Jadukata River;
boulder conglomerate is grayish brown to pale grey with
to the east, the last exposure of the traps is seen in the
subangular to rounded clasts embedded in the silty ma-
Dauki River.
trix. The clasts are of quartz, quartzite, gneisses and
pegmatites which vary in size from small pebble to large The Sylhet traps comprise predominantly of basalts
cobbles of 12 to 15 cm diameter. These are unsorted, de- with minor alkali basalts (nepheline bearing phonolite),
void of stratification and directional fabric. rhyolites and acid tuffs. The basaltic flows are 5-7 m in
average thickness. Andesites are absent. Many of the ba-
Karharbari Formation :
saltic flows contain flow-breccias at the top and comprise
The overlying sequence is not well exposed but can various textural types viz. non-porphyritic, micro-porphy-
be best studied in the area around Singrimari. The area ritic or mega-porphyritic. The various structures such as
exposes a thin layer of sandstone and carbonaceous shale flow breccias, layering and flow folds in many of the ba-
with a thick layer of conglomerate over it. salt flows are presumably controlled by the configuration
The shale is brownish red to dark grey, highly mi- of palaeoslope and rate of flow. The alkali basalts occur
caceous and contains well preserved plant impressions. as flows in the Umiew gorge and in the Dwara gorge.
The conglomerate is brownish grey to greenish grey with They comprise of mostly phenocrysts of diopside, altered
clasts of vein quartz embedded within the sandy matrix. and resorbed hornblende in a groundmass of aegirine aug-
The clasts show a greater degree of sphericity and round- ite, aegirine, euhedral nepheline, magnetite and intersti-

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(i) 15

tial isotropic patches of a feldspathoid mineral resembling (G) ALKALINE-ULTRAMAFIC-CARBONATITE


analcite. Secondary minerals filling the vesicles are cal- COMPLEX OF SUNG:
cite, quartz and zeolites.
A large Alkaline-Ultramafic-Carbonatite Complex
Rhyolites are associated with the acid tuffs (vitric, occurs as intrusive within the Shillong Group
lithic and lapilli tuff) in the Umiew gorge (in a stream metasediments around Sung. No contact metamorphic
south of Tyngner) and in the Dwara gorge. The acid effect was noticed near to the vicinity of the intrusive
volcanics occur as intrusions within the basalts and the body. However, a narrow zone of fenite and a brecciated
close association of rhyolites with the acid pyroclastics admixed zone of fenite and quartzite have developed at
and the nature of the acid tuffs grading into rhyolites show places particularly along the contact. The oval shaped
that the rhyolites are really ignimbrites occurring as dykes. complex depicts a partial ring structure with a central
serpentinite core surrounded by pyroxenite rim. The
Both within the flows and also in the vicinity of Pre-
dominant rock types of the complex include (i) peridot-
cambrian rocks to the north, basic dykes are common;
ite, (ii) serpentinite, (iii) pyroxenite, (iv) uncomphagrite,
within the trap area the dykes occur as swarms. They
(v) alkaline rocks (vi) biotite-alkali feldspar rock and (vii)
trend between N 75E-S75W to N85W-S85E and are
carbonatite. Apatite-magnetite rock is also present in sig-
younger than lava. They are of a single compositional
nificant amount in the complex.
type. The basic dykes are found in the Achaeans of Khasi
and Garo Hills trending between NNE-SSW and NE-SW, Peridotite is an important but rare member of the
in most cases coinciding with the structural grain of the complex exposed only in Sung nala. It is coarse grained
country rock. There are few alkali lamprophyre dykes in and consists of olivine altered to serpentine along cracks
the Archaean of north-eastern Garo Hills, probably be- and cleavage planes. Clinopyroxene, phlogopite and few
longing to the same episode of the igneous activity. Nei- opaques are also present. Chemically, the rock is rich in
ther feeder dykes nor volcanic vents have been noticed in MgO and FeO with low CaO content. The oxidation in-
Sylhet Traps. dex is low. Serpentinite occurs in the central and eastern
part. It is considered as the alteration product of peridot-
The extrusion of Sylhet traps began with a quiet ef-
ite. It consists dominantly of serpentine (antigorite). Relict
fusion of tholeiitic flood basalts, accentuated through E-
olivine is rare but relict clinopyroxene is common.
W fissures developed in the peneplained crystalline base-
Opaque minerals are magnetite and pervoskite. Chemi-
ment. One of these fractures identified to be a fault (the
cally, these are rich in MgO and FeO with normative oli-
Raibah Fault) along which the northern non-volcanic
vine and hypersthene. Pyroxenite is the dominant rock
block moved up relative to the southern block experienc-
type with finer grained component in the marginal part.
ing volcanism. The Raibah fault was active during and af-
The dominant minerals are diopsidic augite and aegirine
ter the volcanism till Upper Cretaceous. The sequence of
augite. The rocks show cumulus texture with perthitic al-
eruption was as follows: (1) tholeiitic basalts, (2) minor
kali feldspar occupying the interstitial space. Hornblende,
alkali basalts (nepheline tephrite), (3) tholeiitic basalts, (4)
phlogopite, apatite, sphene, carbonate and opaques are the
localized explosive effusion of minor rhyolites and acid
common accessories. Magnetite is the dominant ore min-
tuffs and (5) tholeiitic basalts. Post eruptive basic dykes
eral in the finer grained pyroxenite and pervoskite in the
and few alkali lamprophyre dykes intruded along E-W
coarser grained rock. Sulphides are chalcopyrite with
fractures, especially in the monoclinally dipping southern
intergrowths of pyrrhotite. Chemically, these are rich in
portion. Thus, the tectonic history of this part of the
alkali along with MgO, FeO and CaO and are derived
Shillong Plateau is characterized by relative uplift and
from an alkaline undersaturated melt. Uncomphagrite is
down-sinking of different basement blocks like horst and
coarse grained and contains melilite as one of its princi-
graben along weak zones in the basement.
pal constituents. Clinopyroxene is another important con-

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16 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

stituent. Biotite, apatite, olivine, garnet, carbonate, sphene enrichment carbonatite melt got separated due to liquid
are the common accessories. The rocks show evidence of immiscibility. From the carbonate rich liquid, initially
silicate/ oxide and oxide/ sulphide liquid immiscibility. apatite-magnetite rock separated as cumulate and the re-
The alkaline rocks are comparatively mafic rich types sidual melt crystallized as carbonatite. From the silicate
from urtite to pyroxenite and mafic poor type ranging melt, initially uncomphagrite and subsequently alkaline
from nepheline syenite to syenite. The dominant mineral rocks develop by fractional crystallization under low oxy-
is aegirine in the mafic type and alkali feldspar in the ma- gen fugacity. The hydrothermal solutions developed from
fic poor type. The rocks are rich in total alkalis with Na2O the carbonatite melt carried the alkali elements and
enriched over K2O. These are derived from an evolved fenitised the Shillong Group quartzite and some early dif-
melt. Biotitealkali feldspar rock occurs as dykes within ferentiates of the complex. The biotite rich rock is the
the Shillong Group quartzite. Cognate inclusions of py- product of selective crustal contamination along the mar-
roxenite are common in them. The rock is fine to medium ginal part resulting in its appearance close to but outside
grained with phlogopite as the dominant constituent. Al- the main Sung Valley Complex.
kali feldspar, opaque, plagioclase and leucite are the com-
On the basis of fission track dating of apatite from
mon accessories. The uniformity in modal composition
carbonatite, it was concluded that complex was emplaced
rules out the possibility of these being fenite. Chemically,
during Upper Cretaceous time (8413 to 9010 Ma). K-
these are MgO rich undersaturated rocks. Carbonatite oc-
Ar dating of phlogopite from carbonatites indicates an age
curs as small ovoid lenses and are product of liquid im-
of 149 5 Ma (Sarkar et.al, 1992). Recent radiometric
miscibility. The rock is coarse grained sovite. Biotite,
dating by 40Ar-39Ar method on pyroxenite sample from the
pyrochlore, opaque, olivine, apatite are also present in
Sung Valley Complex by Ray and Pande (1997) has indi-
them. Apatite-magnetite veins which represent the cumu-
cated an isochron age of 118.84.2 Ma and two samples
lates from the carbonate magma are also present in the
of phlogopite from carbonatite of the complex give an iso-
complex. Fenitisation is rare and is restricted mostly to
chron age of 1073.7 and108.63.7Ma. This is younger
the Shillong Group quartzite.
than the Rajmahal Trap by about 10Ma.
The rocks of the complex are derived from differ-
(H) KHASI GROUP :
entiation of a primary alkaline magma. MgO shows a
strong positive correlation with Solidification Index. Oli- The Cretaceous sediments exposed in the Meghalaya
vine and pyroxene represent the first differentiated prod- Plateau is classified as Khasi Group. The Khasi Group is
ucts of the primary magma. The rocks are depleted in in- a distinct arenaceous facies consisting of the oldest
compatible elements and relatively enriched in compat- Jadukata Formation (developed only south of the Pla-
ible elements. However no systematic variation could be teau), a younger conglomerate unit of 25m thickness oc-
observed among the various rock types. The REE pattern cur north of the Raibah fault designated as Basal Con-
is flat and similar for all the rock types suggesting glomerate Formation and the top Mahadek Formation.
consanguinous nature. REE do not show any correlation The Jadukata Formation consists of alternations of
with major element abundance. conglomerate and sandstone (with characteristic zone fos-
Various workers who worked on Sung alkaline Com- sils Inoceramus). These rocks nonconformably overlie the
plex concluded that partial melting of a metasomatised Sylhet Trap and their distribution is limited to the south
mantle source has generated subalkaline ultramafic of the Raibah fault. The same formation further to the
magma. Peridotite and pyroxenite were derived as cumu- west in Garo Hills has been termed as the Gumaghat For-
lates due to process of fractional crystallization. Precipi- mation. A younger conglomerate horizon of 25 m thick-
tation of these two phases led to the enrichment of the ness occurs north of the Raibah fault designated as Basal
liquid in calcium and after attaining of sufficient calcium Conglomerate. This is overlain by a coarse arkosic sand-
stone often glauconitic, which is termed as Mahadek For-

