International Journal of Geosciences, 2011, 2, 610-630
doi:10.4236/ijg.2011.24063 Published Online November 2011 (
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
A Unified Model of Neoar c hean-Pro terozoic Convergence
and Rifting of Indian Cratons: Geophysical Constraints
Dinesh Chandra Mishra
National Geophysical Research Institute (CSIR), Hyderabad, India
Received May 6, 2011; revised August 2, 2011; accepted September 18, 2011
Neoarchean and Proterozoic sutures and collision zones are identified in the Indian Peninsular Shield based
on high seismic velocity; gravity highs and high conductivity in the upper crust due to thrusting while sub-
ducted side are demarcated based on geophysical signatures of crustal thickening and back arc type basins.
Some of them appear to form triple junctions. The Bouguer anomaly map of the south Indian shield when
transformed to apparent density map through harmonic inversion, provided high density linear zones coin-
ciding with the shear zone and the transition zone-the Moyar Bhavani Shear Zone (MBSZ) between the
Eastern Dharwar Craton (EDC) and the Western Dharwar Craton (WDC) and the Dharwar cratons and the
Southern Granulite Terrain (SGT), respectively. It is supported by high seismic velocity and high conductiv-
ity suggesting them to be caused by high grade granulite rocks related to Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic su-
tures and collision zones. These investigations also suggest thick crust (~40 - 50 km) under the WDC and the
SGT forming crustal root of 50 - 52 km in the south western part and thin crust of 31 - 32 km under the EDC
indicating direction of convergence and subduction as E-W and N-S between the EDC and the WDC and
Dharwar cratons and the SGT, respectively. It gave rise to contemporary lower crustal granulite rocks in the
northern part of the SGT and Cauvery shear zone (CSZ) as collision related central core complex of various
deep seated intrusive rocks of Paleo-Mesoproterozoic period. The second case belonging to Meso-protero-
zoic period is related to the collision of the Bundelkhand craton and the Bhandara-Bastar craton (BBC) and
the Dharwar craton (DC) in Central India along the Satpura Mobile Belt (SMB) and the BBC and the DC
along the Godavari Proterozoic Belt due to N-S and NE-SW convergences, respectively. This process has
given rise to lower crustal granulite rocks of high density, high velocity and high conductivity along the
SMB and the GPB. An upper mantle conductor delineated south of the western part of the SMB under Dec-
can Volcanic Province and a regional gravity gradient almost sub parallel to it indicate an interface with flu-
ids separating rocks of different densities that appears to demarcate the trace of the Proterozoic subduction
and suture related to the SMB collision zone during Mesoproterozoic period. High reflectivity of the lower
crust along seismic profiles across the SMB indicate an extensional phase prior to this convergence. The
SMB is connected to the Aravalli Delhi Mobile Belt (ADMB) in the western part that is another collision
zone of Meso-proterozoic period, forming an arcuate shaped collision zone between the Bundelkhand craton
and Rajasthan block with E-W convergence. There are indications of a prior phase of convergence during
Paleo-Proterozoic period followed by rifting during Paleo-Meso-proterozoic period (~1.9 - 1.6 Ga) along the
SMB, the ADMB and the GPB that gave rise to large scale contemporary intrusive in these sections. The
contemporary Mahakoshal-Bijawar and Pakhal group of rocks of Paleo Proterozoic period (~1.9 - 1.6 Ga)
were deposited over the rifted platform of the Bundelkhand craton along the SMB and cratons along the GPB,
respectively during the extensional phase as suggested above based on high reflectivity of the lower crust. It
is followed by deposition of the Vindhyan sediments of Meso-Neoproterozoic period (~1.6 - 0.7 Ga) along
the SMB and the ADMB as foreland basins during Meso-Neoproterozoic convergence. Simultaneous N-S
and E-W directed convergences in the two cases, viz., the SMB and the ADMB that are connected forming
an arcuate shaped collision zone suggest NE-SW directed primary stress direction similar to the GPB that is
supported by NW-SE oriented large lineaments in Bundelkhand craton and Peninsular shield. The Eastern
Ghat Mobile Belt (EGMB) also shows signatures of E-W or NE-SW directed Mesoproterozoic (~1.5 - 1.0 Ga)
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
convergence with East Antarctica. This convergence was preceded by Paleo-Mesoproterozoic rifting (~1.9 -
1.6 Ga) that gave rise to contemporary activities of the EGMB and large scale volcanic activity that formed
several basins west of it.
Keywords: Indian Shield, Convergence, Collision, Triple Junction and Gravity Anomaly
1. Introduction
In a Precambrian terrain, if crustal blocks are separated
by boundary acro ss which there is a marked difference in
physical properties, stratigraphy or tectonic history or a
discontinuity in structural trends, such boundaries repre-
sent a suture, especially if it is highly sheared. Similarly,
there are several geophysical signatures as described
below based on the present day collisio n zones that he lps
in delineating suture zones in Archean-Proterozoic ter-
1) Dipping reflectors from either sides in the crust
whose junction if projected on surface coincide with a
sheared zone and high velocity lower crustal rocks may
occur along it.
2) Dipping reflectors in the upper mantle away from
the suture showing the trace of the subducted rocks.
3) Paired gravity anomalies of high over Proterozoic
terrain representing high density lower crustal rocks and
low over the Archean terrain related to sediments of the
foreland basins [1,2]. Another low may be observed on
the other side of the collision zone [3] due to crustal
thickening producing a gravity high flanked by gravity
lows on either side.
4) Magnetotelluric surveys invariably provide blocks
of different conductivities on either sides of the Ar-
chean-Proterozoic suture. It also provides high conduc-
tivity at shallow depth on th e obducted side (mobile belts)
and along the suture that are related to thrusted blocks
and fluids. It may also provide inclined interfaces of high
conductivity in the upper mantle indicating fluid con-
taining rocks such as serpentines as is shown in Figure
A tectonic map of the Indian Peninsular Shield is
given in Figure 1 in order to show various fold (mobile)
belts like the Aravalli-Delhi (ADMB), the Satpura (SMB)
and the Eastern Ghat (EGMB) Mobile Belts with respect
to various cratons. This Figure is also used to show the
direction of convergence (arrows) between various cra-
tons in one diagram during Precambrian times based on
the present study. Detailed geological maps of the vari-
ous sections of the Indian Shield are given while dis-
cussing their geophysical signatures. Mobile belts, shear
zones and the transition zones are significant for Ar-
chean-Proterozoic tectonics that are discussed below.
This paper briefly refers and describes the geophysical
data and available models that are supplemented with
new data and computed models to provide a comprehen-
sive picture of Neoarchean-Proterzoic convergence and
rifting of the Indian cratons.
2. Bouguer Anomaly Map
Bouguer anomaly of the Indian Shield is shown in Fig-
ure 2 [4,5] that shows a large wavelength gravity low
over the South Indian shield south of the SMB. However,
there are several small wave length lows and highs oc-
curring within this large wave length gravity low that are
related to sub surface density anomalies. Gravity highs
and lows are marked as H1-H22 and L1-L22. Same
numbers of highs and lows does not mean that all form
paired gravity anomalies that are marked in this manner
to locate them easily. However, some of them fall in this
category that has been highlighted in discussions below.
The gravity highs, H1, H2 and H3 and H5 are related to
the shear zone between the EDC and the WDC, eastern
part of the transition zone (Palar shear) between the EDC
and the SGT and th e tran sitio n zon e - the MBSZ between
the WDC and the SGT, respectively (Figure 3) that are
discussed below.
Similarly gravity highs, H8, H9 and H10 and H11 in
Central India represent Satpura Mobile Belt (SMB) and
Godavari Proterozoic Belt (GPB), respectively (Figures
2 and 3) that separate Bundelkhand craton towards the
north and Bhandara-Bastar craton towards the SE and
Dharwar craton towards the SW. They form pairs with
gravity lows L8, L9 and L11 that are examined below for
their geodynamics significance. The gravity highs H19-
H21 are related to the Eastern Ghat Mob ile Belt (EGMB)
that extend towards the south (H18) and the north (H22).
In these cases, the gravity highs are observed over the
younger Proterozoic fold belts and lows over the adjoin-
ing older Archean cratons that have been termed as
paired gravity anomalies indicating Proterozoic collision
zones as described above and therefore these anomalies
along with other geophysical data from these regions are
examined below in detail.
3. South Indian Shield
A generalized geological map of the South Indian shield
is given in Figure 3 that shows primarily the EDC,
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Figure 1. A simplified tectonic map of India showing various cratons and fold (mobile) belts (after ONGC, 1968) with arrows
indicating direction of convergence during Proterozoic convergence based on the present study. The SW-NE directed arrow in
the north indicates Cenozoic convergence across the Himalayan Fold Belt while NE-SW arrows indicate Neoarchean-Neopro-
terozoic convergence b etween various cratons that is opp o site to the p res ent day con v ergence direction and is con s istent both in
the North and South Indian Shields. There was an intermediate rifting phase during Paleo-Mesoproterozoic period when con-
temporary basins formed over the rifted platform of the Indian cratons. BC-Bhandara Craton; GPB- Godavari Proterozoic
Belt. Sangole-Partur is a profile so u t h of the SMB in Deccan Synclise (~75˚E, 17.5˚N; ~75˚E, 20˚N) shown in Figure 8(b).
the WDC and the SGT and associated shear and transi-
tion zones between them. The residual gravity anomaly
of the South Indian Shield is obtained by removing re-
gional field using zero free air regional anomalies [6]
where Bouguer anomaly would correspond to regional
field due to isostasy. This residual anomaly can be con-
verted to apparent density map through Fourier trans-
formation that would represent bulk density distribution
in the region [7,8]. The apparent density map (Figure 4)
highlights the high density rocks; H1, H2 and H3 along
the shear zone and the eastern part of the transition zone
(Palar shear) and the MBSZ between the EDC and the
WDC and the EDC and the WDC and the SGT, respec-
tively. They are marked as H1, H2 and H3 corresp ond ing
to the gravity hig hs, H1, H2 and H3 as given in Figure 2.
This map defines a triple junction at Bangaluru with high
density sections making almost 120˚ from each other
indicating a stable triple jun ction (Mckenzie and Morgan,
1969). These sections of high density rocks are investi-
gated below for Proterozoic collision tectonics.
3.1. Dharwar Cratons
As shown in Figure 3 (GSI, 1993), this part is composed
of the Eastern and the Western Dharwar Cratons (EDC
and WDC). This section is characterized by several grav-
ity anomalies. However gravity highs and lows, H1, L1
and H6-H7 and L6-L7 ( Figure 2) are loc ated c lose to the
shear zone between the EDC and the WDC and are
therefore significant in regard to their interaction. The
gravity anomalies, H17 and L17 (Figure 2) are related to
Cuddapah basin (Figure 3) that are dealt below in a
separate section under the EGMB. For the first time the
geoid data of the Indian Peninsular shield (Figure 5) is
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Figure 2. Bouguer anomaly map of south Indian Shield with various gravity highs and lows related to the present study are
marked as H1-H22 and L1-L22. White and black numbered anomalies are related to Neoarchean and Proterozoic collision
and triple junctions in South Indian and Central Indian Shields and Eastern Ghat fold (mobile) belt respectively. Equal
numbers of gravity highs and lows numbered here do not mean that all of them form paired gravity anomalies that has been
done here for convenience of reference. However, some of them belong to that category that has been discussed in the text.
integrated with the gravity anomalies and used to infer
tectonics of this region.
1) The shear zone (SZ, Figure 3) between the EDC
and the WDC separates the two parts of the Dharwar
craton which show differences of rock types and struc-
tures and therefore considered as a suture of Neoarchean
-Paleoproterozoic period. The EDC is characterized
mainly of Archean gneisses with lin ear K-granite pluton s
and schist belts such as Closepet granite of Neoarchean
times [2.6 - 2.5 Ga, 9]. Various granitic batholiths of
Neoarchean to Paleoproterozoic period of the WDC and
the EDC might have formed as subduction related mag-
matism between the Western and the Eastern Dharwar
cratons across the shear zone between them [10]. Chad-
wick et al. [11] have considered an oblique convergence
from the east to the west across this shear zone. The po-
sition of shear zone has been a matter of considerable
debate among geologists that whether it runs along the
eastern margin of the Chitradurga schist belt as shown in
Figure 3 or along the eastern or the western margins of
the Closepet granite. In fact, it may be a zone between
the Chitradurga Schist Belt and the Closepet granite as
appatent from the gravity highs, H1.
2) The WDC is characterized primarily by schist belts
(Figure 3) of Meso-Neoarchean period [2.9 - 2.7 G a, 12].
There are some small exposures of older schist belts of
Mesoarchean time (3.4 - 3.0 Ga) in the southern part of
the WDC under parts of the gravity low, L1 (Figure 2).
Schist belts primarily consist of mafic and ultramafic
rocks with metasediments and granite intrusives along
margins such as in case of the Chitradurga schist belt.
They usually show gravity highs and lows related to ma-
fic and felsic intrusives and crustal thickening [13].
3) Receiver function analysis has provided crustal
thickness of 40 - 55 km and 31 - 32 km under the south-
ern part of the WDC and the EDC, respectively [14].
Based on Poissions ratio, they have also suggested a fel-
sic crust under the EDC and mafic crust under the WDC.
Gupta et al. [15] based on receiver function analysis pro-
vided crustal thickness increasing consistently from 35
km under Deccan Volcanic Province SE of Mumbai to
50 - 55 km under the southern part of the WDC and
south of the transition zone—Moyar Shear under the
Nilgiri hills (SW part of the SGT; Figure 3), that reduces
to 43 - 45 km in the southern and the eastern parts of the
SGT south of the PCSZ.
4) The gravity highs, H1 (Figure 2) spreads from east
of the Chitradurga sch ist belt to the Closepet granite and
extends from the transition zone towards the south
around Bangalore to th e N-W up to Pan aj i (H6) along th e
west coast of India following structural trends of geo-
logical features like Closepet granite, Chitradurga schist
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Figure 3. Simplified geological map of south Indian Shield
showing the Dharwar craton and the Southern Granulite
Terrain (SGT), which is to the south of the Transition zone
(TZ). Various abbreviations are as follows: AKSZ—Achan-
kovil shear zone, AS—Attur Shear, BIL—Biligirirangan
Hills, CB—Cuddapah basin, CCB—Cauvery coastal basin,
CO—Coorg Hills, CPH—Cardoman-Palani Hills, CSZ—
Cauvery shear zones, EDC—Eastern Dharwar Craton,
EGFB—Eastern Ghat Fold (mobile) Belt, GS—Gangavalli
Shear zone, KKB—Kerala Khondalite Block, KSB—Kolar
Schist Belt, MS—Mettur Shear, MBSZ—Moyar Bhavani
shear zone, NB—Northern Block, NIL—Nilgiri Hills, PCSZ—
Palghat Cauvery shear zone, PG—Palghat gap, SB—South-
ern Block, S Z—shear zone between EDC an d WDC, WDC—
Western Dhar—war Craton, PS—Palar Shear . Various geo-
logical formations and symbols are as follows: 1—Creta-
ceous—recent sediments, 2—Cretaceous—Eocene Deccan
basalts, 3—Proterozoic metasediments, 4—alkaline com-
plexes and Carbonatites, 5—Granites (Un differentiated), 6
—Charnockite s-Granulites/K ho ndalites, 7—Archaean green-
stone belts, 8—Gneisses, 9—Major lineaments/Shear zones
and 10—Epicenter of some earthquakes associated with
shear zones in the SGT. It also shows Profiles I across Cud-
dapah basin and Dharwar craton and Profiles II and III
across the SGT. KU—Kuppam, B—Bommidi, Ko—Kolat-
tur, PA—Palani Modified after GSI, 1993).
belt etc.
