Special Issue: Special section for IUGG workshop: Lithospheric Structure of a Supercontinent:Gondwana
- Open Access
Unusual lithospheric structure and evolutionary pattern of the cratonic segments of the South Indian shield
Earth, Planets and Space volume 56, pages 139–150 (2004)
The southern Indian shield, characterised by several prominent geological and geophysical features, can be divided into three distinct tectonic segments: Western Dharwar craton (WDC), Eastern Dharwar craton (EDC) and Southern Granulite terrain (SGT). With the exception of WDC, the entire crust beneath EDC and SGT has been remobilized several times since their formation during the mid- to late Archeans (3.0–2.5 Ga). In order to understand the evolutionary history of these segments, a multiparametric geological and geophysical study has been made which indicates that the south Indian shield, characterized by a reduced heat flow of 23–38 mW/m2 has a much thinner (88–163 km) lithosphere compared to ∼200–450 km found in other global shields. In the EDC-SGT terrain, high velocity upper crust is underlain by considerably low mantle velocity with a thick high conductive/low velocity zone sandwiched at mid crustal level. Our study reveals that the entire EDC region is underlain by granulite facies rocks with a density of about 2.85 to 3.16 g/cm3 at a shallow depth of about 8 km in the southern part and at even shallower depth of about 1 to 2 km below the Hyderabad granitic region in the north. Cratonic mantle lithosphere beneath EDC may contain a highly conductive, anisotropic and hydrous metasomatic zone between the depth of 90 and 105 km where estimated temperatures are in the range of 850–975°C. It is likely that before the early Proterozoic, the entire south Indian shield was a coherent crustal block which subsequently got segmented due to persistent plume-induced episodic thermal reactivations during the last 2.7 Ga. These reactivations led to self destruction of cratonic roots giving rise to negative buoyancy at deeper levels which may have been responsible for crustal remobilisations, followed by regional uplifting and erosion of once substantially thick greenstone belts. Consequently, the crustal column beneath the EDC has become highly evolved and now corresponds closely to SGT at depth.
Acharya, S. K., Evolutionary characters of the Gondwanic Indian crust, Indian Minerals, 51, 1–24, 1997.
Anderson, O. L., Patterns in elastic constants of minerals important to Geophysics, In The Nature of the Solid Earth, edited by E. C. Robertson, pp. 575–613, McGraw-Hill, U.S.A., 1972.
Anil Kumar, V. M. Padma Kumari, A. M. Dayal, D. S. N. Murthy, and K. Gopalan, Rb-Sr ages of Proterozoic kimberlites of India, evidence for contemporaneous emplacement, Precamb. Res., 62, 227–237, 1993.
Babu, V. R. R. M., Nellore schist belt, An Archean greenstone belt (A.P), India, Geological History, A monograph (unpublished), 1998.
Barton, P. J., The relationship between seismic velocity and density in the continental crust—a useful constraint?, Geophys. J. R. astr Soc, 87,195–208, 1986.
Chapman, D. S. and H. N. Pollack, Regional geotherms and lithospheric thickness, Geology, 5, 265–268, 1977.
Chetty, T. R. K., Superplume and the Indian diamond corridor, Workshop on Plume Tectonics, 13–14 June, NGRI, Hyderabad, India. Abstract Vol., pp. 6–8, 2000.
Condie, K. C, P. Allen, and B. L. Narayana, Geochemistry of the Archean low- to high-grade transition zone, Southern India, Contr. Min. Petr, 81, 157–167, 1982.
Curray, J. R. and T. Munasinghe, Origin of the Rajmahal traps and the 85°E ridge: preliminary reconstructions of the trace of the Croject hotspot, Geology, 19, 1237–1240, 1991.
Drury, S. A., N. B. W. Harris, R. W. Holt, G. J. Reeves-Smith, and R. J. Wightman, Precmabrian tectonics and crustal evolution in south India, J. Geol., 92, 3–20, 1984.
Gokarn, S. G., C. K. Rao, and G. Gupta, Magnetotelluric studies over the Dharwar craton, 35th Ann. Conv. Meeting of IGU on Continental Margins of India—Evolution, Processes and Potentials, 18–20 Nov., Goa, India, Abstract Vol., pp. 51–52, 1998.
GSI, Geological map of India, published by Geological Survey of India, 1993.
Gupta, M. L. and G. V Rao, Heat flow studies under Upper Mantle Project, Bull. NGRI, 8, 87–112, 1970.
