• Volume 121, Issue 3

      June 2012,   pages  559-853

    • A new atlas of temperature and salinity for the North Indian Ocean

      A Chatterjee D Shankar S S C Shenoi G V Reddy G S Michael M Ravichandran V V Gopalkrishna E P Rama Rao T V S Udaya Bhaskar V N Sanjeevan

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      The most used temperature and salinity climatology for the world ocean, including the Indian Ocean, is the World Ocean Atlas (WOA) (Antonov et al 2006, 2010; Locarnini et al 2006, 2010) because of the vast amount of data used in its preparation. The WOA climatology does not, however, include all the available hydrographic data from the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), leading to the potential for improvement if the data from this region are included to prepare a new climatology. We use all the data that went into the preparation of the WOA (Antonov et al 2010; Locarnini et al 2010), but add considerable data from Indian sources, to prepare new annual, seasonal, and monthly climatologies of temperature and salinity for the Indian Ocean. The addition of data improves the climatology considerably in the Indian EEZ, the differences between the new North Indian Ocean Atlas (NIOA) and WOA being most significant in the Bay of Bengal, where the patchiness seen in WOA, an artifact of the sparsity of data, was eliminated in NIOA. The significance of the new climatology is that it presents a more stable climatological value for the temperature and salinity fields in the Indian EEZ.

    • How good are the simulations of tropical SST–rainfall relationship by IPCC AR4 atmospheric and coupled models?

      K Rajendran Ravi S Nanjundiah Sulochana Gadgil J Srinivasan

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      The failure of atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) forced by prescribed SST to simulate and predict the interannual variability of Indian/Asian monsoon has been widely attributed to their inability to reproduce the actual sea surface temperature (SST)–rainfall relationship in the warm Indo-Pacific oceans. This assessment is based on a comparison of the observed and simulated correlation between the rainfall and local SST. However, the observed SSTconvection/rainfall relationship is nonlinear and for this a linear measure such as the correlation is not an appropriate measure. We show that the SST–rainfall relationship simulated by atmospheric and coupled general circulation models in IPCC AR4 is nonlinear, as observed, and realistic over the tropical West Pacific (WPO) and the Indian Ocean (IO). The SST–rainfall pattern simulated by the coupled versions of these models is rather similar to that from the corresponding atmospheric one, except for a shift of the entire pattern to colder/warmer SSTs when there is a cold/warm bias in the coupled version.

    • Characteristic features of winter precipitation and its variability over northwest India

      R K Yadav K Rupa Kumar M Rajeevan

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      Northwestern parts of India receive considerable amount of precipitation during the winter months of December–March. Although, it is only about 15% of the annual precipitation, the precipitation is very important for rabi crops and to maintain the glaciers extend in the Himalaya, which melt and supply water to the rivers during other seasons. The precipitation is mainly associated with the sequence of synoptic systems known as ‘western disturbances’. The precipitation has considerable spatial and temporal variability, with maximum precipitation occurring particularly over northern hilly regions, with decreasing influence southwards. The spatially coherent winter precipitation series has been prepared for the largest possible area comprising nine meteorological subdivisions of northwest India, which constitute about 32% of the total area of the country, having similar precipitation characteristics. The precipitation series has been statistically analysed to understand its characteristics and variability. The seasonal precipitation series is found to be homogeneous, Gaussian (normal) distributed and free from persistence. The precipitation variability has increased during the most recent three decades with more excess and deficient years.

    • Chemical characterisation of meltwater draining from Gangotri Glacier, Garhwal Himalaya, India

      Virendra Bahadur Singh A L Ramanathan Jose George Pottakkal Parmanand Sharma Anurag Linda Mohd Farooq Azam C Chatterjee