5) Another data set that is important to investigate sub-
surface density in homogeneity is the geoid data that is
primarily suitable for deep seated structures. This whole
region is covered by Indian Ocean geoid low (Figure 5,
Figure 4. Apparent density map of the South Indian shield
obtained from the deconvolution of the residual field that
shows three zones of high de nsity H1, H2 and H3 coinciding
with the shear zone between the WDC and the EDC, east-
ern part of the transition zone (Palar shear) and the MBSZ,
respectively. They join ar ound Bangaluru similar to gravity
highs (H1-H3) in Figure 2 defining a triple junction. that
is related to deep seated density distribu tion. However, it
shows some relative gravity highs, H1-H3 that is quite
significant as they are observed with in the regional low.
The geoid high, H1 is most pronounced and coincides
with the shear zone between the Western and the Eastern
Dharwar cratons and is quite wide spread that indicates
its deep seated nature. The geoid highs, H2 coincide with
the SMB and high density rocks north of it and the
ADMB in the NW part as described in the next section.
6) Modeling of gravity data across the shear zone (H1)
along a seismic section Kavali-Udipi (Profile I, Figure
3), suggested that the gravity high, H1 are caused by
high density rocks (2.78 g/cm3) at shallow depth (5 - 6
km) in the upper crust [10] that is also characterized by
high velocity [16] and high conductivity [17]. It coin-
cides with the shear zone as thrust extending up to the
Closepet granite towards the east. These high density
rocks associated with the west verging thrust may repre-
sent thrusted lower crustal rocks in this section. It also
provided cr ustal th ick ening up to 41 km west of th e shear
zone from 32 - 34 km east of it.
7) High density rocks along the shear zone related to
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Figure 5. Part of the Indian Ocean geoid low over the Indian Shield in meters showing a regional low and some relative geoid
highs, H1-H3. The geoid high, H1 coincides with the shear zone between the WDC and the EDC. The geoid highs, H2 coincide
with the SMB and high density roc ks nor t h of it and the ADMB in the we stern part.
the gravity highs, H1 extend east wards up to the Close-
pet granite coinciding with a thrust that along with the
thin crust (~32 km) in this section and crustal thickening
west of it suggest that the shear zone represents a suture
and a thrust. Schist belts of the WDC with bimodal vol-
canics of Neoarchean time formed in marginal basins
due to E-W convergence and subduction across the shear
3.2. Southern Granulite Terrain
It is defined by gravity anomalies, H2-H5 and L2-L5
(Figures 2 and 3) that are discussed below. The gravity
anomalies, H18 and L18 also occur in this section that is
dealt in a separate section on the EGMB. Figure 3 also
shows Profile II & III across the eastern and the western
part of the SGT and geophysical data along them are
described below for plausible collision tectonics.
1) The terrain south of the Eastern and the Western
Dharwar cratons separated by the transition zone is
known as the SGT (Figure 3). It is largely occupied by
lower crustal granulite rocks and several deep seated
intrusives of Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic period [2.55
Ga; 18]. It is also characterized by several shear zones
and thrusts such as Moyar Bhavani shear zone (MBSZ)
and Palghat Cauvery shear zone (PCSZ; Figure 3).
These two major shear zones enclose the linear Cauvery
shear zone (CSZ) where rocks of different ages mostly
from Paleoproterozoic to Neoarchean periods are re-
ported. This section is also known as Palghat gap as it
represents a geomorphological low land that is affected
by recent tectonic activity causing rifting [19]. The ter-
rain south of the CSZ is also characterized by Pan Afri-
can event of Neoproterozoic-Cambrian times [0.55 Ga;
2) The important gravity anomalies in this section are
H2 - H5 and L2 - L5 (Figure 2). The gravity highs and
lows, H2 and L2 are E-W oriented linear gravity anoma-
lies that are associated with the eastern part of the transi-
tion zone (Palar shear) and separates the EDC and the
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
SGT of different rock types and therefore significant for
collision tectonics. Similarly, the grav ity highs and lows,
H3, H5 and L3 in the western part are sub parallel to
each other and related to the NE-SW oriented MBSZ that
separates the WDC and the SGT and is therefore likely
to be related to collision tectonics. It is interesting to note
that the gravity highs, H2 in the eastern part extends
from transition zone northwards for almost 100 km indi-
cating that in case this gravity high is attributed to high
density thrusted lower crustal/ upper mantle rocks, this
part of the transition zone has acted like a thru st. In fact,
the transition zone in this section is slightly modified
based on the southern gradient of the gravity highs, H2.
It is supported from the geological observ ation that rock s
east of the Kolar schist belt (KSB, Figure 3) that coin-
cides with the gravity highs, H2 is derived from Mg rich
andesites from upper mantle while rocks towards the
west of this schist belt is reworked crust [20]. This indi-
cates that the differences in rock types on either side of
the Kolar schist belt can be attributed to the effect of
thrusting from the SGT on the eastern side while the
western side is the reworked crust of the EDC.
3) Multidisciplinary geophysical investigations in the
SGT along Profile II [Figure 3; 21,22] suggested crustal
thickening of about 45 km under the SGT that reduces to
about 38 km under the CSZ. Based on the airborne mag-
netic data Mishra et al. [19,22] suggested that the MBSZ
and PCSZ join with the Mettur and Gangavalli shears,
respectively towards the eas t as shown in Figure 3. Mod-
eling of the airborne magnetic and gravity data along Pro-
file II (Figure 3) across the CSZ suggested opposite dip-
ping shear zones on either sides of it and the CSZ is asso-
ciated with high density, high susceptibility rocks that
suggest the CSZ as the central core complex of this colli-
sion with mafic/ultramafic rocks in the central part. The
gravity highs, H2 Figure 2 coinciding with the eastern
part of the transition zone from Banglore to Chennai
(Palar shear, Figure 3) is modeled due to high density
intrusive in the upper crust that extends north of the transi-
tion zone and may represent a N-verging thrust related to
this collision with N-S convergence. Simultaneous mod-
eling of airborne magnetic and gravity data from this sec-
tion for the first time provided the density and susceptibil-
ity characteristics of rocks along the transition zone (H2,
Figure 2) that suggest mafic granulite rocks.
4) The gravity highs, H3 representing the western part
of the transition zone-Moyar shear separate the WDC
towards the north and the SGT towards the south. It is
flanked by two gr avity lows L1 towards th e north an d L3
towards the south separated by the transition zone and
the Moyar shear, respectively. A gravity profile 75.5˚E
(Profile III, Figure 3) across the gravity high, H3 and
lows, L1 and L3 (Figure 2) is given in Figure 6(a) that
shows a gravity high (H3) in the central part associated
with exposed lower crustal granulite rocks of Coorg hill
and crustal thickening under the WDC (L1) and the SGT
(L3) separated by the transition zone and the Moyar
shear, respectively. The gravity high, H3 associated with
the lower crustal rocks of Coorg hill is modeled due to
high density (2.82 g/cm3) south dipping body that may
represent thrusted blocks along the north verging Moyar
shear and gravity lows, L1 and L3 are cused by crustal
thickening of 52 and 50 km, respectively. A higher den-
sity for the lower part of the crust is adopted in the pre-
sent case as receiver function analysis suggested a mafic
crust under the WDC [14]. The linear gravity highs, H5
(Figure 2) extending from the west coast up to south of
Banglore related to Bhavani shear zone is almost sub
parallel to gravity highs and lows, H3 and L3 related to
Moyar shear and appear to form a set of anomalies that
defines the MBSZ as suture and thrust in the western part
between the WDC and the SGT with N-S convergence
and subduction similar to those across the eastern part of
the transition zone be tween the EDC and the SGT.
