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Geological Field Report - Vindhyan System

Updated on April 10, 2014

Upper Bhander Limestone


Field Site: Son Valley, Upper Vindhyan Basin, Madhya Pradesh.

Local Geology: The Son Valley comprised of Vindhyan Formations like Semri, Rewa, Bhander etc. of varying lithology comprising shale, sandstone and limestone.

Description: The Vindhyan System derives its name from the Vindhya Mountains,a part of which is found to form the prominent plateau like range of sandstones to the north of the Narmada valley, particularly in Bundelkhand and Malwa. It occupies a large basin extending from Dehri-on-Sone to Hoshangabad and from Chittorgarh to Agra and Gwalior, surrounding the Batholithic mass of Bundelkhand granite. Over the greater part of the area, only the upper portion of the Vindhyans is developed, usually resting on the Cuddapahs. This report presents understanding the formation of the prominently visible sedimentary structures in the basin.

The Vindhyans consist of four main series namely:

1.Bhander Series:

Mostly contains Arenaceous and calcareous types of rocks with a average thickness of 450 meters

2.Rewa Series:

Mainly consists of arenaceous types of rocks with a thickness ranging in between 150-300 meters

3.Kaimur Series:

Mainly consists of arenaceous types of rocks with a thickness ranging in between 150-300 meters

4.Semri Series:

Mainly consists of calcareous types of rocks with a thickness ranging in between 300-900 meters

Day 1

January 8th 2014

SPOT 1: Behind Maihar Temple

Coordinates:240 16’54.5’’N 80042’42”E

  • The formations present here are under the Upper Bhander Group, the uppermost division of the Vindhyan basin.
  • The layer coarsens upwards.
  • Upper Bhander comprises of Shikoda Sandstone and Shirbu Shale.
  • Shirbu shale is present at the bottom of the hill.
  • Sandstone present is usually hard and thick.
  • Basically red colour laterite soil is present.
  • Vegetation prevalent due to presence of Potassium.
  • Charniodiscus: A fossil found in the region indicating Precambrian and Cambrian border.

Cross Lamination

SPOT 2: LowerBhander Formation

Coordinates: 240 16’54.5’’N 80042’42”E

  • Formations present here are under Upper Bhander Group.
  • Age of formations is approximately about 570 million years (Neo Proterozoic).
  • Both red and white sandstones are found.
  • Red Sandstone More iron content
  • White Sandstone More silica content
  • Ripple marks present indicates turbulence during deposition time.
  • Other structures found are:
    • Cuspate ripples (formed in high flow regimes).
    • Dessication cracks (has fine mineralogy).
  • Black shale (Shirbu shale) are source rock of this place
  • Some characteristics of Shirbu Shale are:
    • They are generally khaki or grey colored.
    • These are black shale due to presence of organic matter.
  • Due to thermal alteration processes there are various changes that happen over to the rocks. Predominantly their colour changes, as the list shows below:
    • Light Brown Colour - Diagenesis
    • Blackish Colour - Catagenesis
    • Black Colour - Metagenesis
  • Fossils found of age varying between late Pre-Cambrian to early Cambrian are present.
  • Macrofossils assemblages Chuaria-Tawuia are found only in one particular layer in matty structures.
  • Fossils only in linear beddings. No fossils found in cross beddings.
  • Presence of Architarch: Small organic fossils (indicates Cambrian age).

Ripple Marks

Alternate layers of sandstone and siltstone

Day 2

(January 9th 2014)

SPOT 3: KuteshwarLimestoneMines

Coordinates: 23058’27”N 80050’67.7”E

  • KuteshwarLimestone Mine (SAIL):
    • Sides of this mine are covered by Kaimur Hills.
    • Asia’s longest limestone mine conveyor belt (approximately 11 km).
  • Limestone present here is KajrahatLimestone.
  • Kajrahat Limestone (Semri Group*) -
    • Rich of organic matter
    • Calcitic Limestone ( calcite vein between limestone)
    • 1800 Myrs
    • Fan fabric structure – Radiating structure
    • Shallow Marine Environment
  • Bench Depth – 6 mts.
  • Loading site – Khanamajari
  • Kuteshwar mines had a proven reserve of 151.43 million MT of SMS gradelimestone.
  • By December 1992, the mine was equipped with 14 drills, 18 dumpers, five dozers, five excavator/front end loaders, one crane and onewater sprinkler valuing Rs. 9.92 crore.
  • The work was completed in August 1998 against scheduled completion date of November 1997.