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(i) 17

mation. The maximum thickness of the Jadukata, Bottom at varying stratigraphic levels. This clearly documents that
conglomerate and Mahadek Formations are 140m, 25m limestone beds within Shella Formation are laterally
and 150m respectively. impersistent and often intercalated with sandstone and
shales.
(I) JAINTIA GROUP:
The stratigraphic sequence of Shella Formation in
The Langpar Formation of the Jaintia Group over-
Meghalaya Plateau has been broadly worked out based on
lies the Mahadek Formation. The Cretaceous-Tertiary
integrated study of lithological and palaeontological at-
boundary is usually considered at the contact of Mahadek
tributes. The Lakadong Limestone or Lower Sylhet Lime-
and Langpar formations. In Cherrapunjee and
stone Member, which is a regionally persistent horizon in
Therriaghat sections, the Langpar Formation comprising
the eastern and western Khasi Hills, has yielded Miscel-
of intercalated shale thin limestone bands rests
lanea miscella, Discocyclina ranikotensis etc of Paleocene
unconformably over the Mahadek Formation. The
age. In the Therriaghat section, the basal limestone also
Mahadek sandstone contains Campanian fauna of
contains Paleocene biota. In Garo Hills, the Paleocene
Maestrichtian age. The Langpar Formation contains
limestone pinches out and the basal Tertiaries are repre-
Globigerina pseudobulloides and Globigerina
sented by Tura Sandstone. This unit rests either on the
triloculinoides of Danian age. Thus, the base of Langpar
Precambrian basement or Sylhet volcanics or on Creta-
is considered to define the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary.
ceous rocks of Khasi Group.
It is yet to be ascertained whether the Iridium content in
rocks along this Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary shows sud- The Middle Sylhet Limestone or the Umlatdoh
den increase (due to impact of celestial bodies) as in other Limestone bed of Shella area contains Nummulites sp.,
parts of the world. Alveolina sp. and calcareous algae of Lower Eocene age.
The Upper Sylhet Limestone unit designated as Siju Lime-
The Shella Formation consists of three sandstone
stone in Garo Hills and Prang Limestone in Khasi-Jaintia
and three limestone members beginning with sandstone
Hills has wide development in Meghalaya Plateau. This
over the Langpar Formation. The six members of Shella
limestone has a thickness of 75 to 120m., though in west
Formation from the base towards the top are as follows:
of Tura-Dahu road this unit is represented by thin marly
Lower Sylhet Sandstone (Therria Sandstone), Lower beds and shales. In Jaintia Hills, Nummulites sp.,
Sylhet Limestone (Lakadong Limestone), Middle Sylhet Alveoline sp., Discocyclina sp. has been recorded from
Sandstone (Lakadong Sandstone), Middle Sylhet Lime- this unit. This limestone bed in Shella River section yields
stone (Umlatdoh Limestone), Upper Sylhet Sandstone Nummulites beaumonti and Discocyclina dispensa. In
(Narpuh Sandstone) and Upper Sylhet Limestone (Prang Garo Hills, this limestone contains Globigerina gortani,
Limestone). Globigerinopsis semiinvoluta etc. along with Discocyclina
The different members mentioned above are well javana and Discocyclina omphalus. The rich foraminiferal
developed in Shella area (area to the east of Jadukata content of Upper Limestone Member in Khasi Hills in-
River), but in the area west of Jadukata River, only the dicates a Middle Eocene age, however, the planktonic
upper part of Shella Formation is exposed. In this area, foraminifera show Middle Eocene to Upper Eocene age.
the Middle Sylhet Limestone is represented by Tura Sand- This highlights the heterochronity of the Upper Sylhet
stone due to lateral facies change. However, Upper Sylhet Limestone Member, which shows progressive younging
Sandstone and Upper Sylhet Limestone persist from east from east to west along the Meghalaya Plateau.
to west of Jadukata River without much change. The re- The Kopili Formation defines the upper most unit
cent subsurface data from Langrim area (west of Jadukata of Eocene sequence of Meghalaya. It comprises alterna-
River) show that below Tura Sandstone there are tions of thinly laminated shales with phosphatic nodules,
impersistent development of three to four limestone beds sandstones, limestones and marls. It shows wide variation

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18 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