5) The above convergence and subduction gave rise to
thick crust (~50 km) under the southern part of the WDC
and adjoining western part of the SGT that may represent
the crustal root where maximum crustal thickness in the
entire Indian shield is observed. Based on the thermal,
petrologic and geological studies in Slave and Churchill
provinces of the Canadian Shield Schmidberger et al. [24]
have suggested that roots under Archean provinces were
formed at convergent margins which indicate that these
sections of the WDC and the SGT are part of convergent
margins as described above. It has been even suggested
that cratonic roots were formed due to vertical stacking of
the subducted plate that soon become strong to resist de-
formation and thereby cont rol the tectonics of that region.
6) Simultaneous E-W and N-S directed convergence
across the shear zone and the transition zone, respec-
tively suggest that primary stress direction might be NE-
SW with these components that would cause oblique
convergence across these sutures which has been sug-
gested based on geological signatures in case of the shear
zone between the WDC and the EDC [11]. Dominant
NW-SE structural lineaments such as Koyna and Kur-
duwadi lineaments (L6 and L7, Figure 2) in the Indian
shield also suppor t NE-SW oriented pr imary stress direc-
tion during Neoarchean-Paleoproteroz oi c p e ri o d.
7) Figure 6(b) is a schematic representation of con-
vergence an d subdu ction across th e MBSZ and th e PCSZ
during Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic period that explains
the contemporary granulite rocks in the northern part. It
shows the subduction of the Dharwar craton across the
MBSZ and Madurai block across the PCSZ that have
given rise to high grade rocks of these sections and the
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Figure 6. (a) A gravity profile along 75.5˚E across the WDC and the SGT (Profile III, Figure 3) with gravity lows, L1 and L3
and intervening gravity high, H3 located along this profile (Figure 2). The computed model shows crustal thickening up to 50
- 52 km for the gravity lows and thrusted high density (2.82 g/cm3) lower crustal rocks of Coorg hills (CG) for the gravity
high. TZ = Transition zone and MS = Moyar shear. (b) A schematic cross section of convergence between the Dharwar craton
and the Madurai block across the CSZ between the MBSZ and the PCSZ where two cratons have collided to form Central
Core Complex of this collision zone where several mafic/ultramafic and other deep seated intrusives are found shown as
flowers. Horizontal arrows (N-S and S-N) indicate conver gence and subduc tion while inclined arrows indicate thr usting.
CSZ as central core complex with mafic/ultramafic in-
trusives of this collision. This is related to Neoarchean-
Paleoproterozoic convergence, north of the PCSZ while
Neoproterozoic-Cambrian ages, south of the PCSZ have
been attributed to a subsequent Pacific type subduction
from the north to the south across the PCSZ [25] that
have been related to the final amalgamation of Gond-
wana Supercontinent [26]. This implies repeated cycles
of convergence in this section. Raval and Veeraswamay
[27] have suggested that the shear zones of the SGT,
MBSZ and PCSZ join with those from Dharwar craton,
Kurduwadi lineament and Godavari graben to further
divide the EDC in two parts.
4. Central Indian Cratons and Mobile Belts
This region in central part of India consists of Bundelk-
hand craton towards the north of the SMB and Bhandara
(BC)-Bastar and Singhbhum cratons towards the SE and
Dharwar craton towards the SW separated by Godavari-
Proterozoic Belt (GPB) along the Godavari graben (Fig-
ure 1). Figure 7 [28] provides detailed geological and
tectonics of central and western India related to the SMB
and the ADMB that are discussed below in detail. This
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
map also shows Profiles I-V across the ADMB and the
SMB and geophysical data along them are described
below in detail for Proterozoic collision tectonics.
4.1 Satpura M obi l e Bel t and Adjoinin g Cratons
It is defined by gravity anomalies, H8-H16 and L8-L16
(Figure 2) that are discussed below.
1) The SMB is characterized by rocks of Paleo-Meso-
proterozoic period (Figure 7, Table 1). Table 1 summa-
rizes details of some significant geological events of the
SMB and adjoining cratons and mobile belts (ADMB)
related to convergence and collision tectonics for a com-
parative study. The central part of the SMB showing
high grade granulite rocks and high grade Sausar meta-
sediments of Mesoproterozoic period along the Central
Indian Shear (CIS) and Bhandara-Bastar craton south of
the SMB showing contemporary island arc type mag-
matic rocks in back arc basin type set up was suggested
to represent a N-S directed collision zo ne and subdu ction
[30]. In the western part it is joined to the Aravalli Delhi
Mobile Belt (ADMB, Figures 7) that has also been con-
sidered as an E-W directed Proterozoic collision zone
between the Bundelkhand craton towards the east and
Rajasthan block towards the west based on geological
signatures [31] which gave rise to Aravalli and Delhi
orogenies (Table 1). The section west of the ADMB is
occupied by the Erinpura granite and the Malani Rhyo-
lites of Neoproterozoic time (8.0 - 7.5 Ga, Table 1) that
represent subduction related magmatism of that time.
2) The SMB shows linear gravity highs, H8-H9 and
lows, L8-L9 south of it (Figure 2) that formed paired
gravity anomalies requiring detail examination for colli-
sion tectonics. Modeling of gravity anomalies along Pro-
file II & III (Figure 7) suggested a high density body at a
depth of 8 - 10 km for the central gr avity highs related to
the SMB [13,31] coin ciding with a high con ductive bod y
(Sarma et al., 1996) that sugg ested lower crustal rocks at
Figure 7. Geological map of the North Indian Shield that includes the Satpura Mobile Belt (SMB), the Aravalli-Delhi Mobile
Belt (ADMB), and the adjoining cratons (GSI, 1993). The Central Indian Shear (CIS) is shown in the central part of the
southern margin of the SMB whose northern margin is the Narmada-Son lineament (NSL). The geotransects ‘Na-
gaur-Jhalawar’ (I) and ‘Mungwani-Rajnandgaon’ (II) across the ADMB and the SMB and zones of gravity ‘highs’ along
them are also shown. Three other profiles III-V across the SMB have been investigated and compar ed with the results along
the geotransects (I-II). BC—Bundelkhand craton, GB—Ganga Basin, RB—rajasthan Block, SC—Singhbhum craton, VB—
Vindhyan basin.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
Table 1. Some important tectonic events and intrusive of the ADMB and the SMB and adjoining cratons (Figure 1).
