Three dimensional lithospheric structure of the western continental margin of India constrained from gravity modelling: implication for tectonic evolution

Arora, K., Tiwari, V. M., Singh, B., Mishra, D. C. and Grevemeyer, Ingo (2012) Three dimensional lithospheric structure of the western continental margin of India constrained from gravity modelling: implication for tectonic evolution Geophysical Journal International, 190 (1). pp. 131-150. DOI 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05506.x.

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Abstract

This paper describes a 3-D lithospheric density model of the Western Continental Margin of India (WCMI) based on forward modelling of gravity data derived from satellite altimetry over the ocean and surface measurements on the Indian peninsula. The model covers the north-eastern Arabian Sea and the western part of the Indian Peninsula and incorporates constraints from a wide variety of geophysical and geological information. Salient features of the density model include: (1) the Moho depth varying from 13 km below the oceanic crust to 46 km below the continental interior; (2) the lithosphere–asthenosphere boundary (LAB) located at depths between 70 km in the southwestern corner (under oceanic crust) and about 165 km below the continental region; (3) thickening of the crust under the Chagos–Laccadive and Laxmi Ridges and (4) a revised definition of the continent–ocean boundary.

The 3-D density structure of the region enables us to propose an evolutionary model of the WCMI that revisits earlier views of passive rifting. The first stage of continental-scale rifting of Madagascar from India at about 90 Ma is marked by relatively small amounts of magmatism. A second episode of rifting and large-scale magmatism was possibly initiated around 70 Ma with the opening of the Gop Rift. Subsequently at around 68 Ma, the drifting away of the Seychelles and formation of the Laxmi Ridge was a consequence of the down-faulting of the northern margin. During this second episode of rifting, the northern part of the WCMI witnessed massive volcanism attributed to interaction with the Reunion hotspot at around 65 Ma. Subsequent stretching of the transitional crust between about 65 and 62 Ma formed the Laxmi Basin, the southward extension of the failed Gop Rift. As the interaction between plume and lithosphere continued, the Chagos–Laccadive Ridge was emplaced on the edge of the nascent oceanic crust/rifted continental margin in the south as the Indian Plate was moving northwards.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Gravity anomalies and Earth structure; Continental margins: divergent; Dynamics:gravity and tectonics; Hotspots; Indian Ocean
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05506.x
ISSN: 0956-540X
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2012 11:10
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2016 12:20
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/15006

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