in thickness from 500m in Jaintia Hills to 270m in Shella by the Simsang Formation, which conformably overlies
area. The formation thins out to 40m in and around Tura the Kopili Formation without any break in sedimentation.
and changes to arenaceous facies. The foraminiferal as- The Simsang Formation consists of cycle of massive fes-
semblage of Discocyclina, Nummulites, Pellatispira sug- toon cross-bedded sandstone, alternating with siltstone-
gest an Upper Eocene age. sandstone units. This formation can be traced from near
2520N:9112E in the Garo Hills uninterruptedly east-
(J) BARAIL GROUP:
wards upto Shella in the Khasi Hills. Further east it lies
The Barail Group in the Garo Hills was unknown either below the alluvium or cut off by faults and occurs
till Bakshi (1966) found definite evidence in support of in isolated patches. The presence of taxa Meyeripollis
this. The shelf facies of Barail Group, not exceeding 1000 from this horizon lends credence to the Barail affinity of
m in thickness, consists of fairly coarse grained sandstone, the rocks.
shale, carbonaceous shale with streaks and minor seams
The Baghmara Formation conformably overlies the
of coal. Salujha et. al, (1972) recorded the presence of fol-
Simsang Formation in the eastern part of the plateau. It
lowing palynomorphs in the samples collected from the
consists of irregular lenticular beds of coarse feldspathic
Simsang river and confirmed the presence of Barail
sandstone with minor mudstone streaks, pebble conglom-
Group, marine to estuarine equivalent of Garo Group,
erate, massive clay and silty clay beds, and thin alternat-
along the southern edge of the Garo Hills:
ing beds of mudstone and fine sand. Near Tura-Dalu road
Meyeripollis, Marginipollis, Anacolosidites, in Garo Hills, the entire Simsang Formation shows a
Oudhkusmites, etc. sharp change in facies and grades into sediments of the
Vimal and Modak (1979) have studied micro-flora Baghmara Formation. Here the Baghmara Formation is
present in Laisong, Jenum and Renji Formations of the actually the facies equivalent of the Simsang Formation.
Barail Group developed in Jaintia Hills. The Liaisong The Chengapara Formation conformably overlies
Formation is abundant in Lycopodiumsporites, the Baghmara Formation and consists of poorly-ce-
Dandotiaspora, Proxapertites, Triorites, Striatrilletes and mented, fine-grained, micaceous sandstone, blue to brown
Polycolpate palynotaxa. The overlying Jenam Formation siltstone and clays with a few thin marly beds at its base.
contains Stribtriletes, Laevigatosporites, Cyathidites At the top of the Baghmara Formation and at the base
Triorites and Couperipollis. The youngest Renji Forma- of the Chengapara Formation a fossiliferous calcareous
tion is characterized by the predominance of siltstone horizon can be traced from near Baghmara to a
Parkeriaceous spores. The pollen grains belonging to few kilometres west of Barenapara. This forms a well de-
bigger plants are strikingly poor in Renji assemblage, fined marker horizon whose age has been fixed as
perhaps due to the lateral migration of arboreal plants. Acquitanian-Burdigalian (Pascoe,1964).
The Kherapara Formation is a local litho stratigraphic
A prominent unconformity lies at the top of the
equivalent of Barail Group in Garo Hills. Its miofloral
Chengapara Formation. In the western part of the Garo
assemblage is characterized by the abundance of
Hills, an angular discordance can be inferred in the Tura-
Meyeripollis naharkotensis, first appearance of Bauhinia
Dalu road section near Nokchi and north of
burdwanensis and frequent occurrence of
Mahendraganj. In the eastern part of the district, the re-
Polypodiaeeasporites tuberculensis, Schizaeoisporites
lationship is not clear because of structural disturbance.
knoxi and a number of spinose tricolpate (Chakraborty
East of Dareng River both the Chengapara and the over-
and Baksi, 1972)
lying Dupi Tila Group go beneath the alluvium. It again
(K) GARO GROUP: reappears in the Khasi Hills near Balat with an erosional
The Supra-Kopili Tertiary sequence of Meghalaya unconformity.
shelf (viz. Garo Group) is represented in the Garo Hills

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(L) DUPI TILA FORMATION: beds of the Rangapani-Barkina-Garo-Doba hillocks. Iso-


lated patches of this formation also cover the Boldamgiri
The Dupi Tila Formation consists of alternations of
and also over the low-lying hills along Galwang-Sirigwil
coarse feldspathic sandstone with pebbly lenses contain-
valley between Rajabala and Bhajarmara.
ing vein quartz and mottled sandy clay.
Along the southern margin of Khasi Hills, the Older
The sediments of Dupi Tila Formation and the three
Alluvium mostly consists of assorted boulder deposits.
formations of Garo Group represent mainly deltaic to
fluviatile facies. Recent (Younger) Alluvium occurs in the river val-
leys on the northern foot hill region of Garo and Khasi
(M) QUATERNARY AND RECENT DEPOSITS:
Hills, along the western border of Garo Hills and south-
Outcrops of Older Alluvium overlie the Tertiary ern foot hill region of Garo and Khasi Hills. The Allu-
rocks along the southern and western borders of Garo vium consists of fine silty sand and light to dark greyish
Hills in isolated areas and along the southern fringes of clay with rare pockets and layers of coarse sand and shin-
Khasi Hills. Such outcrops are also found along the north- gles. The fine sand occasionally contains abundant minute
ern fringes of Garo Hills. These deposits consist of as- flakes of mica and when extremely fine, resembles the
sorted pebble beds with coarse, loose sand and brownish weathered loose siltstones, as seen around Manikachar in
clay. The pebble beds at places, occur in irregular repeti- the Garo Hills.
tion. These deposits form spectacular flat-topped low hill-
In the adjoining Brahmaputra Valley of Assam State,
ocks and mounds with red soil cover.
the Quaternary deposits have been classified under four
In Garo Hills, along the western border, Older Al- morphostratigraphic units viz., Kukulong (= Chapar),
luvium occurs at various levels particularly along the Sarbhog, Hauli and Barpeta(=Recent) Surfaces, each un-
abandoned river courses representing river terrace. Be- derlain by alluvial formation of the same age. Presently
tween Mahendraganj and Kalaichar, the deposit occurs detailed work is being carried out by GSI to classify the
only as thin veneer covering the Tertiary rocks over the Quaternary deposits of Meghalaya also into the above
lower flanks of the hills facing the Bangladesh plains. The mentioned four morphostratigraphic units, in place of
Older Alluvium covers considerable area between Older Alluvium and Younger Alluvium classified earlier.
Manikachar and Bairagipara over the eroded Barengapara

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Tectonic Set up

The Meghalaya plateau manifests as a geomorphic non porphyritic granitoid & porphyritic intrusives, basic,
arch. The characteristics of a typical plateau are seen to- intermediate to ultrabasic (metamorphosed) rocks.
wards south which is covered by a thick pile of Meso-
(2) The intracratonic Shillong Basin comprising low-
zoic-Tertiary sediments. The southern part is marked by
grade metasedimentaries, mostly of argillaceous-arena-
an E-W trending fault known as Dawki fault. It separates
ceous sequence of the Shillong Group in which pelites are
the Meghalaya plateau from the Surma valley. Evans
overlain by the arenites. At the base, an impersistent con-
(1964) has described this fault as a tear fault (low angle
glomerate bed designated as basal conglomerate overlies
strike slip fault). According to him the Precambrian mas-
the Precambrian Gneissic Complex. However, small len-
sif of the Shillong plateau has been detached from the
ticular bands of conglomerate interbedded with quartz-
main mass of Indian shield due to horizontal displace-
ites at different levels are also present. The basal conglom-
ment of nearly 250 km eastwards along the Dawki tear
erate over the Precambrian Gneissic Complex does not
fault. Auden (1934) and Desikachar (1974) contradicted
occur as a persistent horizon over the area. The Shillong
the view put forward by Evans (1964) because of the pres-
Group of rocks has also been intruded by the Khasi Ba-
ence of Malda-Dinajpur ridge under an alluvial cover of
sic-Ultrabasic Intrusives. Both Precambrian Gneissic
300 m only. It is suggested that this ridge acts as a link
Complex and Shillong Group have been intruded by por-
between the Precambrian rocks of the Meghalaya plateau
phyritic granite plutons. The regional structural trend is
and rocks of Chotanagpur Gneissic Complex. Drilling
NE-SW which is followed by the Khasi Basic-Ultrabasic
data of ONGC have substantially proved that the Precam-
Intrusives.
brian rocks of Meghalaya Plateau are connected with the
Chotanagpur Gneissic Complex of Peninsular India by (3) The third tectonic zone, exposed in the southern
the Malda-Dinajupur ridge. The northern boundary of margin of the Meghalaya plateau, is represented by a Me-
Meghalaya plateau lies to south of the Brahmaputra. To sozoic-Tertiary sedimentary cover over the Sylhet Traps.
the east, it is separated from the Bengal-Assam shelf. To The Sylhet Trap is at places overlain by discontinuous
the west, the Garo-Rajmahal gap separates the plateau conglomerate bed designated as Bottom Conglomerate by
from the main Indian shield. several workers. The predominant tectonic trend in gen-
eral is E-W.
Within this broad regional tectonic framework, the
Meghalaya plateau may be subdivided into the following A number of linear fractures on regional scale are
three segments: present in the Meghalaya plateau. These include tectonic
features like persistent pervasive foliation trend, litho-con-
(1) The typical shield area, the Precambrian Com-
tacts or facies contacts, cleavage and major joints, faults
plex (often designated as Basement Gneissic Complex by
and fractures.
some workers of GSI) is represented by the granite
gneisses, migmatites and schistose rocks along with the The earliest structural trend in the Meghalaya pla-

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 21

teau seems to have been E-W. Subsequently the trend along the E-W trend (Murthy et.al, 1967). However, some
seems to be transposed to NE-SW, probably accentuated N-S and NW-SE faults and fractures are also reported
by the intrusion of porphyritic granite plutons. The dis- from the plateau, which have affected the major E-W
position of present day Meghalaya Pleateau is mainly trending Dawki fault system and are still active.

