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Cenozoic Stratigraphy of India

A S Maurya

Cenozoic of India

Cenozoic of Shimla Palaeogene of Shimla Neogene of Himalaya Indus belt Deccan Traps Assam Arakan Andaman Nicobar Nw peninsula Cauvery and Godavary Basin

Palaeogene of Shimla

Paleogene rocks are exposed in Shimla Hills of Lesser Himalaya

NW-SE trending exposures bounded between Krol Thrust in North and MBT in the South

The youngest formation of Palaeogene of Shimla known as Subathu Fm comprising definite marine fossils

Shimla Paleogene

Kasauli

Formation

Dagshai

Formation

Subathu

Formation

Shimla Paleogene Kasauli Formation Dagshai Formation Subathu Formation

Subathu Formation

The Paleocene–Middle Eocene marine transgression commenced with the unconformable deposition of the Subathu Formation on the Sub-Himalaya and Proterozoic–Early Paleozoic Lesser Himalayan domains. Carbonaceous and coaly shale is overlain by dull green-gray fossiliferous splintery shale and siltstone, thin fossiliferous limestone, and sandstone intercalations. These rocks were deposited in euxinic and evaporitic lagoons and shallow tidal sea (Singh, 1978) between Middle Paleocene and lower Middle Eocene (Mathur, 1978). Felsic volcanics, chert, serpentine schist clasts, and high-Al and Cr spinel reflect a mixed source from the proto-Himalayan Indus Tsangpo Suture Zone (Najman and Garzanti, 2000; Bhatia and Bhargava, 2006). It is supported by ϵ Nd values of ~-9 and 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios of ~0.710–0.715, which

plot between fields

of

the

Indus Tsangpo Suture Zone and

Tethyan sedimentary cover (Najman et al., 2000). The sequence grades into variegated purple siltstone-shale alternations, grouped as the Passage bed sequence (Bhatia, 2000) and, in turn, by dull white sandstone; the latter was deposited as coastal barrier in a high-energy environment (Srivastava and Casshyap

, 1983). Furthermore, the age of ti

t

d

t

b

t

61 5

the

d

Subathus 43 7

M

has

been

L

k h

i

Dagshai Formation

During Late Eocene-Oligocene times (c. 40–30 Ma), clastic sediment input increased and red lenticular sandstones, thinner planar-bedded sandstones, mudstones and caliche of the 350 m thick Dagshai Formation were deposited. A semi-arid, meandering fluvial/floodplain setting is envisaged, with thick channelised and overbank sands. Palaeocurrent evidence indicates a general SE progradation. The detailed field mapping shows that where the entire Subathu and Dagshai Formations are intercalated, this is the result of post-depositional tectonics, rather than primary intertonguing as described in some previous reports. The relative abundance of sandstones greatly increased in upper Dagshai times, continuing into the Early-Mid-Miocene (c. 30–10 Ma)

Dagshai

The precise contact relationship between the Subathu and Dagshai Formations remains controversial since the transition was postulated from marine to fluvial environment (Bhatia, 2000 and references therein; Bhatia and Bhargava, 2006). On the contrary,

an unconformity was proposed between these two sequences with a hiatus ranging from ~10 m.y. to <3 m.y. (Najman et al., 1993, 2004; Bera et al., 2008). The age of the Dagshais is debatable: (1)

35.5

±

6.7

Ma

for the whole formation (Najman et al., 1994) or

between <28 and 25

Ma from

40 Ar/ 39 Ar detrital micas (Najman

et al., 1997), or (2) base younger than 31 ± 2 Ma from detrital-

zircon FT ages (Najman et al., 2004) or 35.5 Ma magneto- stratigraphically (Lakshami et al., 2000).

