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Siwalik Fossil Park and Buxa Formation: Geological Heritage Sites

Two New Geological Heritage Sites:

Geological Survey of India (GSI) has identified two geological heritage sites in the Indian Himalayan Region of India.

  • The sites identified are Siwalik Fossil Park, Himachal Pradesh and Stromatolite bearing Dolomite / Limestone of Buxa Formation of Buxa Formation, Sikkim.
  • With inclusion of these two sites, there are 34 Geological Heritage Sites in India.
  • Earlier, the GSI identified certain geological sites across the Northeast for promotion of geo-tourism.

Siwalik Fossil Park (Himachal Pradesh):

  • The Siwalik Fossil park displays a rich collection of vertebrate fossils recovered from the Siwalik rocks of the area of Plio-Pleistocene age (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago).
  • The deposition of Siwalik sediments took place in the narrow linear depression, called the ‘fore deep’, which started developing in front of the Himalayas since the inception of its uplift in the middle Miocene (23 million years to 2.6 million years ago).

Stromatolite bearing Dolomite / Limestone of Buxa Formation of Buxa Formation (Sikkim):

  • This Geoheritage site at Mamley exposes lithounits of Buxa Formation, Daling Group of Proterozoic age (2.5 billion years to 541 million years ago).
  • The dolostones (sedimentary rock) are profusely stromatolitic (Precambrian algal structures). This site provides one of the rare examples of early life in Sikkim Himalaya.
  • The Precambrian is the earliest of the geologic ages, which are marked by different layers of sedimentary rock.

 Geo-heritage Sites:

  • Geo-heritage refers to the geological features which are inherently or culturally significant offering insight to earth’s evolution or history to earth science or that can be utilized for education.
  • Geological Survey of India (GSI) is the parent body which is making efforts towards identification and protection of geo-heritage sites/national geological monuments in the country.