Geophysical signatures of fluids in a reactivated Precambrian collisional suture in central India

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The Central India Tectonic Zone (CITZ) marks the trace of a major suture zone along which the south Indian and the north Indian continental blocks were assembled through subduction-accretion-collision tectonics in the Mesoproterozoic. The CITZ also witnessed the major, plume-related, late Cretaceous Deccan volcanic activity, covering substantial parts of the region with continental flood basalts and associated magmatic provinces. A number of major fault zones dissect the region, some of which are seismically active. Here we present results from gravity modeling along five regional profiles in the CITZ, and combine these results with magnetotelluric (MT) modeling results to explain the crustal architecture. The models show a resistive (more than 2000 ·m) and a normal density (2.70 g/cm3) upper crust suggesting dominant tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) composition. There is a marked correlation between both high-density (2.95 g/cm3) and low-density (2.65 g/cm3) regions with high conductive zones (<80 ·m) in the deep crust. We infer the presence of an interconnected grain boundary network of fluids or fluid-hosted structures, where the conductors are associated with gravity lows. Based on the conductive nature, we propose that the lower crustal rocks are fluid reservoirs, where the fluids occur as trapped phase within minerals, fluid-filled porosity, or as fluid-rich structural conduits. We envisage that substantial volume of fluids were transferred from mantle into the lower crust through the younger plume-related Deccan volcanism, as well as the reactivation, fracturing and expulsion of fluids transported to depth during the Mesoproterozoic subduction tectonics. Migration of the fluids into brittle fault zones such as the Narmada North Fault and the Narmada South Fault resulted in generating high pore pressures and weakening of the faults, as reflected in the seismicity. This inference is also supported by the presence of broad gravity lows near these faults, as well as the low velocity in the lower crust beneath regions of recent major earthquakes within the CITZ. © 2011, China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Naganjaneyulu, K., & Santosh, M. (2011). Geophysical signatures of fluids in a reactivated Precambrian collisional suture in central India. Geoscience Frontiers, 2(3), 289–301.

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