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A geological investigation of klippan in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Bruce Cairncross and Terence S. McCarthy
A geological investigation of klippan in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
South African Journal of Geology (December 2008) 111 (4): 421-428


Pans are a common feature in certain portions of the southern African landscape. One aspect of pan formation may relate to the nature of the geology upon which the pan forms. Klippan, located south of Witbank, Mpumalanga Province, was mined through by opencast methods which exposed the Permian Vryheid Formation (Karoo Supergroup) underlying the pan. This consists of clastic sedimentary strata (conglomerate, sandstone, and siltstone) and coal of the number 1 and 2 seams. Detailed investigations of these strata, based on borehole logs, examination of the pit highwall, structural analysis, photographic mosaics and lateral facies analysis, reveal that the geological succession underlying the pan is no different from the strata elsewhere in the adjacent coalfield. The sequence below the number 1 coal seam and above the number 2 coal seam does not exhibit any extraordinary lithologies, weathering features, sedimentary structures or compactional features that would have caused the pan to have formed at this particular location. The conclusion is that the subsurface geology did not play a role in pan formation. However, on a regional basis, underlying geology does play a role in pan formation as clearly observed in the Witbank-Middelburg region as pans are confined primarily to rocks of the Karoo Supergroup and virtually no pans occur in the pre-Karoo lithologies that surround this northern edge of the Karoo basin.

ISSN: 1012-0750
EISSN: 1996-8590
Serial Title: South African Journal of Geology
Serial Volume: 111
Serial Issue: 4
Title: A geological investigation of klippan in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
Affiliation: University of Johannesburg, Department of Geology, Johannesburg, South Africa
Pages: 421-428
Published: 200812
Text Language: English
Publisher: Bureau for Scientific Publications, Pretoria, South Africa
References: 56
Accession Number: 2009-066303
Categories: Geomorphology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
S27°15'00" - S24°15'00", E28°30'00" - E32°02'60"
Secondary Affiliation: School of Geosciences, ZAF, South Africa
Country of Publication: South Africa
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Geological Society of South Africa
Update Code: 200936
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