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Structure

The structural grain in the Precambrian Gneissic beds show moderate to low dips with monoclinal flexures
Complex (Basement Gneiss) is different from that of the and open folds away from the steep dip zone.
Shillong Group. Within the gneiss, on macroscopic scale,
Cross folds with complimentary fracture cleavage are
S-shaped folds and reclined folds superposed by more
well observed within the shear zone. This type of folding
open pattern are predominant. Locally developed recum-
is similar to intermediate crest-like folding of Beloussov
bent fold superposed by more open type later folds are
(1962). The mechanism of crest-like folding in steeply
also noticed. (Murthy et.al, 1967) described three genera-
dipping zone may be due to the reactivation along the un-
tions of folds. According to him, the first one is an iso-
derneath deep seated fractures in the basement below the
clinal to broad recumbent (or even reclined) folds having
steeply dipping zone. It also explains the presence of sev-
E-W trending axial plane. This older fold is superposed
eral monoclinal bends in the quartzites being the compe-
by a tight isoclinal fold having axial planes trending ENE
tent unit of the Shillong Group. Besides, macroscopic
to NE. Maximum penetration and transposition of struc-
drag folds (isoclinal to recumbent types) are also recorded
tures, viz. primary bedding and earlier foliation/schis-
within the quartzite unit at a number of places.
tosity are associated with these folds. The third phase is
characterized by broad N-S warps. (i) Faults & Fractures:

The main structural trend in the Shillong Group is A number of faults and fractures trending predomi-
NE-SW, which is persistent all over the area and varia- nantly along E-W, NE-SW and rarely in NW-SE and N-
tion of this trend is discernible at places near the contact S have been active in the Meghalaya plateau from Precam-
of intruded granite plutons. Primary structures like cur- brian to Tertiary period. Some of the faults are still ac-
rent bedding and ripple marks are well preserved in the tive as evidenced by the neotectonic activities in the pla-
sandstone and less indurated arenite of the Shillong teau. The penetrative structures in the gneisses have E-W,
Group. Pene-contemporaneous structures, channel fills NE-SW, NW-SE and N-S strikes. Non-penetrative struc-
and sand lenses are also common in the siltstone. Such tures of brittle deformations viz. joints, fractures or faults
structures are also observed in metamorphosed variant of presumably have been resulted after the plastic deforma-
the argillaceous member exposed near granite plutons. tion of the rocks since Precambrian time.

The bedding, cleavage and schistosity show a per- The most important faults so far identified in the pla-
sistent northeasterly strike with sub vertical to moderate teau, are Dauki fault, Raibah fault, Dapsi fault, etc. The
dips, in general, towards south. A zone of steep (sub-ver- Raibah lineament (fault) is a southern dipping reverse fault
tical) dip trending NE-SW from Lygoing to Sohpetbneng having E-W trend. The Sylhet Traps, the eruption of
hill, close to the south Khasi Batholith, is a major struc- which marked the first major tectonic event during the
tural feature accompanied by a shear zone in Shillong Jurassic (?) period occur along a 80 km long and 4 km
Group which extends along this zone of steep dip. The wide narrow strip, exposed in gorges along the southern

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 23

segments of the plateau. Raibah fault defines the contact Precambrian plutons and later basic intrusives were
between Sylhet Traps and the crystallines in the north. also emplaced along the existing fracture planes which
trend in E-W to NE-SW directions.
Along the southern fringe of Meghalaya Plateau, the
prominent structural lineament is the Dauki fault which (ii) Domal Structure:
comprises at least four E-W running normal faults with
Two domical structures have been reported by
occasional reversal. The up thrown side of the faults is to
Mazumdar (1986) based on the study of aerial photo-
the north and the system represents a major phase of dis-
graphs which have been truncated by two north-easterly
location. Along the southern fringe of Jaintia hills, one
fractures/faults, one from east and the other from west of
of the four faults continues towards east to the North
Nongpoh pluton. The concentric drainage pattern re-
Cachar Hills and joins the Disang thrust.
vealed from the study of aerial photographs has led him
In the western part of the plateau in the Garo hills, to suggest that these areas might represent migmatite
the E-W lineaments are represented by monoclines and dome. Present study of the landsat imageries of the east-
faults among which the Dapsi reverse fault at the base of ern part of Nongpoh pluton also clearly indicates the pres-
Tura range is spectacular. The Tura range, a horst, is ence of such dome and around the dome several
bounded to the south by the Dapsi fault (up-thrust). In synformal flexures of the arenaceous (quartzite) bands of
Garo hills, there is ample evidence of reactivation activ- Shillong Group have been identified. It may be presumed
ity along a number of E-W, N-S and NW-SE basement that the radial to semicircular fractures, developed during
faults throughout the Tertiary period. the formation of such migmatite dome, have later be-
come the repository of the Shillong quartzite. The other
A rectilinear drainage pattern in NW-SE, NE-SW
alternative to explain such structure is the superposition
and E-W directions is a distinctive feature of the Shillong
of later folds on an early fold geometry, resulting in the
Plateau. Some of them appear to follow faults, many of
formation of dome structure depicting a doubly plunging
them are master joints and fractures and the composite
anticline in these parts. However, further study is needed
pattern has been developed due to block faulting evi-
to substantiate the postulation.
denced by horst in the Tertiary period.

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Geological History

The Precambrian basement of Meghalaya, a rem- formations of the Jaintia Group were deposited. The part
nant of the northeasterly extension of the Indian Penin- of the plateau covering the Khasi block continued to ex-
sula, is a segment which has undergone multiple phases perience upliftment of the northern block resulting into
of deformation leading to folding and fracturing of the the deposition of only the older (Lower Sylhet) sandstone
rocks. Till Precambrian times, the central part covering and limestone beds over the plateau and the younger units
the eastern Khasi and central Jaintia hills, developed into (the Middle and Upper Sylhet Sandstone and Limestone)
a trough over which the sediments of the Shillong Group along the southern fringe of the plateau. The eastern
of rocks were laid down. The sediments were later up- Jaintia and Garo blocks, respectively to the east and the
lifted and folded, accompanied by low grade metamor- west remained land-mass till Mid Eocene and experienced
phism and granitic (Mylliem granites) and basic/ progressive down sinking, later initiating the deposition
ultrabasic (Khasi greenstone) intrusions. of the coal bearing sandstone followed by limestone
equivalent to the Upper Sylhet Limestone of the Khasi
The post Precambrian landmass experienced
Hills. Since then, uninterrupted sedimentation continued
peneplanation in the northwestern corner of Meghalaya
over the submerged southern part of the Garo Hills and
at the proximity of Assam border (near Hallidyaganj,
also in southern and south eastern fringes of the Khasi
Singrimari) and there are Lower Gondawana outcrops.
and Jaintia Hills till the end of Oligocene, when the Barail
Coal seams of significant thickness have also been en-
range to the south of the Jaintia Hills stood up as a land-
countered from this corner. This proves the activation of
mass.
the basin during the lower Permian to Jurassic period re-
sulting in the development of flat-topped surface preserved During Miocene, sedimentation continued uninterrupt-
over the plateau till today. By the end of Jurassic, the edly over the southern and western part of the Garo Hills
southern margin of the Khasi Hills experienced eruption and southern fringe of the Khasi Hills; the Jaintia block
of plateau basalts, the Sylhet traps, through E-W fissures uplifted and remained a landmass. The major upliftment
i.e. Raibah fault, along which the southern block subsided of the plateau as a whole started at the end of Miocene
and the northern block up heaved. The rate of sinking of resulting in the formation of land-locked shallow water
the former increased, soon after the cessation of the lacustrine basins along southern fringe of the Khasi and
volcanism, resulting into the marine invasion and depo- Garo Hills. The Pliocene (Dupi Tila) sediments were de-
sition of the Upper Cretaceous sediments over a rapidly posited in these basins. The sub-Recent Older alluvial de-
sinking basin. The rate of subsidence gradually slowed posits along southern border of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills
down during Palaeocene-Eocene period during which the and southern and western parts of the Garo Hills are
area attained a stable shelf condition and the calcareous fluviatile deposits along old river valley.