Gupta, M. L., S. R. Sharma, A. Sundar, and S. B. Singh, Geothermal studies in the Hyderabad granitic region and the crustal thermal structure of the southern Indian shield, Tectonophysics, 140, 257–264, 1987.
Gupta, M. L., A. Sundar, and S. R. Sharma, Heat flow and heat generation in the Archean Dharwar cratons and implications for the southern Indian shield geotherm and lithospheric thickness, Tectonophysics, 194, 107–122, 1991.
Gupta, S., S. S. Rai, K. S. Prakasam, and D. Sri Nagesh, The nature of the crust in southern India: implications for Precambrian crustal evolution, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30, 1419, 2003.
Haggerty, S. E., Diamond geology: A global view with glimpses of the Indian scene, Proc. Status, complexities and challenges of diamond exploration in India, 16–18 Oct., Raipur (India), 2000.
Harish Kumar, S. B., M. Jayananda, T. Kano, N. Shadakshara Swamy, and B. Mahabaleswar, Late Archean juvenile magnetic accretion process in the eastern Dharwar craton: Kuppam—Karimangalam area, Mem. Geol. Soc. Ind., 50, 375–408, 2003.
Jayananda, M., J.-F. Moyen, H. Martin, J.-J. Peucat, B. Auvrav, and B. Ma-habaleswar, Late Archean (2550-2520 Ma) juvenile magmatism in the eastern Dharwar craton, Southern India: Constraints from geochronology, Nd-Sr isotopes and whole rock geochemistry, Precam. Res., 99, 225–254, 2000.
Krishna Brahmam, N. and J. G. Negi, Rift valleys beneath Deccan Traps (India), Geophys. Res. Bull., 11, 207–237, 1973.
Lachenbruch, A. H., Preliminary geothermal model of the Sierra Nevada, J. Geophys. Res., 73, 6977–6989, 1968.
Naqvi, S. M. and J. J. W. Rogers, The Precambrian Geology of India, Oxford University Press, New York, 223 pp., 1987.
NGRI, Bouguer gravity anomaly map of India, published by National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, India, 1975.
Pandey, B. K., T. Chabria, and J. N. Gupta, Geochronological characterization of the Proterozoic terrains of peninsular India: Relevance to the first order target selection for Uranium exploration, Exploration and Research for Atomic Minerals, 8, 187–213, 1995.
Pandey, O. P., Heat flow, lithospheric thickness and tectonothermal evolution of Indian subcontinent, IUGG Abstract Volume, A, pp. 175, 2003.
Pandey, O. P. and P. K. Agrawal, Lithospheric mantle deformation beneath the Indian cratons, J. Geol., 107, 683–692, 1999.
Pandey, O. P. and A. Manglik, Thermo-mechanical structure of the south Indian shield, IUGG Abstract Volume, B, pp. 483, 2003.
Pandey, O. P., P. K. Agrawal, and T. R. K. Chetty, Unusual lithospheric structure beneath the Hyderabad granitic region, Eastern Dharwar craton, South India, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 130, 59–69, 2002.
Polet, J. and D. L. Anderson, Depth extent of cratons as inferred from tomographic studies, Geology, 23, 205–208, 1995.
Radhakrishna, B. P., Neogene uplift and geomorphic rejuvenation of Indian peninsula, Curr. Sci., 64, 787–793, 1993.
Radhakrishna, B. P. and S. M. Naqvi, Precambrian continental crust of India and its evolution, J. Geol., 94, 145–166, 1986.
Rajesham, T., Y. J. Bhaskara Rao, and K. S. Murty, The Karimnagar gran-ulite terrain—A new sapphirine bearing granulite provinces, South India, J. Geol. Soc. Ind., 41, 51–59, 1993.
Ramakrishnan, M., J. K. Nanda, and P. F. Augustine, Geological evolution of the Eastern Ghats mobile belt, in Workshop on Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt, Visakhapatnam, Abstracts, pp. 1–3, 1994.
Rantsman, E. Ya., T. R. K. Chetty, M. N. Rao, M. P. Alasko, M. P. Zhidkov, and A. I. Gorshikov, Explanatory brochure map of morphostructural zoning of the Himalayan belt Himalayan fore deep and the Indian shield. published by DST, India (New Delhi) and Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, pp. 29, 1995.
Rao, R. U. M., G. V. Rao, and H. Narain, Radioactive heat generation and heat flow in the Indian shield, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 30, 57–64, 1976.