Age ADMB [31 and references there in] SMB: Central Part of SMB and Bastar
Craton [30,70 and references there in]SMB: Eastern Part and Singhbhum
Craton [58 and references there in]
Post Delhi magmatism: Einpura g rnite
and Malani volcanics: 0 .8 - 0.7 Ga
Back arc basins
with bimodal volcanics: 0.9 - 0.8 Ga
End of Delhi orogeny: 1.0 Ga
Deformation and th rusting
of Delhi rocks: 1.1 Ga
Delhi rifting and Delhi supergroup
of rocks: 1.5 Ga
End of Sausar orogeny: 1.0 Ga
Southern granulite rocks: 1.0Ga
Mangikota volcanics: 1.0 Ga
Kairagarh volcanics: 1.4 Ga
Sausar meta sediments
and gneisses/migmatite complex 1.5 Ga
End of Singhbhum orogeny: 0.9 - 1.0 Ga
Southern granulite belt in CGGC
Gangpur granite intrusive 1.0 Ga
Mayurbhanj granite 1.2 Ga
Chankradarpur granite-gneiss 1.5 - 1.1 Ga
Anorthosite gabbro 1.5 Ga
End of Aravalli orogeny: 1.6 Ga
Granite of north Delhi fold belt
and base metal mineralization: 1.7 - 1.6 Ga
Darwal and Amet granite: 1 .9 - 1.7 Ga
Sandmata lower crustal granulite rocks,
~1.9 Ga
Aravalli rifting and supergroup of rocks:
~1.9 Ga
Berach granite: 2.5 Ga
End of Mahakosha l orogeny: 1.6 Ga
Dormation of Mahakoshal rocks
and northern granulite rocks: 1.6 Ga
Mahakoshal group of rocks: ~2.0 Ga
Sakoli and Nandagon bimodal volcanics
of back arc type: 2.2 Ga
Dongargarh and Malanjkh and K-grani te,
Island ar type : 2.3 Ga
Granite intrusions: 2.4 - 1.6 Ga
Ultramafic intrusions northern granulite belt
in CGGC 1.6 - 1.5 Ga
Kohan group 1.6 - 1.5 Ga
Dalma-Chandeli-Dhanjori volcanics. 1.7 Ga
Dhaibhum stage
Chaibasa stage
Archean Untala and Gingla granite: 2.9 Ga
Banded gneissic complex: 3.5 Ga Unclassified granite and gneisses
(Amgaon, Sukma etc.): 3.0 - 3.5 Ga Singhbhum gr an it e (2.95 Ga)
Older metamorphic group (3.3 Ga)
shallow depth in this section and crustal thickening
southwards under the Bhandara craton. Gravity modeling
also suggested that the Central Indian Shear (CIS) as a
north verging thrust that also depicted dipping reflectors
from two sides [33] and high conductivity indicating a
suture and a thrust. The low density and low velocity
rocks were inferred below the Moho south of the SMB
under Bhandara craton that was attributed to remanent of
subducting rocks in this section [31]. A high reflective
lower crust in seismic profiles acro ss the SMB also indi-
cate an extensional phase that may be related to the ac-
tivity prior to this compressional phase as envisaged in 5)
when Mahakoschal-Bijawar group of rocks were depos-
3) North verging thrusts, along the CIS and Sausar
orogeny with granu lite rocks of Meso-protero zoic period
along the CIS and contemporary island arc type magma-
tism in back arc type settings of Bhandara-Bastar craton
(Table 1) suggest collision of Bundelkhand and Bhan-
dara-Bastar cratons in the central part of the SMB with
convergence and subduction from the north to the south
during this period with the CIS representing a Mesopro-
terozoic suture.
4) The gravity highs, H8 of the central part of the
SMB extends to the eastern part of the SMB comprising
Chhota Nagpur Granite Gneiss Complex (CGGC) as
gravity highs, H15 and H16 related to the northern and
the southern belts of high density granulite rocks (Table
1). This table provid es a goo d correspondence in the rock
types occurring in the CGGC and Singbhum craton south
of it with those from the central part of the SMB and
Bastar craton south of it. Based on the rock types of the
Singhbhum craton being similar to the island arc type,
Banerjee (1982) had suggested collision and subduction
during Mesoproterozoic period from the north to the
south in this part of the SMB that was also supported
from geophysical data from this section indicating the
extension of Satpura orogeny towards the east [34].
5) The gravity highs, H12 and H13 (Figure 2) encir-
cling the Bundelkhand craton partially coincide with the
exposed Bija war group of rocks ( Figure 7) consisting of
metasediments and mafic/ultramafic intrusive of Paleo-
proterozoic period (~1.9 Ga) and that along with the
contemporary Mahakoshal Group of rocks (H15) with
dominant mafic and ultra mafic components at southern
end of the Vindhyan basin suggest that these rocks de-
posited in rift basins on rifted platform of the Bundelk-
hand craton [35]. These group of rocks presently occupy
horst as seen in seismic section [36] that were uplifted
and disturbed during the Mesoproterozoic convergence
as described above. Subsequently, the Lower Vindhyan
group of rocks [Semri Series, 1.7 Ga; 37] was deposited
on the rifted platform with Paleoproterozoic group of
rocks as basement and the Upper Vindhyan group of
rocks [1.1 - 0.7 Ga, 38] was deposited during Meso-Neo-
Proterozoic convergence along the SMB in a foreland
basin that explains a long hiatus between the Lower and
the Upper Vindhyan Groups [39,40].
6) Based on low-medium grade supracrustal belts,
gneisses, granitoids and granulite belts with several
crustal scales shear zones and tectonothermal events;
Roy and Prasad [41] sug gested continent-contin ent colli-
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
sion at ~1.5 Ga and S-N subduction in this section. In
fact all these features are typical characteristics of mobile
belts world over. Naganjaneyulu and Santosh [42] based
on directions of reflectors in seismic profiles, suggested
both ways subduction, viz. S-N and N-S. They have also
attributed high conductive body in the upper crust to
Deccan trap activity though such bodies are characteris-
tics of mobile belts world over and are attributed to up-
per mantle/lower crustal rocks thrusted during orogeny
and presence of fluids with them [31]. However, to un-
derstand the direction of convergence and subduction,
data from the adjoining terrane of basins and cratons play
an important role. In present case, Mahakoshal and
Vindhyan gr oups of rocks towards the north of the SMB
represent typical rifted platform and foreland basin de-
posits, respectively (Section 7.6.2). Similarly, the Bhan-
dara craton towards the south with larger crustal thick-
ness and contemporary rift basins with bimodal volcanics
perpendicular to the SMB suggest that subduction was
from N-S across the SMB. However, some limited sub-
duction also from the south to the north can not be ruled
out as two ways subduction is quite common during con-
tinent- continen t collision.
7) Older granites of Paleoproterozoic period of Bhan-
dara and Singhbhum cratons such as Dongargarh and
Malanjkhand granite and Singhbhum granite plutons and
Sakoli and Nandgaon volcanics (Table 1) suggest that
there might have been a convergence also during Neoar-
chean-Paleoproterozoic period in this section. Margin of
the Malanjkhand granite (~2.5 Ga) close to the CIS is
mylonitized [43] that also indicate a convergence during
this period.
8) The western part of the SMB is covered by Deccan
trap and there are no exposures of Archean-Proterozoic
rocks in this section to examine for plausible collision
tectonics of that time. Geophysical data has been found
to be useful in such situations. A gravity profile V (Fig-
ure 7) from Thuadara-Sindad across the western part of
the SMB is modeled constrained fro m the seismic profile
[44] to check on the sub surface structures related to col-
lision tectonics in this part of the SMB. This gravity pro-
file (Figure 8(a)) shows a high over the SMB (H8, Fig-
ure 2) and low (L8) south of it that are modeled due to a
high density body in the upper crust under the SMB
separated by Tapti lineament. This crustal structure is
almost similar to that described above along profile II &
III (Figure 7) with Tapti lineament representing the su-
ture as the CIS in the central part of the SMB. Conduc-
tivity distribution [45] along the same profile also pro-
vided blocks of different conductivity on either side of
the Tapti lineament with high conductivity in the upper
crust under the SMB similar to those along profile II
(Figure 7) across central part of the SMB. These obser-
vations indicate that the western part of the SMB also
represents a Proterozoic collision zon e similar to its cen-
tral part as discussed above signifying that the entire
SMB was involved in Proterozoic collision.
9) Another important data set related to Proteozoic
collision and subduction across the western part of the
SMB is the conductivity distribution south of it under the
Deccan Volcanic Province (Figure 7) along a profile
from Partur to Sangole (Figure 1). This conductivity
profile [Figure 8(b), 46] shows an upper mantle con-
ductor that dips consistently south wards almost at 45˚
reaching to shallow depth of 8 - 10 km in the upper crust
near Partur, close to the SMB. High conductive body
almost at same depth of 8 - 10 km has been delineated
under the SMB along profiles II and V as reported above.
A gravity profile from the western part of the SMB,
north of Partur to south of Sangole adopted from Figure
2 is also given in Figure 8(b) that shows a regional grav -
ity gradient increasing consistently towards the SMB in
the same manner as the upper mantle conductor indicat-
ing an interface separating rocks of different densities.
These two characteristics of high conductivity and high
density for the upper mantle conductor suggest that it
may represent rocks with fluids such as serpentine indi-
cating a paleo-subduction and suture zone during the
Proterozoic collision alon g this part of the SMB that also
confirms N- S convergence in this section.