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      A detailed analytical study of major cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+) and anions (SO$^{2−}_{4}$, HCO$^{−}_{3}$, Cl, NO$^{−}_{3}$) of meltwater draining from Gangotri Glacier was carried out to understand major ion chemistry and to get an insight into geochemical weathering processes controlling hydrochemistry of the glacier. In the meltwater, the abundance order of cations and anions varied as follows: Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+ > Na+ and SO$^{2−}_{4}$ > HCO$^{−}_{3}$ < Cl > NO$^{−}_{3}$, respectively. Calcium and magnesium are dominant cations while sulphate and bicarbonate are dominant anions. Weathering of rocks is the dominant mechanism controlling the hydrochemistry of drainage basin. The relative high contribution of (Ca+Mg) to the total cations (TZ+), high (Ca+Mg)/(Na+K) ratio (2.63) and low (Na+K)/TZ+ ratio (0.29) indicate the dominance of carbonate weathering as a major source for dissolved ions in the glacier meltwater. Sulphide oxidation and carbonation are the main proton supplying geochemical reactions controlling the rock weathering in the study area. Statistical analysis was done to identify various factors controlling the dissolved ionic strength of Gangotri Glacier meltwater.

    • Impact of climate change on flood characteristics in Brahmaputra basin using a macro-scale distributed hydrological model

      Shyamal Ghosh Subashisa Dutta

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      Being the highest specific discharge river system in the world, the Brahmaputra river experiences a number of long-duration flood waves during the monsoon season annually. In order to assess the flood characteristics at the basin and tributary scales, a physically based macro-scale distributed hydrological model (DHM) has been calibrated and validated for 9 wet years. The model performance has been evaluated in terms of prediction of the flood characteristics such as peak discharge, flood duration, arrival time of flood wave, timing of the peak flow and number of flood waves per season. Future changes in the flood wave characteristics of the basin have been evaluated using the validated model with bias-corrected future-projected meteorological scenario from a regional climate model (RCM). Likelihood analysis of the simulated flow time series reveals that significant increase in both peak discharge and flood duration is expected for both the pre-monsoonal and monsoonal seasons in the basin, but the number of flood waves per season would be reduced. Under the projected climate change scenario, it is expected that there will be more catastrophic floods in the basin.

    • Geoinformatics for assessing the morphometric control on hydrological response at watershed scale in the Upper Indus Basin

      Shakil Ahmad Romshoo Shakeel Ahmad Bhat Irfan Rashid

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      Five watersheds (W1, W2, W3, W4 and W5) in the upper Indus basin were chosen for detailed studies to understand the influences of geomorphology, drainage basin morphometry and vegetation patterns on hydrology. From the morphometric analysis, it is evident that the hydrologic response of these watersheds changes significantly in response to spatial variations in morphometric parameters. Results indicate that W1, W2 and W5 contribute higher surface runoff than W3 and W4. Further, the topographic and land cover analyses reveal that W1, W2 and W5 generate quick runoff that may result in flooding over prolonged rainy spells. A physically based semi-distributed hydrologic model (soil and water assessment tool, SWAT) was used for simulating the hydrological response from the watersheds. As per the simulations, W5 watershed produces the highest runoff of 11.17 mm/year followed by W1 (7.9 mm/year), W2 (6.6 mm/year), W4 (5.33 mm/year) and W3 (4.29 mm/year). Thus, W5 is particularly more vulnerable to flooding during high rain spells followed by W1, W2, W4 and W3, respectively. Synthetic unit hydrograph analysis of the five watersheds also reveals high peak discharge for W5. The simulated results on the hydrological response from the five watersheds are quite in agreement with those of the morphometric, topographic, vegetation and unit hydrograph analyses. Therefore, it is quite evident that these factors have significant impact on the hydrological response from the watersheds and can be used to predict flood peaks, sediment yield and water discharge from the ungauged watersheds.

    • Optimising view angles for the estimation of leaf area index via entropy-difference analysis

      Yanjuan Yao Qiang Liu Qinhuo Liu Yanhua Gao

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      It is important to evaluate the information content of remote sensing data in order to synthetically use multi-source remote sensing data to improve the accuracy and consistency of land surface parameter retrieval. This paper presents a technique for information content evaluation of multi-spectral/angular remote sensing data for the leaf area index (LAI) inversion, the method of entropy-difference analysis.The proposed method is based on a numerical evaluation of the entropy of the observed dataset to learn how much variation in observation is caused by the variation in LAI. The relationship between remote sensing information and the LAI inversion accuracy is validated based on the model-simulated canopy reflectance data and the experiment data. We make the following observation: the larger the entropydifference for canopy reflectance data, the higher the LAI inversion accuracy. That is, choosing a good combination of observation angles is sometimes more important than simply increasing the number of observations. The presented technique may be useful in designing and evaluating quantitative remote sensing algorithms and products.

