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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 349381, 8 pages
Research Article

Petrography and Physicomechanical Properties of Rocks from the Ambela Granitic Complex, NW Pakistan

1Department of Geology, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan
2Centre of Excellence in Mineralogy, University of Balochistan, Quetta 87300, Pakistan
3Department of Mining Engineering, NWFP University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan

Received 17 April 2013; Accepted 11 May 2013

Academic Editors: M. Grégoire, N. Hirao, J. A. Morales, L. Tosi, and J. Yvon

Copyright © 2013 Mohammad Arif et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Petrography and physicomechanical properties of alkali granites, alkali quartz syenite, and nepheline syenite from Ambela, NW Pakistan, have been investigated. Whereas the alkali quartz syenite and most of the alkali granites are megaporphyritic, the nepheline syenite and some of the alkali granites are microporphyritic. Their phenocryst shape and size and abundance of groundmass are also different. The values of unconfined compressive strength (UCS) are the lowest and highest for megaporphyritic alkali granite and alkali quartz syenite, respectively. However, all the four rock types are moderately strong. Correspondingly, their specific gravity and water absorption values are within the permissible range for use as construction material. The UCS for the alkali quartz syenite is the highest, most probably because (i) it has roughly equal amounts of phenocryst and groundmass, (ii) it displays maximum size contrast between phenocryst and groundmass, (iii) its phenocrysts are highly irregular, and (iv) it contains substantial amounts of quartz.