4.2. The Aravalli Delhi Mobile Belt and Its
Interaction with the SMB
1) Gravity highs, H14 (Figure 3) is part of the gravity
highs due to the ADMB that extend from SW to NE up
to Himalaya [31]. The geological details of the ADMB is
shown in Figure 7 and summarized in Ta ble 1. Th e geo-
physical anomalies and crustal model across the ADMB
[31] suggest an E-W convergence during Meso-Neo-
proterozoic period with east verging Delhi thrust and
exposed ophiolite rocks along the western margin as a
suture which gave rise to Delhi orogeny and contempo-
rary magmatic rocks, Erinpura granite and Malani vol-
canics (~800 Ma) west of it [31]. Back arc basins with
bimodal volcanics [47] and hydro thermally altered ba-
saltic rocks [~760 Ma, 48] west of the ADMB further
confirm E-W convergence during this period. Aravalli
orogeny and variou s felsic intrusives of Paleopro terozoic
period (Table 1) also suggest a convergence phase dur-
ing this period with the Jahazpur thrust coinciding with
the Great Boundary fault at the surface (Figure 7) as a
suture. It was followed by a rifting phase during Paleo-
Mesoproterozoic period as in case of the SMB described
above that gave rise to Aravalli Group of Rocks in the
ADMB [31; Table 1]. This rifting phase also gave rise to
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
Figure 8. (a) Gravity profile across the western part of the SMB from Thuadara to Sindad (V, Figure 7) showing gravity high
over the SMB due to high density intrusive in the upper crust and low south of it separated by Tapti River (TR; lineament).
NR-Narmada River. (b) Two dimensional geoelectric model based on MT profile Sangola-Partur (Figure 1, Patr o and Sarma,
2009) showing an upper mantle conductor in lithospheric mantle with decreasing depth north wards towards the Proterozoic
Satpura Mobile Belt. The second profile below is the Bouguer anomaly from SW of Sangole to NE of Partur that shows a
regional gravity high increasing up to the western part of the SMB. Gravity highs, H1 and H2 are residual gravity highs, the
latter (H2) being related to the SMB.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
rocks contemporary to Bijawar and Mahakoshal Group
of Rocks along the ADMB east of the Great Boundary
Fault that formed the basement of the Vindhyan basin in
this section over the rifted margins of the Bundelkhand
craton [35].
2) The gravity highs due to the SMB, H8 and H9 and
ADMB, H14 form curvilinear mobile belt between the
Bundelkhand craton in the central part and Rajasthan
block towards the west and Dharwar-Bhandara-Singhb-
hum cratons towards the south (Figures 1 and 7) with E-
W convergence across the ADMB and N-S convergence
across the SMB during Paleo-Mesoproterozoic periods
with a rifting phase in between.
3) Contemporary N-S convergence of Bundelkhand
craton across the SMB and its E-W convergence across
the ADMB suggest primary stress direction as NE-SW
with E-W and N-S components. It is supported by NW-
SE oriented large lineaments and shear zones in the Bun-
delkhand and the Dharwar cratons.
4.3. Godavari Proterozoic Belt (GPB) and
Proterozoic Triple Junction
It is defined by the gravity anomalies, H10-H11 and
L10-L11 (Figures 1 and 2) that are discussed below.
1) This section is characterized by Gondwana (Per-
mian-Triassic) sediments in the central part [49] flanked
by Paleo-Neoproterozoic metasediments of Pakhal-Sul-
lavai basins [50] that are exposed on either sides of the
Godavari Gondwana graben (Figure 1). Figure 2 shows
a central gravity low, L10 related to Gondwana sedi-
ments flanked by gravity highs, H10 and H11 that coin-
cides with the Paleo and Neoproterozoic metasediments
of the Pakhal and Sullivai Group of Rocks along the
shoulders. North of the exposed Proterozoic rocks is the
Bhandara-Bastar craton that consists of several basins of
Paleo-Mesoproterozoic period. The contact of Bhandara-
Bastar craton with the Proterozoic metasediments of Go-
davari Proterozoic Basin consists of Bhopalpatnam
granulite belt of 1.6 Ga. The southern part of the Goda-
vari Proterozoic basin is in contact with the Dharwar
craton that is characterized by Karimnagar granulite belt
of 2.4 - 2.2 Ga at its contact [51]. However, the latter
(southern part) also shows a thermal event of 1.6 Ga that
has been reported from Karimnagar dykes in the vicinity
of the granulite belt [52] which is contemporary to Bho-
palpatnam granulite belt.
2) A gravity profile (Figure 9(a)) across Chintalpudi
sub basin in the southern part of the Godavari basin (H10,
H11 and L10, Figure 2) is modeled constrained from
seismic section [53] limited to the cen tral part of the pro-
file (L10) that shows a high density layer in the upper
crust (5 - 6 km) in the central part popping up along the
shoulders supported from high seismic velocity in the
central part. This may represent the thrusted lower crustal
rocks that are exposed in some parts as Karimnagar and
Bhopalpatnam granulite belt described above.
3) Airborne magnetic anomaly of large amplitude
(~550 nT, Figure 9(b)) at a height of about 9000’ (~2.7
km a.m.s.l) along southern margin of the Proterozoic
Pakhal group of rocks suggest mafic intrusive of high
susceptibility 3.0 × 10–3 emu at a depth of about 5.3 km
below m.s.l that is almost at same depth where high den-
sity and high velocity rocks have been reported above
and may represent thrusted mafic intrusive in the base-
ment. The remanant magnetization of this body, Inclina-
tion = –40˚ and declination = 300˚ required to match the
observed and the computed field is typical of Paleo-
Mesoproterozoic rocks [Vindhyan sediments, 54] in this
region indicating the period of collision and thrusting. It
is also similar to those reported for dykes of the same
period in this region [52].
4) Gravity highs over Proterozoic terrain caused by
high density bodies in the upper crust and exposed gra-
nulite lower crustal rocks (Bhopalpatnam granulite belt)
and gravity lows over Archean craton (L11, Figure 2)
suggest collision tectonics of Mesoproterozoic period
between Bhandara-Bastar and Dharwar cratons that gave
rise to this mobile belt with Bhopalpatnam granulite belt
of this period and Sullavai metasediments of Meso-
Neoproterozoic period along the GPB as r elated foreland
basin. This convergence was approximately NE-SW di-
rection, perpendicular to th e strike of the GPB that migh t
be related to convergence along the SMB towards north
of it as discussed above. Prior to it, there might be an-
other phase of convergence and rifting during Paleopro-
terozoic period similar to that along the SMB that gave
rise to Karimnagar granulite belt of 2.2 - 2.4 Ga. Large
scale mafic/ultramafic intrusive associated with the Pak-
hal Group of rocks delineated from the airborne mag-
netic anomaly as described above were responsible for
rifting prior to Mesoproterozoic convergence when Pak-
hal Group of rocks was deposited on the rifted platform
of the adjoining cratons.
5) The two branches of the SMB viz the Western and
the Central parts and the GPB (H8, H9 and H10 and H11,
Figure 2) separating Bundelkhand craton towards the
north and Bhandara-Bastar craton towards the SE and
Dharwar craton towards the SW form a triple junctio n of
Meso-Neoproterozoic period around Nagpur.
5. Eastern Ghat Mobile Belt and Cuddapah
They are defined by the gravity anomalies, H16-H20 and
L16-L20 (Figures 1 and 2) that are discussed below
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
Figure 9. (a) An E-W gravity profile across the Chintalpudi sub basin and adjoining sections (H10 & H11 & L10, Figure 2).