Landscape view of Kuteshwar Mines

SPOT 4: RewaGroup

Coordinates: 2404.855’N 80049.363’E

  • Neo Proterozoic (Early)
  • Mainly consists of arenaceous types of rocks with a thickness ranging in between 150-300 meters
  • Three Sets are well defined under the Gilbert Depositionthat denote the flow directions:
    • Top Set
    • Fore Set
    • Bottom Set

Rain Prints
Rain Prints

SPOT 5: GirgitaBhander Limestone

  • Sedimentary Structures:
    • Molar Tooth – Bounded by limestone nodules.
    • Continuous bed of molar tooth structures is found only in neo Proterozoic.

Stromatolites: Organosedimentary structures are also found in abundance.

Sedimentary Structures

Molar Tooth Structure
Molar Tooth Structure

Day 3

(January 10th, 2014)

SPOT 6: Lower Bhander Limestone

Coordinates: 24043.544’N 8301.123’E

  • Formation: 510 Million yrs
  • Dolomite of pink color (due to the presence of Mg) is present.
  • Molar Tooth Structure
  • Stromatolites of different shapes are found.
  • Bhander Group is characterized by the dominance of Colonnellacolumnaris. (Shown in Fig. 14 (a) &(b))
  • The other five types of stromatolites reported from the bhander group which show active branching are Baicaliabaicalica, B. burra, Patomiaossica, Cryptozoon sp. andMaihariamaiharensis.
  • Presence of Edgewise Conglomerateand Ooliticchert (4-5 cm depth).

SPOT 7: SajjanpurLakher

  • Upper Bhander Limestone
  • MISS (Microbial Induced Sedimentary Structure):
    Made up of organic matter - Sandstone (Siliciclastic).
  • Stromatolites, Wrinkle Marks and Molar Tooth structures are found.
    • BaikaliaStromatolites
  • Algal Matt like structure – Impression of the cyanobacteria.
  • Matt is formed when there is no flow and sedimentation takes the shape.
  • Formation of Syneresis Cracks.
  • Chert nodules are formed where there is rapid flow.
  • Silica is pinched out – resistance to weathering whereas limestone weathers quickly.

Algal Matt
Algal Matt
Syneresis Crack
Syneresis Crack
Chert Nodules
Chert Nodules

Day 4

(January 11th, 2014)


Industry Name: Prism Cement

  • Lecture by Mr. B.P. Pandey(Mining Surveyor,Prism Cement)


  • Band thickness- Less
  • Wideness-2km
  • Including belts- Panna, Satna and northern side of Rewa.
  • Lithology of area:
  • The overburden has thickness up to 0-5m.
  • The upper shale limestone, or the waste rock, has a content of 34-38% of CaO.
  • The limestone is present in a larger area having intercalcareous layers. It has a thickness of 4-15m.
  • The lower shale limestone has thickness up to 3m.
  • Topsoil is preserved.
  • Normal thickness of bench for blasting: 6m.
  • The overburden has the following layers:
    • Soil
    • Subsoil
    • Shale
    • Shaly Limestone
  • Sometimes, depending upon the situation, 2-3 benches are drilled through.
  • The Bhander series present in this region begins at Garaghota, Sagar district, Madhya Pradesh.

Landscape view of Prism Cement Mines
Landscape view of Prism Cement Mines
  • Different units and their specifications:
    • Unit I:
    • Hammer type (FLS) crusher
    • 1200 DPH.
    • Unit II:
    • Single Impact Rotor Crusher.
    • 750x2 DPH.
    • Manufacturer: L&T
  • Other than this, 4 waybridges are also installed to handle and capacitate the production from 20,000-25,000 tonnes of limestone and 25,000- 30,000 tonnes of overburden.
  • Pile formationhappens after crushing.
    • Size of grains: 75- 200mm
  • Noise and Fly Rock Control:
    • Devices:
      • NONEL of IDL
      • Conventional explosives from local market. (Base and Booster)

Beneficiation done through Portable Screen.

  • Steps involved for acquiring mines and setting up industry:
    • Permission from state government for mining lease.
    • Permission from Mineral Resource Division (Bhopal).
    • Acquiring land for industry setup from government.
    • Acquiring surface rights from collector.
    • Permission from Ministry of Environment.
    • Technical approvals.
  • Some characteristics features of the mines at Prism Industries are:
    • Fully mechanized captive mines.
    • Daily production is approximately 20000-25000 tonnes.
    • Limestone and overburden are present in 1:1 ratio.
  • Sequential steps in mining are:
    • Deephole drilling.
    • Blasting
    • Excavation
    • Transportation

Power Screens

Pile Formation and Transportation


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