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Mineral Resources

The potentiality of establishment or expansion of Nongstoin area and is famous for its ideal properties as
mineral-based industries in the State of Meghalaya mainly natural refractory. It occurs at places in association with
depends on the four principal mineral deposits viz., lime- corundum. Major deposits are being worked since 1950.
stone, coal, sillimanite and clay. Recently, the working of the existing 7 leases in Sonapahar
areas has been taken over by Hindustan Steel Ltd. The
The extensive belt (approx. 200 km long) of good
present potentiality of the deposits will require further sub-
quality limestone occurring along the southern border of
surface exploration. Further work will also be necessary
the State opens a new vista of exploitation of these de-
to locate new deposits (if any) in the extension areas of
posits with the emergence of Bangladesh market. The
the Sonapahar sillimanite belt.
limestone deposits in the neighbourhood of Cherrapunjee
are already sustaining a cement factory. This is the only The State is endowed with a number of deposits of
mineral based industry in the State at present fed by the fire-clay and china-clay which are likely to sustain the fu-
indigenous raw materials of coal and limestone. The im- ture refractory and pottery industries. Considering the
portance of the limestone deposits of the State is further availabilities of raw materials, there is a scope of setting
enhanced by their suitability for use in the blast furnace, up of coal based industries like coke oven units,
steel melting shops and as chemical grade. The high trans- liquefication plants and thermal power plants, limestone
port cost is the reason of non-utilization of these lime- based industries like bleaching powder unit, paper grade
stone deposits in the steel/chemical plants. lime plant etc.
A programme for initiating a new industry viz. min- Besides, there are a number of recorded occurrences
eral/rock wool industry based on limestone as raw ma- of varied minerals like base metals, quartz, feldspar, co-
terial for utilization as heat and sound insulating mate- rundum, glass sand, iron ore reported from Ri-Bhoi dis-
rial should also receive due attention. trict, pyrite, bauxite and rock phosphate are found in
Jaintia district. As per present knowledge, most of these
The next important mineral is coal confined to the
are either of little economic importance or yet to be as-
Tertiary Formation of Garo & Khasi hills. A good
sessed.
amount of coal exploited in Meghalaya is being sent to
other states/countries in raw form. The resource and production of minerals from vari-
ous areas of State, as per Indian Mineral Year Book 2000,
The next important mineral, sillimanite, is found in
is detailed below (Table 6.1).
massive form, scattered in 27 major or minor deposits in

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26 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

Table 6.1 : Reserves of Minerals: Meghalaya (Unit:000 tonnes)


Indian Mineral Year Book 2007
Recoverable reserves as on 1-4-2005
Minerals Proved Probable Possible Total
China clay 1890 5786 81199 88875
Copper
Ore - 880 - 880
Metal - 9 - 9
Feldspar (t) - - 37449 37449
Fireclay - - 10999 10999
Lead Zinc
Ore - 880 - 880
Lead (Metal) - 6 6
Zinc (Metal) - 16.5 - 16.5
Limestone 459600 2588804 12662369 15896773
Quartz/Silica sand - 179 6906 7083
Sillimanite - - 55807 55807
Silver
Ore (t) - 880000 - 880000
Metal (t) - 19.80 - 19.80

The value of mineral production in Meghalaya in The value of production of minor minerals at Rs.3
2006-2007 is estimated at Rs.721 lakhs. The only mineral lakh in 1999-2000 was estimated at level of the previous
produced in the State during 1999-2000 was limestone year.
(Table 6.2.)

Table 6.2: Mineral Production in Meghalaya, 2004-05 to 2006-07


Indian Mineral Year Book 2007
Minerals Unit of 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07(p)
Quantity
No. of Quantity Value No. of Quantity Value No. of Quantity Value
mines mines mines
All 5 7983872 5 7561660 8 8095430
Minerals
Limestone 000 t 4 519 94343 5 887 142465 7 2279 387150
Minor - - 59129 - 72075 - 72075
Minerals

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The individual major mineral deposits are being The existing limestone mines in Meghalaya are open cast
dealt first followed by a description of reported occur- mines. The mining is done by local people. Export and
rences of little economic importance or those yet manufacturing of cement and lime are done by mining
unassessed. companies. In Meghalaya, largest deposit occurs in and
around Litang River valley area in Jaintia hills district,
(i) LIMESTONE :
which belongs to Shella Formation rocks of Jaintia Group
The State of Meghalaya is endowed with huge re- of Eocene age. Geological Survey of India has carried out
sources of limestone of various grades like cement, SMS, both regional and detailed investigation employing drill-
LD and chemical. The Tertiary rocks occurring in Jaintia, ing in this State (Table 6.3).
Khasi and Garo-hills contain large resources of limestone
Besides Directorate of Mineral Resources, Govt of
containing high calcium suitable for cement and chemi-
Meghalaya has also investigated various limestone depos-
cal industries. The formidable deposits occur around

Table 6.3 : Blockwise resource of limestone deposit of Litang Valley :


Field Season

SMS Grade

LD Grade
Boreholes
Area Km2

Length of

Chemical

d i c a t e d
Samples

Cement

f e r r e d
BH(m)
No. of

No. of

Grade
S.No.

Block

(GSI)

+
I n

i n
1. Tangnub-Tongseng 5.7 1992-95 24 3570 1542 377 653 165 210 1405
2. Nongkhleih Ridge West 5.0 1994-97 40 5001 2422 81.1 518 120.8 83.6 803.5
3. Tongseng-Shnongrim 3.6 1996-98 30 4460 2112 425.6 398.9 12.1 0.0 836.6
4. Shnongrim-Molasngi 4.1 1997-99 30 4170 2134 503.4 406.3 0.0 0.0 909.7
5. Lumthlary 3.0 1999-01 25 2196 1156 262.1 278.4 0.0 0.0 540.5
6. Diastong south 6.0 1999-01 39 4325 2296 679.1 721.1 17.2 0.0 1416.4
7. Jalaphet 3.0 2001-03 20 2244 955 172 67.2 2.5 0.0 241.7
8. Larket 5.2 2001-03 28 3493 1663 621.9 179.2 15.5 0.0 816.6
9. Um-Maju 3.0 2003-05 23 2266.4 956 ? ? ? ? 504.0
10. Lumshortoh 3.0 2003-05 22 2202.1 846 ? ? ? ? 249.0
11. Lum Syrman 4.5 2005-07 49 2655.3 744 ? ? ? ? 366.5
Total 46.1 ----------- 330 36582.7 16826 3122.2 3222.1 333.1 293.6 8090.5

Cherrapunjee, Mawlong, Ishamati, Shella, Komorrah in its. These resources are ready for immediate exploitation.
East Khasi hill, Borsora and Bagii in West Khasi hill, The resource and production of limestone from various
Lakadong, Lumshnong and Nongkhlieh in Jaintia hills, areas of State is detailed below (Table 6.4, 6.5 & 6.6).
Darrang Era-Aning, Siju, Chokpot in South Garo hills.

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28 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

Table 6.5: Production of Limestone 2004-05 to 2006-07

Indian Mineral Year Book 2007


(Unit:000 tonnes)
Proved Probable Possible Total
459600 2588804 12662369 15896773

Table 6.5: Production of Limestone 2004-05 to 2006-07

Indian Mineral Year Book 2007


(Unit:000 tonnes)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity Value
519 94343 887 142465 2279 387150

Table 6.6 : Production of Limestone 2004-02 to 2006-07

Indian Mineral Year Book 2007


(Unit:000 tonnes)
No Total No Total No Total
of Mines 2004-05 of Mines 2005-06 of Mines 2006-07
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Qty Value Qty Value Qty Value
4 519 94343 5 887 142465 7 2279 378150

(ii) COAL: 1. Karaibari


Coal occurrences in the State of Meghalaya are con- 2. Rongrenggiri
fined mainly in the Tertiary sediments of Garo, Khasi and
3. Siju
Jaintia Hills district and in the Lower Gondwana sedi-
ments in the West Garo Hills district and extending into 4. Daranggiri (E&W)
the border state of Assam. Tertiary coalfields of Garo hills 5. Balphakram Pendengru
are located along the southern extremity of Shillong pla-
Out of the above coalfields of Garo hills the West
teau as scattered patches and bounded by latitudes 2512'
Daranggiri Coalfield is the most potential coalfield with
2544N and longitudes 8958'9058' E. Coal occurs in
comparatively easy accessibility. The Balphakram-
the Tura Sandstone of Jaintia Group (Eocene) and from
Pendengru Coalfield though has some potentiality, but the
west to east the following coalfields have been identified.