The crustal model and its computed field for comparison with the observed field are also shown. It shows high density (2.85
g/cm3) layer at a shallow depth (5 - 6 km) in the central part that props up along the shoulders related to highs. Thickness of
Gondwana sediments in this sub basin is 3 - 3.5 km. Moho is constr ained from seismic section. (b) Airborne magnetic anom-
aly flown at 2.7 km a.m.s.l over southern part of Proterozoic Godavari basin along Hydeabad –Puri Profile observed over the
Pakhal super group of rocks exposed along the SW margin of this basin and modeled source as an intrusive suggesting a
depth of 5.3 km below sur face for a susc eptibility of 3.0 × 10 –3 emu and remanance magnetisation: inclination = –40˚, declina-
tion = 300˚.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
1) High grade charnockite and khondalite rocks of the
EGMB and intrusives have provided wide range of dates
from 1.6 - 1.0 Ga [55] that are exposed from south of
Bhubaneshwar to north of Chennai (Nellore). However,
the most prominent metamorphic event in the EGMB is
reported at 1.0 - 1.1 Ga [56]. The northern part of the
EGMB consists of gneisses and migmatites with high
grade granulite rocks of Meso-proterozoic period (1.6 -
1.5 Ga) [57], which are similar to those reported from the
CGGC [58]. In fact, Dobmeier et al. [59] have provided
dates of about 1.6 Ga of magma emplacement and low
grade metamorphic overprint of 0.5 Ga related to Pan
African event in the EGMB. Vijaya Kumar and Leelan-
andam [60] have identified two stages of rifting and
convergence in southern part of the EGMB, east of the
Cuddapah basin du ri n g Paleo pr ot erozoic period (2.0 - 1.6
Ga) and Mesoproterozoic period (1.55 Ga) to Grenvil-
lian/Pan African collision (1.0/0.5 Ga). The metasedi-
ments of Cuddapah basin (Figure 1) abetting the EGMB
in the southern part primarily consists of Cuddapah sper-
group of rocks of Paleoproterozoic Period [~1.9 - 1.6 Ga,
61] in the eastern and the western parts of the basin
(Horizontal lines, Figure 3) and Kurnool supergroup of
rocks of Neoproterozoic period in the central part (bro-
ken lines, Figure 3) that is considered mostly undis-
turbed and free from any volcanic activity. The eastern
part of the basin, known as Nallamalai sub basin along
the EGMB is highly disturbed with several foldings and
faultings and consists of metasediments with several
acidic intrusives and lamprophyre dykes that are consid-
ered younger than the rocks belonging to the same su-
pergroup of rocks in the western part. The western mar-
gin of Cuddapah basin is characterized by large mafic
sills in Cuddapah supergroup of rocks that have been
dated as 1885.4 3.1. Ma [62] indicating that sediments
might be even older than this. They have also reported
similar dates for some dykes from southern part of the
Bastar craton along the northern part of the EGMB
(Figure 1) suggesting the existence of a large igneous
province at that time in this section. Cuddapah basin is
also characterized by occurrences of several minerals
such as base metals, barytes etc. including uranium min-
eralization along the western margi n of the ba si n.
2) The EGMB is largely characterized by gravity
highs along the east coast of India (H19-H21, Figure 3)
which extends from south of Bhubaneshwar up to Chen-
nai. These gravity highs are caused by high density rocks
of 2.8 - 3.0 g/cm3 (Figure 10(b)). It is interesting to ob-
serve that these highs, H19-H21 are accompanied by
gravity low L19-L21 towards the west forming paired
gravity anomalies that are significant for Proterozoic
collision zone. The linear grav ity highs, H19-H21 extend
southwards up to southern end along the east coast of
India (H18) and northwards up to Himalaya (H22) along
eastern margin of the CGGC where it interacts with the
SMB (H15 and H16).
3) The gravity highs and lows, H17 and L17 west of
the EGMB (Figure 2) in the southern part are related to
the Cuddapah basin (Figure 3) occupied by metasedi-
ments and mafic intrusives of Mesoproterozoic period.
The gravity high, H17 is located where large mafic flows
and sills are exposed while the gravity lows surrounding
it coincide with felsic intrusives. The air borne total in-
tensity map of the western part of Cuddapah basin re-
corded at a terrain clearance of about 500’ (~152 m) with
a profile spacing of 1 km [63,64] provided a complex
picture of magnetic anomalies due to sev eral mafic intru-
sives in the western part of Cuddapah basin as dykes and
sills and metamorphosed sediments. The magnetic data
west of Cuddapah basin was further complicated due to
exposed gneisses and various intrusives that included
both mafic dykes and granite batholiths. This data set
was reprocessed by correcting for the earth’s geomag-
netic reference field (IGRF) and filtered for the high
frequency components due to surface/shallow bodies that
provided a total intensity magnetic anomaly map of the
western part of the Cuddapah basin (Figure 10(a)). This
map broadly shows a magnetic low (L1) along the S-W
margin of the Cuddapah basin with a magnetic high to-
wards north (H1) and south (H2) of it. The amplitude and
extent of these magnetic anomalies suggest a large igne-
ous province under the sediments that has given rise to
this set of magnetic anomalies, which might be responsi-
ble for evolution of this basin. Size of the magnetic
anomaly indicates that it may represent a large mafic
intrusive in the basement of the western part of this ba-
4) The airborne magnetic and gravity data along the
eastern part of the deep seismic sounding profile I
(Kavali-Udipi, Figure 3 ) across Cuddapah basin (Figure
10(b)) are simultaneously modeled constraining it from
the seismic section [16]. This profile shows gravity highs,
H1 and H2 (H17 and H19, Figure 2) related to the west-
ern part of the cuddapah basin and the EGMB and inter-
vening low, L1 (L19, Figure 3). The computed crustal
model suggests a thrust T1 of high density under the
EGMB and crustal thickening along with under plating
(3.05 g/cc) under the eastern part of the Cuddapah basin,
west of the EGMB. Thrusting due to this convergence is
also supported from high conductivity in the crust re-
ported from the eastern part of the basin [65]. It also
suggests a large mafic intrusive (MI) in the basement of
high susceptibility (0.002 emu) and remnant magnetiza-
tion of inclination 6˚ and declination = 119˚ that is simi-
lar to direction of magnetization of sills of Paleo-Meso-
proterozoic period exposed in this region [66]. This is an
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
Figure 10. (a) Airborne total intensity magnetic anomaly map of S-W part of Cuddapah basin flown at 500’ (~150 m) with
flight line spacing of 1 km. The IGRF field is subtracted from the observed field. It shows a magnetic high (H1) in the north-
ern part and a low (L1) in the southern part along the S-W margins of the Cuddapah basin. Another high (H2) is observed
just outside the SW margin of the Cuddapah basin that coincides with Peninsular gneisses and felsic intrusives. A NE-SW
magnetic lineament, ML extends from the Indian shield out side the basin to the southern part of the basin. (b) Bouguer
anomaly and airborne total intensity along eastern part of profile I across the EGMB and the Cuddapah basin (Figure 3).
The modeled crustal section and the computed fields ar e also shown with their phy sical properties mentioned separate ly for
each body. K is susceptibility in c.g.s. units. R.M. is remanent magnetization in A/m and I and D represent the inclination and
declination of remanent magnetization. Density is shown in g/cc. MI is mafic intrusive in the basement similar to a lopolith
that was responsible for the formation of the western part of the basin.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
asymmetrical mafic lopolith with its thickest part being
along the western margin of the basin that might have
acted as a conduit. Large mafic body in the western part
(~100 × 100 sq·km) along with large mafic sills and
flows and under plated crust indicates a large igneous
province that may represent plume related magmatism.
This province has b een extending even to the Bastar cra-
ton, north of the EGMB (Figure 2) as suggested by
French et al. [62]. Simultaneous modeling of the gravity
and magnetic fields across the Cuddapah basin for the
first time defined the large mafic intrusive (MI, Figure
10(b)) as the basement and underplated crust that are
typically found under volcanic provinces.
