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Geology/Kyrgyz badlands


Hello Dr.Siddiqi, and thanks for your expertise.

Last week I was in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan, driving from Bishkek to Karakol along the south rim of the lake. I noticed the badland geography, which intrigued me,as there is very little information online about it.

Would I be correct in thinking that the formation of the badlands are due to sediment of an endorheic body of water, slowly evaporating and leaving behind sediment which is eroding into a badland formation?

A feature which might contradict this is the pervasive presence of rounded river pebbles which vary in size from almost sand to head-sized. These badlands are not confined to the lake area only but are also present in the mountains on the western road from Bishkek.

We were in a hurry to get to Karakol,or I would have loved to explore a bit more. Any online information suitable for a layman would be appreciated.

Thanks again for any help you can give.


You are right that the badland sediments also get deposited in an endorheic water body where the deposits have a homogenous lithology and fine texture. But that is not the only habitat. Once the area again becomes a dry land, the run-off due to rains etc does not have any controlling hindrance that results in a random and close drainage pattern on almost a horizontal top of the dry sediments. An abrupt and small change in the local base-level rapidly cuts through the homogeneous sediments, which again stabilizes/minimizes as the base-level is reached; which may rejuvinate later due to any uplift etc.

I think the pebbles were rounded somewhere else in the high relief region but as the water reached a generally flat area the energy dropped to leave pebbles in the badland small valleys.

However, I am not an expert in this field. The best thing for you would be to use Internet, just write 'badland' in your browser and so many links would pop-up!  


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Nusrat Kamal Siddiqui (Mr)


I am a petroleum exploration geologist with about 40+ years of diversified experience. I can answer questions on stratigraphy, log interpretation, field studies based on set of logs and core results, general geology etc. Can provide guidance for career planning in earth sciences. Can not help in questions about hard rocks, igneous petrology & mineralogy, sequence stratigraphy and seismic.


Petroleum Exploration - field geology, stratigraphy, prospect generation, interpretation of satellite imagery (visual), log interpretation.

Retired in May, 2006 as Senior Manager Exploration from Pakistan Petroleum Limited after serving 26 years. Since then continuing in active service with petroleum exploration companies.A cumulative experience of about 40 years covers 30 years in petroleum exploration, 5 years hydrogeology experience in Libya, and about 5 years of dam geology in Pakistan.

-AAPG Bulletin (Vol.88, July, 2004); paper on Sui Main Limestone (Eocene), a prolific gas reservoir in Pakistan. -Have presented papers on diversified topics ranging from spirituality, flood control, remote sensing and off course geology in France, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, UAE, Kashmir, India and Pakistan that have been published in respective Special Proceedings. -ONGC Bulletin(India) Vol. 44, Number 2, December, 2009; Chapter 19.A & 19.B on basin architecture and stratigraphy of Pakistan, p.402-474.

BSc Honours in Geology and Master of Science in Petroleum and Structural Geology. PGD from ITC, The Netherlands.

Awards and Honors
-Remained Active Member of AAPG from 1990-2006; founding member of PAPG (a local affiliate of AAPG). -Life member of SEGMITE & AGID, and Senior Editor of SEGMITE magazine. -Member of the Board of Studies, i. Department of Petroleum & Gas Engineering (BUITMS, Quetta), and ii. Geology Department, Sindh University, Jamshoro. -Member of Stratigraphic Committee of Pakistan. -Represented Mining Journal, UK in Pakistan till 2007. -Chairman of Annual Technical Conference (ATC)& Oil Show, an SPE/PAPG annual event, in 2003. -Chairman Technical Committee (ATC, 2002).

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