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 29

accessibility is rather difficult. Other coal occurrences are From the Karaibari coalfield (latitudes 2536'
reported from the geological mapping and continuity of 2544N and longitudes 8958' 90 03E) occurrences of
the seams have not yet been established through drilling. coal have been reported from various places between
Dallangsa and Balchuggiri within the Tura sandstone. The
The West Daranggiri coalfields lies between latitudes
coal seams are discontinuously exposed and generally <1
2524'2529N and longitudes 9040'9048E and is
m thick. At places, upto 1.30 m thick seam was found.
only 82 km from Guwahati on the Guwahati-Goalpara
Qualitatively, the coals are high moisture (6.0 to 18.2 %),
road. Besides, Daranggiri seam or Main seam (0.30 m
low to moderately high ash (3.1 to 29.0%) and high sul-
2.98 m thick), there are thin, impersistent coal seams. The
phur content.
coals of Daranggiri seam are high moisture (4.618%) and
the ash content varies from as low as 1% to 28.1%. The The Rongrenggiri coalfields bounded by latitudes
sulphur content (in the organic form) is generally high 2513'2536N and longitudes 90 33'9040E, exposes
varying from 1.21 to 4.30%. Drilling investigations in this a few thin coal seams varying in thickness from 0.25 to
coalfield was taken up during 1957-59 by GSI. Out of to- 1.20 m with high moisture (8.3 to 174 %), low ash (2.8
tal coal resource of 125 million tonnes, 65.40 million to 6.5%) and high sulphur content.
tonnes belongs to proved category and 59.60 million
Coal occurrences are reported from a good number
tonnes in inferred category.
of places as discontinuous patches within Tura Forma-
The Balphakran-Pendengru coalfields lies between tion in the east Darranggiri coalfield. Two to four coal
latitudes 251230" 251730" N and longitudes seams with thickness varying from 0.50 to 1.90 m are ex-
904730"905730"E. There are eight coal seams rang- posed on the Holwang, Nabru, Zigrik and Kailash hills
ing in thickness from <1 to > 3 m. Coal seams are better and Baljong, Dongrengg and Hansapal areas. The coal is
developed in the eastern and central parts of the coalfield generally low in ash (2.7 to 9.6%) and moisture (2.6 to
and in the west only two seams are developed. Coals have 7.6%) and at places has good coking property with C.I.
low to moderate ash ranging from 4.5 to 14.6% and mois- up to 15. Based on the mapping and investigation, a to-
ture content of 1.6 to 10.2 %. The coal exhibits some cak- tal inferred resource of 34.19 million tonne has been es-
ing propensity and the caking index up to 13 has been re- timated.
ported. Based on the geological mapping a total resource
The Gondwana coalfields of Meghalaya restricted
of 107.03 million tonnes has been estimated as inferred
only in the Garo hills are exposed in the Singrimari ba-
category.
sin on the northwestern corner of Garo hills bordering
The Siju coalfield, a hidden coalfield, as the coal Dhubri district of Assam. The area is bounded by lati-
bearing Tura Formation is concealed under a capping of tudes 2544'254510"N and longitudes 895330"
overlying Siju Limestone, falls within the latitudes 2518' 895415"E. One thick seam varying in thickness from
25 27N and longitudes 9025'-9042E. Two correlat- 3.78 to 6.34 m was intersected in the boreholes drilled in
able coal seams viz. top (0.50 to 35 m thick) and bottom the area. Coal is of low moisture with ash content of
(0.6 to 1.50 m thick) seams continue over 11 km along 19.52% - 33.9%. Sulphur content of the coal is low and
the strike from Siju-Siongmong to Burusora are exposed the coals are caking. An Indicated resource of 2.79 mil-
at several places. Qualitatively the coal shows moisture lion tonnes has been assessed over an area of approxi-
content from 1.7 11.3 % and that of ash from 1.5 to 18.7 mately 2 sq. km.
%. Total sulphur content of the coal varies from 1.5 to
The coalfields of Khasi hills are located in the south-
2.8%. Based on the mapping investigation total resource
ern periphery along the international boundary with
of 125 million tonnes has been assessed under the In-
Bangladesh bounded by latitudes 2510'2542N and
ferred category.
longitudes 9140'91 55E.

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30 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

In Khasi hills district the following coal occurrences lion tonnes, 26.9 m.t. (proved + indicated) and 106.19
from west to east have been reported. m.t. under inferred category has been assessed through
mapping and drilling respectively.
1. Langrin
Mawbehlarkar coalfield with only 0.1 sq.km area ex-
2. Umrileng
hibits only three coal exposures with 0.40m to 1.00m
3. Mawsynram thickness and 0.12 million tonne resource has been esti-
4. Mawlong-Shella-Isamati mated.

5. Cherrapunji-Mawkma-Laitryngew The Mawlong-Shella coalfields located in the East


Khasi hills is bounded by latitudes 2510'-2513N and
6. Mawpholong
longitudes 9134'9144' E and cover approximately 30
7. Pynursla-Lyngkyrden-Thangjinath sq. km. area. Only one coal seam has been reported from
the basal part of Lakadong Sandstone Member showing
8. Lundidom
two to three split sections varying in thickness from 0.15
9. Laitduh to 1.35 m. The moisture and ash contents vary from 1.5
10. Mawbehlarkar to 3 % and 5.7 to 19.8% respectively. The coal is caking
with high sulphur content. A total of 6 million tonnes of
Out of the above only the Langrin and Mawlong-
coal resources has been assessed out of which 2.17 mil-
Shella are important and the rest of the occurrences are lion tonnes belong to Proved category.
minor.
Two coal seams of 1.5 m to 3.0m thickness were re-
The Langrin coalfields is bounded by latitudes ported from Umriling coalfield of 1.2 sq. km area with
2512'-252530N and longitudes 90 4530"9114E and
an estimated inferred reserve of 1 million tonne.
is located towards the extreme south east of Khasi hills.
The exposures of coals are scattered and widely spread. Exploration in Mawsynram area has proved the
In Basura-Rajajiu sector, there are six coal seams varying presence of thin coal seams over an area of 0.08 sq.km.
in thickness from 0.3 to 2.1 m established by drilling. and 0.03 million tonne of coal reserves has been esti-
From the Nonghyillum plateau in the upper reaches of mated. Local people are carrying out active mining.
Kolai-Charigaon stream section, five coal seams have been In the Cherrapunjee-Mamkma area two coal seams
reported of which seam-I and II are rather persistent hav- with thickness varying from 0.30 m to 4.70 m were re-
ing a thickness range from 0.08 to 3 m. In the Nongiri- ported. The area was under active mining and most of the
Kulang sector nine coal seams were intersected with thick- reserves have been exploited.
ness varying from 0.25 m to 1.20m. In the Nongplu-
In Laitryngew coalfield though five coal seams were
Nongjron area four coal seams were reported with thick-
reported only the bottom seam with 0.90m to 2.70 m
ness varying from 0.80 m to 1.85 m. In the Nong Nirang-
thickness is persistent.
Nongmen sector about six coal seams were reported from
three well demarcated horizons with thickness varying Only one coal seam of 0.36 m to 2.80 m thickness
from less than 1.00 m to 2.50m.In the Plateau south and was reported from Laitduh coalfield with an estimated
southwest of Rengden eight coal seams were reported inferred resuorce of 0.12 million tonne.
with thickness varying from 0.50m to 2.0m.The moisture
In the Lumidom area only one coal seam with
content varies from 1.1 to 11.6% and that of ash from 1.9
varying thickness of 1.0 m to 1.3 m was reported with
to 40.7% but generally < 20%. The coal exhibits caking
an estimated resource of 0.20 million tonne.
propensity and the sulphur content is fairly high from 1.16
to as high as 9.63%. Out of a total resource of 50 mil- In the Pynursla-Lyngkyrden- Thangjinath area one