Rao, R. U. M., R. Srinivasan, S. Roy, G. Koti Reddy, G. V. Rao, L. Ray, and P. Senthil Kumar, Geothermal regime and radioelemental distribution in the southern granulite province, South India, Newsletter, Deep Continental Studies in India (DST), 11, 7–10, 2001.
Ravi Kumar, M., J. Saul, D. Sarkar, R. Kind, and A. K. Shukla, Crustal structure of the Indian Shield: New constraints from teleseismic receiver functions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 1339–1342, 2001.
Ray, L., P. Senthil Kumar, G. K. Reddy, S. Roy, G. V. Rao, R. Srinivasan, and R. U. M. Rao, Geothermal regime of the southern granulite province, Peninsular India, The Indian Mineralogist, 34, 19, 2000.
Reddy, P. R., V. K. Rao and P. Prasada Rao, Some geodynamics signature and their tectonic implications—Indian scenario, Proc. 29th Ann. Conv. Sem. On Perspectives and Prospects in Geosciences towards the new industrial policy, Indian Geophysical Union, Hyderabad, pp. 45–51, 1993.
Reddy, P. R., K. Chandrakala, and A. R. Sridhar, Crustal velocity structure of the Dharwar craton, India, J. Geol. Soc. Ind., 55, 381–386, 2000.
Reddy, P. R., B. Rajendra Prasad, V. Vijaya Rao, K. Sain, P. Prasada Rao, P. Khare, and M. S. Reddy, Deep seismic reflection and refraction/wide-angle reflection studies along Kuppam-Palani transect in the southern granulite terrain of India, Mem. Geol. Soc. Ind., 50, 79–106, 2003.
Rogers, J. J. W., The Dharwar craton and the assembly of Peninsular India, J. Geol., 94, 129–143, 1986.
Rogers, J. J. W. and E. J. Callahan, Radioactivity, heat flow and rifting of the Indian continental crust, J. Geology, 95, 829–836, 1987.
Roy, S. and R. U. M. Rao, Heat flow in the Indian shield, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 25587–25604, 2000.
Sarkar, D., K. Chandrakala, P. Padmavathi Devi, A. R. Sridhar, K. Sain, and P. R. Reddy, Crustal velocity structure of western Dharwar craton, South India, J. Geodynamics, 31, 227–241, 2001.
Sarkar, D., M. Ravi Kumar, J. Saul, R. Kind, P. S. Raju, R. K. Chadha, and A. K. Shukla, A receiver function perspective of the Dharwar craton (India) crustal structure, Geophys. J. Int., 154, 205–211, 2003.
Sarma, L. P., Physical properties of Indian rocks at elevated pressure and temperatures. Ph.D. Thesis (unpublished), Meerut University, Meerut, 266 pp., 1994.
Sarma, S. K., Charnockite assemblage of minerals found near the Osmania University, Hyderabad, Science and Culture, 20, 85–87, 1954.
Sastry, T. S., S. N. Prasad, B. J. Srivastava, and M. Someswara Rao, Vertical electric profile at Choutupal (Hyderabad) in peninsular India, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 59, 229–232, 1990.
Saul, J., M. Ravi Kumar, and D. Sarkar, Lithospheric and upper mantle structure of the Indian shield from teleseismic receiver functions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 2357–2360, 2000.
Sitaramayya, S., The pyroxene-bearing granodiorites and granites of Hyderabad area (The Osmania granite), The Quat. J. Geol. Min. Metal. Soc. Ind., 43, 117–129, 1971.
Somayajulu, P. V. and P. Veeraiah, Charnockitization of basic enclaves in Alaskites and granites of Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh, Geoviews, IX, 365–378, 1981.
Srinagesh, D. and S. S. Rai, Teleseismic tomographic evidence for contrasting crust and upper mantle in South Indian Archean terrains, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 97, 27–41, 1996.
Storey, B. C., The role of mantle plumes in continental breakup: case histories from Gondwanaland, Nature, 377, 301–308, 1995.
Subrahmanyam, C. and R. K. Verma, Densities and magnetic susceptibilities of Precambrian rocks of different metamorphic grade (Southern Indian Shield), J. Geophys., 49, 101–107, 1981.
Thakur, N. K. and N. Nagarajan, Geotectonic remobilisation of the lower crustal segment of southern peninsular India, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 73, 153–162, 1992.
About this article
Cite this article
Agrawal, P.K., Pandey, O.P. Unusual lithospheric structure and evolutionary pattern of the cratonic segments of the South Indian shield. Earth Planet Sp 56, 139–150 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03353398
- Indian shield
- Eastern Dharwar craton
- velocity structure
- tectonothermal events