5) West verging thrust under the EGMB with pre-
dominant Mesoproterozoic ages (1.5 - 1.0 Ga) formed
due to collision of the Indian continent and East Antarc-
tica along with crustal thickening west of the EGMB as
suggested above from gravity modeling and seismic
studies suggest east to west convergence during this pe-
riod that is also supported from contemporary direction
of convergence in North Indian Shield across the ADMB
(Figure 1). This is related to Grenvillian agglomeration
where eastern margin of India was juxtaposed with the
East Antarctic shield indicating the collision of the two.
This convergence also might be NE-SW similar to the
previous cases as suggested by similar oriented (NE-SW)
shear zones with large strike slip displacement due to
shearing stress [67].
7) Large scale mafic intrusive of Cuddapah basin that
is spread over a wide area indicate contemporary plume
activity at ~1.9 Ga that was responsible for rifting of
cratons in this section. The contemporary Cuddapah Su-
pergroup of rocks (Nallamalai subbasin) was deposited
during this rifting phase that are highly disturbed and
deformed due to subsequent convergence as described
above. During th is co nvergence, the Kurn ool Sup ergroup
of rocks of Neoproterozoic per iod was deposited th at are
6. Conclusions: Convergence and Rifting
Models of Indian Cratons
The suggested sequences of events for the formation of
the Indian Shield due to interaction of various cratons
based on the study as described above are summarized
1) Archean cratons converged during Neoarchean-Pa-
leoproterozoic period across the shear zone-Closepet
granite between the EDC and the WDC and across the
transition zone and the MBSZ between the EDC, the
WDC, and the SGT, respectively (Figure 3). This con-
vergence and su bduction was primarily E-W between the
EDC and the WDC giving rise to schist belts with bi-
modal volcanic of the WDC and N-S between the WDC
and the EDC and the SGT that gave rise to high grade
rocks of the SGT due to thrusting. This indicates primary
stress direction during this period as NE-SW causing
oblique convergence with N-S and E-W components
(Figure 1) that is supported from the predominant NW-
SE oriented structural trends of the Indian Peninsular
shield. It has given rise to thick crust (>50 km) under the
southern part of the WDC and the adjoining western part
of the SGT forming crustal root in this section of the
Indian shield that are associated with the convergent
margins world over as discussed above.
2) The shear zone-Closepet granite, the eastern part of
the transition zone (Palar shear) and the MBSZ towards
the west are characterized by gravity highs that join
around present day Banglore to form a triple junction of
this time.
3) During Meso-Neoproterozoic period, NE-SW di-
rected convergence and collision of Bundelkhand craton
and Dharwar-Bhandara-Singhbhum cratons in Central
India towards south and Rajasthan block towards the
west occurred across an arcuate shaped collision zone
formed by the SMB and the ADMB. Its N-S and E-W
components gave rise to contemporary felsic intrusives
similar to island arcs of Bhandara-Bastar and Singhbhum
cratons towards south of the SMB (Table 1) and felsic
intrusive and back arc basins across the ADMB (Table
1), respectively. The contemporary Upper Vindhyan
sediments (~1.1 Ga) along the SMB and the ADMB
formed as foreland basin during this convergence. There
was a convergence across the GPB almost same time and
direction as in case of the SMB and the ADMB (NE-SW)
between the Bhandara-Bastar craton and the Dharwar
craton towards the west that might be related to latter and
gave rise to Bhopalpatnam granulite belt (~1.6 Ga). The
gravity anomalies of the Central and the Western parts of
the SMB join with those of the GPB to form a triple
4) The above event is preceded by rifting in Central
India during Paleo-Mesoproterozoic period (~1.9 - 1.6
Ga) that gave rise to Mahakoshal and Bijawar Super-
group of rocks with large scale mafic intrusive and
Lower Vindhyan sediments (~1.7 Ga) along the SMB
and equivalent rocks and contemporary Aravalli Super-
group of rocks along the ADMB over the rifted margins
of the Bundelkhand craton (Figure 7, Table 1). The
contemporary magmatic rocks of this region may be as-
sociated with this rifting phase. Simultaneously, there
was a rifting along the GPB providing rifted platform for
deposit of Pakhal group of rocks of Paleoproterozoic
period. These groups of rocks are associated with
large-scale mafic/ultramafic intrusive that is typical of
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. IJG
5) Simultaneous to Mesoproterozoic convergence
across the ADMB and the SMB, there was a NE-SW to
E-W convergence across the EGMB between the East
Antarctica and the Indian shield (Figure 11) that gave
rise to contemporary thrusted rocks of the EGMB and
other deep seated intrusive that formed the Grenvillian
agglomeration of Indian cratons and East Antarctica.
NE-SW oriented shear zones and strike slip motion along
them indicates that this convergence also might have
been in NE-SW direction as in the previous cases.
6) Prior to this Mesoproterozoic convergence across
the EGMB, there was a rifting phase during Paleo-
Mesoproterozoic period (~1.9 - 1.5 Ga) that gave rise to
large scale magmatism of Cuddapah basin and adjoining
Bastar craton and Kondapalli layered compl ex (~1.7 Ga)
of the EGMB that apparently was responsible for the
break up of Dharwa r craton providing rifted platform for
the formation of the several Proterozoic basins along the
EGMB including the Cuddapah Super group of rocks.
This break up might be related to the break up of Super-
continent Columbia agglomeration in this section due to
a plume that existed almost at the same time [68]. In fact,
the same plume might have been wide spread that rifted
the Indian cratons along the SMB, the ADMB and the
GPB during the same period which also show contem-
porary mafic/ultra mafic intrusive and contemporary
basins were formed on rifted platform of cratons along
these mobile belts as discussed above. Dates provided
here for different periods are at the best approximate, as
most of the rocks are not dated so far. More over, this is
a general scheme and there may be some variations in
various stages of these processes in different sections.
7) There are also indications of a Paleoproterozoic
convergence across the EGMB, the SMB, the ADMB
and the GPB almost in the same direction (NE-SW) prior
to the above rifting (>1.9 Ga). Such a process across the
EGMB would explain the formation of the Nellore and
other schist belts of the EDC and related mafic and felsic
Figure 11. A schematic section of the Mesoproterozoic colli-
sion between the Indian cratons and East Antarctica along
the EGMB that gave rise to this mobile belt and associated
intrusive that gave rise to Cuddapah basin. E-W arrows
indicate direction of convergence while opposite arrows
indicate direction of thrusting. CB—Cuddapah Basin,
EG—Eastern Ghat Mobile Belt, NC—Napier Complex.
intrusive. It will also explains the Karimnagar granulite
belt (2.4 - 2.2 Ga) across the GPB and various felsic in-
trusive such as Dongargarh, Malanjkhand and Singhb-
hum granite plutons across the SMB and Berach granite
across the ADMB (Table 1). However, signatures of this
convergence are not very clear.
8) In general the present study suggests repeated for-
mation of agglomeration of Indian cratons and East Ant-
arctica and their break up during Paleoproterozoic period
(1.9 - 1.6 Ga) due to a plume followed by a NE-SW
convergence during Meso-Neoproterozoic period. This
convergence might have driven the other Indian cratons
to converge and collide as their movements during this
period were in same direction (Figure 1). In general,
such repeated formations of Supercontinents and their
break up during Neoarchean-Proterozoic period (2.7 - 1.0
Ga) have been suggeste d by Ernst [69] .
9) Signatures of platform deposits and foreland basins
are absent from Archean collision zones indicating that
they may represent the differences between the Protero-
zoic and the Archean convergence and collision. The
other difference lies in their elevation. Proterozoic fold
belts are still observed as high lands while those of Ar-
chean period are mostly peneplained plateaus with small
variations in elevation and amalgamated to the adjoining
7. Acknowledgements
Author is thankful to The Director, N.G.R.I and CSIR for
Emeritus Scientist Scheme and to the Ministry of Earth
Sciences for the project, MoES/PO(Seismo)/23(646)/
2007. Thanks are also due to Mr M. Ravi Kumar for his
help towards preparation of the manuscript.
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