The overlying unfossiliferous Dagshai Formation in Shimla Hills or the Dharamsala Formation of Punjab (Raiverman et al., 1983) is red-colored siltstone and mudstone in the lower parts, while sandstone and caliche appear in the upper parts. The arenites contain schistose clasts, zircon, garnet, tourmaline, and epidote, which were derived from medium-grade metamorphosed Himalayan rocks (Sinha, 1970; Najman et al., 1997; Najman et al., 2004). ϵ Nd and 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values range between ~-12 to –18

d ~0 755 t

0 775

ti

l

(N

t

l

2000)

It i

lik

l

Kasauli Formation

The Kasauli Fm 2100-250 m thick was laid down after Dagshai. This formation is characterized by lenticular and planar-bedded grey sandstones, rich in plant material including occasional logs (but without caliche) interbedded with minor grey mudstones. A rapidly prograding, braided fluvial environment is proposed, with the petrography (e.g. presence of garnets) suggesting erosion and derivation from deeper levels of the Himalayan mountain belt to the north. The climate had by then changed from semi-arid to humid, possibly in response to the onset of the monsoon, initiated when the mountain belt had reached sufficient height to interfere with the jet-stream.

The overlying Kasauli Formation contains gray- green sandstone and alternating siltstone- mudstone with litharenites having a larger percentage of metamorphic fragments than the Subathu and Dagshai Formations, and isotopic character like the latter. The formation appears to have been deposited in a migratory braided river system under humid climate conditions (Singh, 1978; Najman et al., 1993). A Lower Miocene age (23–16 Ma) of this formation has been determined from floral and mammal remains (Arya et al., 2004). 40 Ar/ 39 Ar white mica ages constrain its age at <28 and 22 Ma (Najman et al., 1997), while no meaningful age can be deciphered from the detrital-zircon FT data (cf. Najman et al., 2004). As an equivalent of the Dharamsala Group, the magnetostratigraphic age of the uppermost Kasauli is either 13 Ma (White et al 2002) or

Neogene of Himalaya

Knows as Siwalik Supergroup Belongs to Molasse Facies

Sub-Himalayan Neogene Foreland Basin The outermost and southernmost Cenozoic foreland basin has accumulated ~10 km of

Sub-Himalayan Neogene Foreland Basin

The outermost and southernmost Cenozoic foreland basin has accumulated ~10 km of predominantly fluvial sediments, which were derived from the rising Himalaya. The belt rises abruptly above the Indo-Gangetic Plains along the Main Frontal Thrust and, in turn, is overridden by the Lesser Himalayan belt along

the Main Boundary Thrust.

Age/Epoch

 

Formation

 

Lithology

 

Fossils

 

Late Pliocene to Pleistocene

Boulder Bed

 

Coarse Boulder

Equus, Elephas, Buffelus, Camelus

 
 

Pinjor Formation

Sandstone

 

Stegodon,

conglomerate

 

Elephas

 

Tatrot

 

Sandstone

 

Hyppophys,

 
Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos

Leptobos

Leptobos
Leptobos
Leptobos
 
  • Formation

 
  • conglomerate

 

Middle Miocene

Dhokpathan

 

Sandstone

Stegodon,

to Early Pliocene

 

Formation

 

shale, pebble at top

Mastodon

 
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
 
  • Massive

Massive
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,

Mastodon,

Mastodon, Hipparion,

Hipparion,

Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
Massive Mastodon, Hipparion,
 
  • Nagri

Formation

sandstone,

   
 

shales

Giraffoid

 

early-Middle

 

Chinji Formation

Nodular shale,

 

Tetrabelodon,

 

Miocene

   

400-800m

 

clay with

Giraffokery,

   

sandsstone

Listriodon

Kamlial Formation

(600-1000m)

