The earliest decipherable record of the Dharwar tectonic province is left in the 3.3 Ga old gneissic pebbles in some conglomerates of the Dharwar Group, in addition to the 3.3–3.4 Ga old gneisses in some areas. A sialic crust as the basement for Dharwar sedimentation is also indicated by the presence of quartz schists and quartzites throughout the Dharwar succession. Clean quartzites and orthoquartzite-carbonate association in the lower part of the Dharwar sequence point to relatively stable platform and shelf conditions. This is succeeded by sedimentation in a rapidly subsiding trough as indicated by the turbidite-volcanic rock association. Although conglomerates in some places point to an erosional surface at the contact between the gneisses and the Dharwar supracrustal rocks, extensive remobilization of the basement during the deformation of the cover rocks has largely blurred this interface. This has also resulted in accordant style and sequence of structures in the basement and cover rocks in a major part of the Dharwar tectonic province. Isoclinal folds with attendant axial planar schistosity, coaxial open folds, followed in turn by non-coaxial upright folds on axial planes striking nearly N-S, are decipherable both in the “basement” gneisses and the schistose cover rocks. The imprint of this sequence of superposed deformation is registered in some of the charnockitic terranes also, particularly in the Biligirirangan Hills, Shivasamudram and Arakalgud areas. The Closepet Granite, with alignment of feldspar megacrysts parallel to the axial planes of the latest folds in the adjacent schistose rocks, together with discrete veins of Closepet Granite affinity emplaced parallel to the axial planes of late folds in the Peninsular Gneiss enclaves, suggest that this granite is late-tectonic with reference to the last deformation in the Dharwar tectonic province.
Enclaves of tonalite and migmatized amphibolite a few metres across, with a fabric athwart to and overprinted by the earliest structures traceable in the supracrustal rocks as well as in a major part of the Peninsular Gneiss, point to at least one deformation, an episode of migmatization and one metamorphic event preceding the first folding in the Dharwar sequence. This record of pre-Dharwar deformation and metamorphism is corroborated also by the pebbles of gneisses and schists in the conglomerates of the Dharwar Group.
Volcanic rocks within the Dharwar succession as well as some of the components of the Peninsular Gneiss give ages of about 3.0 Ga. A still younger age of about 2.6 Ga is recorded in some volcanic rocks of the Dharwar sequence, a part of the Peninsular Gneiss, Closepet Granite and some charnockites. These, together with the 3.3 Ga old gneisses and 3.4 Ga old ages of zircons in some charnockites, furnish evidence for three major thermal events during the 700 million year history of the Archaean Dharwar tectonic province.
Volume 131, 2022
Continuous Article Publishing mode
Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode