Selasa, 31 Januari 2012

Mineral Resources of Pakistan

Mineral raw materials and deposits are essential to industry, construction, power generation and distribution, communication and agriculture. Their availability can ensure and stimulate the development of the industrial economy. To transform a mineral deposit into an asset, it has to be exploited and utilized.

After the partition of India, Pakistan inherited parts of western and the eastern flanks of the extra-peninsular mountains with their complex rock structure, deep and narrow but soil covered valleys, with powerful waterfalls and snow crested peaks, as well as part of the plains, flat wide, spacious and covered with deep soil which is considered to be one of the most fertile agricultural soil. Most of the positive relief is related to the structure of the underlying rocks, but the negative relief, like the river valleys and plains has been developed independently of these.

Main Geological Features. The geology of Pakistan, upon which the features of the state and its national planning greatly depends, is interesting from the point of view of the strait graphical sequence of the rocks and the minerals born of them. They are overturned, folded and dislocated at many places and are rich in plant and animal fossils. Regional details of mineral deposits of Pakistan are as under:-

1. Upper Indus Basin. The salt range is geologically the most important part of the upper Indus Basin. It contains a large number of geological formations, rich in certain minerals, from the oldest to the newest. The lowest layer is called "salt marl" because it contains beds or lines of rock salt. At "Khewera" the accumulation of both salt and gypsum is on a very large scale. The salt is purely crystalline, of a light pink colour and thickly bedded. Other rocks are magnesium sandstones, neobolus shales and purple sandstones. Tertiary (inferior) coal is available at "Dandot" and "Kalabagh".

2. Lower Indus Basin. The geology of the lower Indus Basin is important from the point of view of a regular series of "Tertiary Rock" formations. Although the life history of the rocks is comparatively brief, the evolution of the rocks is unique. The coastal areas, covered over with the oyster shells and other superficial deposits, extend for many miles along the coast. The "Laki Range" in "Sindh Kohistan" is a field museum of geology has an excellent stratigraphy, which contains some building stones, a few lignite deposits and clays of various kinds. Clay plays an important part in the mineral economy of this region. These were deposited in shallow seas and are closely connected with gypsum and limestone of the "Kirthar", "Laki" and "Gaj" areas.

3. North West Mountain Region. This area is largely unexplained. The "Siwalikes" and other tertiary rocks continue along the Kashmir Himalayas into this tract of Hazara District, Muzaffarabad and Muree. Some rock formations are traced in the Abottabad and Attock regions e, g. The Attock slates.

4. Baluchistan Mountain Region. Baluchistan region actually is a continuation of Iran series with typical geology and topography. The land of Paroli, the Hingoli and weird forms of rocks, that have so offered from sub-aerial denudation, and so the scenery is superb and awe-inspiring. There are many deposits and some extinct volcanoes.

Kamis, 12 Januari 2012

Conserving and Protecting the Natural Beauty of Baja California

Terra Peninsular is a lovely gallery and community center with an important mission. Located in the heart of Ensenada's tourist village, visitors are invited to see the "Real Baja." The idea began with just a few like-minded souls in 2001 as a way to create public awareness for the need to conserve the remaining natural coastline of northern Baja, as well as the protection of the National Forest corridors as important water shed regions. The mission statement to conserve and protect the natural ecosystems and wildlife of the Baja California Peninsula supports the vision that one day their efforts will change the present course of how the lands of Baja are used. With community awareness and private land owners coming together, the natural resources of the Baja California Peninsula will be protected and managed.

How is that to be accomplished? It starts with just a few being aware of what has already been lost in development from Tijuana to San Quintín. These few crusaders are lighting a fire in others to face the need for change. Horacio Gonzales is one such visionary. He was one of the mission's original founders and now works with both private landowners and the public. I met with him at the Gallery and was stunned by the beauty of Alan Harper's photography that captures the light, the color and the feeling of the Baja landscape. Alan, also one of the founders has worked with large format photography to capture the landscapes and the extraordinary biodiversity of Baja California. He points out, "Rapid development and serene beauty are found in close proximity." He hopes that these photos will help the people of the region appreciate what they have, and what they will soon lose if no action is taken. The images he calls, "Real Baja."

One of the areas being focused on at this time is the corridor that runs along the coastline of the agricultural valley of San Quintín. Some photos show the fields tilled just a few feet from the bluff overlooking the Pacific. What is not realized by most is that first there is the loss of the rich mix of flora and fauna as well as, the problem of the pesticide poison runoff entering the world of the Pacific marine life.

Horacio said that what is helping is the public's need for organic produce. This pressures the farmers to give the public what will sell. Spokespersons from the organization go out to talk directly to farmers and ranchers asking them to consider changing their current methods. The "coastal disturbance" is well documented in a video brilliantly produced to show what has already been lost, and how significant this loss impacts us all.

Land acquisition is very important to the vision. Horacio and others interface with the landowner in the critical areas. They might convince a rancher that he could use his land in sustainable ways by inviting eco-friendly tourism such a hiking, fishing, camping that would replace some of the money that might occur in the change. If there is an opportunity to buy the land, Terra Peninsular's task is to find the funding. In addition, another most recent option is to actually lease the lands known as "Federal Zone" from the Mexican government. The Federal Zone was created to protect ownership of the coastal waters of both Baja coastlines. Developers then "leased" the land to build permanent structures. WildCoast activist, Serge Dedina, first awakened to the idea of leasing federal land as a conservation program to protect from further development. Horacio is quick to clarify that he and the organization are not against development, as long as it is sustainable and sensitive to the natural ecosystems and wildlife.