Dark Sandstone, purple red shales

Hypoboops,

Tetrabelodon

The bulk of the Sub-Himalayan basin comprises >~6000-m- thick, coarsening-up Siwalik Group. The 1800-m-thick Lower Siwalik Subgroup of <13–11 Ma (White et al., 2001, 2002) contains highly indurated, fine to coarse, purple-gray sandstone and interbedded brown shale (Parkash et al., 1980). Low- to medium-grade metamorphosed Himalayan source rocks are indicated by the presence of phyllite clasts, and epidote, garnet, tourmaline, zircon, rutile, chlorite, and staurolite (Sinha , 1970; White et al., 2002). The Lower Siwalik sediments were deposited by south-flowing, highly sinuous meandering rivers in broad muddy flood plains (Singh, 1978; Parkash et al., 1980). The Middle Siwalik Subgroup, which is more than 2300 m thick, contains cross-bedded, medium to coarse sandstone, intercalated siltstone and shale, and was deposited between 11 and 4.5 Ma by major braided rivers with alluvial fan complexes. Coarsening-up graywacke beds have rock fragments ranging from 20% to 40%, with garnet, tourmaline, zircon, epidote, staurolite, zoisite, and kyanite (Fig. 3; Sinha, 1970). The Upper Siwalik Subgroup (~2300 m thick) of conglomerate, sandstone,

Geology of Assam

Geology of Assam

Assam

Assam

Bokabil Fm

Bokabil Fm

Dupi-Tila Grp Cont… ..

Dupi-Tila Grp Cont… .. • Assigned Mio-Plio age by lithogocically comparing with Irrawady Group of Shilong.

Assigned Mio-Plio age by lithogocically comparing with Irrawady Group of Shilong.

Deccan Geology

It all happened nearly 70 million years back. The mighty Himalayas were just beginning to come up, the great dinosaurs that ruled the earth were disappearing and the crust of the earth in the Western India was fractured. This was a remarkable event - large quantities of molten rock (Lava) were poured out from these fractures filling up valleys and covering the hills. The eruption continued intermittently with periods of

quiescence, building up a huge volcanic province

" ...

(West,

W.D.

1988)

The geological world identifies this volcanic province

either

as

the

"Deccan

Volcanic Province" (DVP) or

simply the "Deccan Traps" and recognizes it as one of

the Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) representing high magmatic fluxes involving large amount of thermal energy in short period of geological time. The term

“Deccan Trap” was coined by W.H. Sykes in 1833 and

it

is derived from a Sanskrit word Dakshin S

h

h

d

di h

d T

meaning

T

Map showing distribution of Deccan lavas and associated intrusive in the Western and Central India

Map showing distribution of Deccan lavas and associated intrusive in the Western and Central India

Coloumnar Joints , Near Kolhapur, Ajanta
Coloumnar Joints , Near Kolhapur, Ajanta

Coloumnar Joints , Near Kolhapur, Ajanta

Coloumnar Joints , Near Kolhapur, Ajanta
Coloumnar Joints , Near Kolhapur, Ajanta

Considerable advances have been made over the last two decades in understanding the regional lava stratigraphy of the Deccan flood basalt province of India . The province has a present-day area of 500,000 km 2 (e.g. Wadia, 1975) on land and a large additional area offshore of western India; an unknown, but probably large amount of the province’s original extent has been lost to erosion since the formation of the province ~65 million years ago (Ma). The Deccan lava pile is particularly well exposed in the southwestern part of the province in the Western Ghats range, and the stratigraphic framework of this region is now known quite well from extensive field, geochemical (including isotopic) and palaeomagnetic

work. .

On the basis of geochemical characteristics

and field markers, the Western Ghats sequence, with a

total stratigraphic thickness of 3,000 m, has been divided into three subgroups and eleven formations .

Fossil content

The

Deccan Traps are

famous for

the beds

of

fossils that have been found between layers of traps lava. Particularly well known species include the frog Oxyglossus pusillus (Owen) of the Eocene of India and the toothed frog Indobatrachus, an early lineage of modern frogs, which is now placed in the Australian family Myobatrachidae. The infratrappean and intertrappean beds also contain fossil freshwater mollusks, ostracods as well as some planktic foraminifera were also recovered which indicative of Marine intrusion.