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 31

of the five thin coal seams were reported with variable The Bapung coalfield covers an approximate area of
thickness of 0.30m to 1.40m and a total of 1.80 million 46 sq. km. and located in the central part of the Jaintia
tonnes of coal resource has been estimate for the three ar- district. Three coal seams belonging to Lakadong Sand-
eas. In all the areas mining activities are in progress for a stone varying in thickness from 0.20 m to 0.90 m are re-
long time and most of the resources are likely to be ex- ported from this coalfield. Ash content of coal generally
hausted. varies from 5 to 20% and the sulphur content varies from
2.9 to 10.8%. The coals are strongly caking (C.I. 20 to 31).
The coalfields in Jaintia hills are located in the cen-
A total resource of 33.66 million tonnes has been esti-
tral and southern parts of the district bounded by latitudes
mated out of which 11.01 million tonnes are under
2510'-2528' N and longitudes 9208'923330"E. The
Proved category. The coalfield is under active exploita-
following coal deposits are reported from west to east:
tion by manual mining by the local people.
1. Jarain- Tkentalang
In the Jarain- Tkentalang area a few thin to very thin
2. Lakadong seams were reported.
2a. Umlatdoh Thin coal seams were reported during mapping and also
2b. Pamsaru eshtablished through drilling in Pamsaru and Umlatdoh
area.
3. Lumshnong
Thin coal seams were also reported in Lumshnong
4. Malwar-Musiang-Lamare
area.
5. Mutang
One coal seam of 0.31 m to 1.97 m thickness was
6. Bapung reported around Malwar-Musiang-Lamare villages and
1.1 million tonne of coal resource has been assessed.
7. Sutunga
From Ioksi area one seam of 0.90 m to 1.24 m thick-
8. Ioksi
ness was reported and 1.24 million tonne resource has
Out of the above coal occurrences, only Bapung been assessed.
coalfield attains some economic importance due to aerial
extent and easy accessibility. Others are only minor oc-
currences.

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32 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

GEOLOGICAL RESOURCE OF COAL OF MEGHALAYA COAL FIELDS


(as on 01.04.2009)
(Resource is million tonne)
Type of coal Depth Proved Indicated Inferred Inferred Total
h d Exploration) (Mapping)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
MEGHALAYA
1. WEST DARANGGIRI COAL FIELD
High Sulpher 0-300 65.40 0.00 59.60 125.00
Total High Sulphur 65.40 0.00 59.60 125.00
TOTAL FOR WEST DARANGGIRI 65.40 0.00 59.60 125.00
2. EAST DARANGGIRI COAL FIELD
High Sulphur 0-300 0.00 0.00 107.03 107.03
Total High Sulphur 0.00 0.00 107.03 107.03
TOTAL FOR EAST DARANGGIRI 0.00 0.00 107.03 107.03
3. SIJU COALFIELD
High Sulphur 0.300 0.00 0.00 125.00 125.00
Total High Sulphur 0.00 0.00 125.00 125.00
TOTAL FOR SIJU 0.00 0.00 125.00 125.00
4. LANGRIN COALFIELD
High Sulphur 0-300 10.46 16.51 106.19 133.15
Total High Sulphur 10.46 16.51 106.19 133.15
TOTAL FOR LANGRIN 10.46 16.51 106.19 133.15
5. MAWLONG SHELLA COALFIELD
High Sulphur 0-300 2.17 0.00 3.83 6.00
Total High Sulphur 2.17 0.00 3.83 6.00
TOTAL FOR MAWLONG SHELLA 2.17 0.00 3.83 6.00
6. KHASI HILLS (MINOR CF)
COALFIELD
High Sulphur 0-300 0.00 0.00 10.10 10.10
Total High Sulphur 0.00 0.00 10.10 10.10
TOTAL FOR KHASI HILLS (MINOR CF) 0.00 0.00 10.10 10.10
7. BAPUNG COAL FIELD
High Sulphur 0-300 11.01 0.00 22.65 33.66
Total High Sulphur 11.01 0.00 22.65 33.66
TOTAL FOR BAPUNG 11.01 0.00 22.65 33.66
8. JAINTIA HILLS (MINOR CF)
COALD FIELD
High Sulphur 0-300 0.00 0.00 1.10 1.24 2.34
Total High Sulphur 0.00 0.00 1.10 1.24 2.34
TOTAL FOR JAINTIA HILLS 0.00 0.00 1.10 1.24 2.34
(MINOR CF)

TOTAL FOR MEGHALAYA 89.04 16.51 27.58 443.35 576.48

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 33

The reserve estimate of coal as per Indian Mineral Year Book, 2007 is tabulated below (table 6.7):

Table 6.7 : Reserves of Coal (High Sulphur) as on 1.1.2006 (in million tonnes) : Meghalaya
Indian Mineral Year Book 2007

Proved Indicated Inferred Total


117.83 40.89 300.71 459.43

(iii) SILLIMANITE: due to erratic and sparse distribution of these bodies, pro-
duction could not be raised to desired level. Then the Geo-
Sonapahar sillimanite deposit covers an area of
logical Survey of India was approached by the then Govt.
about 205 sq. km. and there are about fifteen important
of Assam to carry out systematic exploration of the de-
deposits. The massive lensoid bodies of sillimanite-corun-
posit in the mining lease areas held by the Assam Silli-
dum are contained mostly in quartz-sillimanite schist and
manite Ltd., and subsequently taken over by the
in a few cases in biotite-sillimanite-quartz schist and the
Hindustan Steel Ltd., and later by the Bharat Refracto-
surficial float concentrations are derived from these bod-
ries Ltd., to find new bodies so that production could be
ies due to prolonged and intensive weathering. The ex-
sustained.
posed bodies, though, by and large, mostly lensoid in ap-
pearance are found to be highly irregular in shape and size However, reserve estimates were made in possible
and sparsely and erratically distributed in the host rock. category based on borehole data. A total reserve of about
Due to the wide variation in the shape, size, distribution 20,000 tonnes was computed in possible category for de-
of sillimanite corundum bodies, the accurate quantitative posits No. 1(Lalmati), 17(Tulakhola) and 18A &
assessment remains an elusive factor. 23(Wamsophi), where drilling was carried out by GSI. In
addition it is estimated that float of sillimanite (all grade)
The famous Sonapahar sillimanite deposit in West
and corundum would be around 10,000 and 5000 tonnes
Khasi Hills district is geologically known since 1897 and
respectively.
have been exploited since 1922(Fox,1947). It is the only
deposit in India producing superior grade sillimanite. In Niangbrakgithim area, near Mansang, in West Khasi
Until about 1970, the exploitation was mainly confined hills and East Garo hills, presence of about 38000 tonnes
to extensive surficial float ore concentrations, which there- of sillimanite is indicated within an area of about 0.66
after got nearly exhausted and the production started de- sq. km.
clining. In 1962, mechanized open cast excavation of the
main sillimanite-schist host rock was undertaken to ex- The reserve estimate of sillimanite as per Indian Mineral
plore and exploit the sillimanite corundum bodies, but Year Book, 2000 is tabulated below (table 6.8):

Table 6.8 : Reserves of Sillimanite


Indian Mineral Year Book 2007
(Unit :000 tonnes)
Proved Indicated Inferred Total
- - 55807 55807

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34 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

(iv) BASE METALS: m in length and 200 m in width. The effective total thick-
ness of the sulphide rich bands is around 10 m within a
Polymetallic base metal mineralization in Umpirtha
total disseminated zone of 29.50 m, while the maximum
is located within the sequence of high grade Archaean
thickness in the central part of lens is 62 m. Exploratory
gneisses comprising fine to medium grained granite and
drilling carried out, however, revealed that the strike
granite gneiss, migmatised biotite gneiss with amphibo-
length of mineralisation is 105 m in the main block. A
lite and micaceous quartz-sillimanite schists. The base
tentative inferred reserve of 1.18 lakh tonnes of Zn, Cu
metal mineralisation is associated with hornblende-
and Pb ore (with the values for the metals being respec-
hornfelsic assemblages comprising of cummingtonite-
tively 2.83%, 1.35% and 0.40% and the total 4.58%) has
anthophyllite cordierite (Plagioclase-garnet-spinel, etc),
been estimated upto a depth of 50 m. Indications of mo-
actinolite-tremolite and some carbonates, occurring as
lybdenum upto 9,000 ppm have been noticed in a few
lenses within the biotite gneiss unit.
boreholes.
The ore-bearing rocks are lensoid in shape and are
The reserve estimate of Lead-Zinc ores and metals as per
apparently disposed along the ENE-WSW trend of the fo-
Indian Mineral Year Book, 2000 is tabulated below (ta-
liation of the biotite gneiss. From the surface indications,
ble 6.9):
the mineralised zone in the main block is found to be 1200
Table 6.9 : Reserves of Lead-Zinc Ores and Metals
Indian Mineral Year Book 2007
(Unit:000 tonnes)
Grade Proved Probable Possible Total
Pb & Zn Ore (Total) 0.00 30.50 30.50 30.50

use in industries may be located near Tura, Anegiri,


(v) FELDSPAR:
Gangjalgiri, Santhagiri, Chisakgiri and at certain other
The thick pegmatite veins within the Archaean places. Occurrences of feldspar in pegmatite veins intru-
metamorphics of the Garo hills at places contain large sive into the biotite-gneiss have been reported from Hahim
crystals of feldspars. Promising deposits of feldspars for (table 6.10).

Table 6.10 : Reserves of Feldspar as on 1.4.2005 (in tonnes)


Indian Mineral Year Book 2007
Proved Indicated Inferred Total
- - 39024 39024

(vi) GLASS SAND: The Tura Sandstone near Siju, Tura and
Nongwalbibra of the Garo Hills district carries several
The white sandstone occurring in Cherrapunjee and
bands of pure sand similar in occurrence to those found
Laitryngew contains angular and pure grains of quartz
in the Laitryngew area of the Khasi hills. Glass sand is
which may be used in the manufacture of bottle glass. The
also reported in Unstew and Kreit in East Khasi hills.
inferred reserve is 406,400 tonnes in Laitryngew area.
Directorate of Geolog y & Mines, Govt. of
Some irregular beds of sandstone in the Lower and
Meghalaya carried out investigation of silica sand around
Middle Sylhet Sandstone Members (Jaintia Group) and
Kreit village (Near Mawphlang), Khasi hills (Bora
the quartzites and sandstones of the Shillong Group, yield
et.al.1973-74) and proved a reserve of 0.1 mt, which can
glass sand.

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MISC. PUB. 30 PT. 4 VOL. 2(ii) 35

be used for manufacturing 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th quality green respectively. The crude is expected to yield 15% of pure
& amber glass. clay on levigation. White clay is also reported from
Nongalbibre in South Garo Hills and Rongrengre in East
(vii) KAOLIN/CLAY:
Garo Hills districts.
White clay has been found to occur 2.4 km to the
Fireclay has been found near Jowai and also around
west of Sohrarim and 6 km north of it and also near the
Larnai, the latter one being highly plastic (table 6.11).
23 km post on Cherrapunjee Road, the inferred reserve
of crude clay being 6.5 million tonnes and 8,100 tonnes

Table 6.11 : Reserves of Fireclay as on 1.4.2005


Indian Mineral Year Book 2007
(Unit:000 tonnes)
Proved Indicated Inferred Total
- - 10999 10999

Good quality Kaolin occurs around Smit and curs associated with Sylhet Sandstone or as an altered
Latiyngkot in East Khasi Hills, Thandlaskein, product of feldspar in granites and gneisses. A 6 km long
Shaongpuang, Mulieh and Mynsngat in Jaintia hills and and 1 km wide belt near Mawphlang contains a small de-
Darugiri in East Garo Hills districts (table 6.12). posit of kaolin which is a product of alteration of gran-
ite and pegmatite and contains high percentage of SiO2.
China clay, suitable for pottery manufacture, has
been reported from several places in Sutunga area. It oc-

Table 6.12 : Reserves of Kaolin as on 1.4.2005


Indian Mineral Year Book 2007
(Unit:000 tonnes)
Proved Indicated Inferred Total
1890 5786 81199 88875

(viii) DIMENSION STONE: Khasi Hills district and Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills
Deposits of multicoloured granite have been located district, Mendipathar and Songsakin East Garo Hills dis-
around Nongpoh in Ri-Bhoi district Mylliem in East tricts

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36 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

LOCALITY INDEX

Locality Latitude (N) Longigude (E)


Bapung 252500" 921827"
Balphakram 251600" 905030"
Barapani 2538' 00" 9152' 00"
Cherrapunjee 251500" 914000"
Daranggiri 252400" 902700"
Darugiri 253300" 904500"
Hahim 255052 910940
Hansapal 2517' 00" 904300"
Holwang 252010" 904640"
Hallidayganj 25 44' 00" 89 54' 00"
Jarain 251918" 920900"
Jowai 2526' 00" 9216' 00"
Kailash hills 251730" 904500"
Karaibari 252000" 891000"
Laitryngew 252000" 914400"
Lakadong 251104" 921632"
Langrin 251500" 911000"
Larnai 2533' 00" 9208' 00"
Lumshnong 251016" 922252"
Lyngkyrden 252100" 915330"
Mawkma 252000" 914305"
Mawlong 251250" 914150"
Mawphlang 252000" 914530"
Mawpholong 252630" 914530"
Mawsynram 251750" 913600"
Mawthaliang 254010 910750"
Mutang 251100" 922130"
Nabru 252100" 904830"
Nongwalbibra 252800" 904200"
Pendengru 251630" 905530"
Pynursla 251900" 915330"
Rongrenggiri 253000" 901000"
Shella 251040" 913828"

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Siju 2518' 00" 9025' 00"


Singrimari 254400" 895400"
Sohrarim 2521' 00" 92 44' 00"
Sumer 2541' 00" 9151' 00"
Sung 2533' 00" 9207' 00"
Sutunga 252212" 912642"
Sutnga 2522' 00" 9228' 00"
Thangjinath 251800" 915330"
Tura 253100" 901300"
Tyngner 251430" 913630"
Umlatdoh 251147" 920655"
Umpirtha 256100" 913500"
Umrileng 254230" 914730"
Zigrik 251840" 904740"

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38 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

LOCALITY INDEX FOR COAL FIELDS

Coalfield Latitude (Range) Longitude (Range)

Balphakran-Pendengru coalfields 2512'30" 2517'30" N 9047'30"9057'30"E.

Bapung coalfield 2523-2528N 92189228E

Cherrapunjee-Mawkma- 251530-2523N 91 409146E


Laitryngew coalfields

Gondwana coalfields 2544'2545'10"N 8953'30" 8954'15"E

Jaintia hills coalfields 2510'-2528' N 9208'9233'30"E

Jarain-Tkentalang coalfields 251919"-2520' 20"N 9208'9209'E

Karaibari coalfield 2536'2544'N 8958' 90 03'E

Khasi hills of coalfields 2510'2542'N 9140'91 55'E

Laitduh coalfields 2515'-2520'N 9138'9143'E

Lakadong coalfield 251147"-2517'N 921140"9220E

Langrin coalfields 2512-252530N 90 45309114E

Lumshnong coalfield 2510-2520N 9225

Lundidom coalfields 252130"-2523'N 91 34'9144'E

Mawbehlarkar coalfields 252935"-2524'N 90 45'914518"E

Mawlong-Shella-Isamati coalfields 2510'-2513'N 91 34'9144'E

Mawsynram coalfields 2518'-251940"N 91 3510"913538"E

Pynursla-Lyngkyrden- 251630"-2522'N 915130"9155'E


Thangjinath coal field

Rongrenggiri coalfields 2513'2536'N 90 33'9040'E

Umrileng coalfields 253830"-2541'39"N 90 47'9150'E

West Daranggiri coalfields 2524'2529'N 9040'9048'E

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NOTES

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NOTES

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Front and Back Cover: Mausmai limestone cave near Cherrapunji, Meghalaya.

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