    • Seasonal variability in aerosol optical and physical characteristics estimated using the application of the Ängström formula over Mohal in the northwestern Himalaya, India

      Raj Paul Guleria Jagdish Chandra Kuniyal Nand Lal Sharma Pitamber Prasad Dhyani

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      Investigations of aerosol optical and physical characteristics using the application of Ängström formula and second order polynomial fit were carried out from April 2006 to March 2009 at Mohal in the Kullu valley. The measurements of spectral aerosol optical depths (AODs) were conducted using multiwavelength radiometer (MWR). The AOD at 0.5 𝜇 m wavelength on daily basis (mean ± standard deviation) for the entire three-year study period is obtained as 0.24 ± 0.08. Seasonal variations show the highest AOD at 0.5 𝜇 m wavelength with ∼0.34 ± 0.08 during pre-monsoon (April–July), followed by ∼0.26 ± 0.08 during monsoon (August–September), ∼0.21 ± 0.05 during post-monsoon (October–November) and ∼0.20 ± 0.07 during winter (December–March). The seasonal values indicate that the AOD at 0.5 𝜇 m wavelength is decreasing from pre-monsoon to winter with a notable reduction around 41%. The Ängström parameters using least square method is not found appropriate for size distribution particularly when coarse mode aerosols dominate. The coefficients of second order polynomial fit are more appropriate for the discrimination of aerosol size or irrespective to the dominance of either of the aerosols size. The difference in coefficient of polynomial fit is used to get confirmation on the dominant mode during different seasons. Study reveals that about 93%, 72% and 59% of AOD spectra are dominated by a wide range of fine mode fractions or mixture of modes during post-monsoon, winter and monsoon, respectively. On the other hand, during pre-monsoon, 72% of AOD spectra are found to be dominated by coarse mode aerosols.

    • Effect of cloud occurrences on tropospheric ozone over Alipore (22.52°N, 88.33°E), India

      P K Jana D Sarkar D K Saha S K Midya

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      The paper presents the nature of annual cycles of tropospheric ozone, cloud occurrences, NO2, rainfall, SO2, SPM, CO, non-methane hydrocarbon and surface solar radiation for the period October 2004 to June 2009 over Alipore (22.52°N, 88.33°E), India. Annual cycle of low-level cloud occurrences depicts that the low-level cloud over Alipore had been noticed to occur for many days and nights, particularly from June to September. The low-level cloud occurrences were found in winter months and post-monsoon period. The effect of cloud occurrences on tropospheric ozone concentration has been critically analysed and explained. It has been observed that the concentration of ozone is oscillatory with cloud occurrences and has a slight linear decreasing trend with the increase of cloud occurrences and vice versa. The concentration of tropospheric ozone attained higher value at moderate cloud occurrences and comparatively lower value at both of the lower and higher cloud occurrences. The related possible chemical and physical explanation for role of cloud occurrences on tropospheric ozone has been offered.

    • Temporal geoelectric behaviour of dyke aquifers in northern Deccan Volcanic Province, India

      Gautam Gupta Vinit C Erram Suyash Kumar

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      Vertical electrical resistivity soundings (VES) were carried out over four major dykes of Nandurbar district in the northern Deccan Volcanic Province (DVP) of Maharashtra to investigate the subsurface geological conditions, with an aim of identifying zones with groundwater resource potential. Dykes can act as pathways or barrier to the groundwater flow depending upon the intensity of fracturing in the dyke rock. Whether the dykes act as water conduits or as barriers depends on their structure, location and orientation with respect to the groundwater flow. The Nandurbar district is known for occurrence of dykes and dyke swarms. A total of 33 dykes were demarcated in the study region and four major dykes (D4, D5, D6, and D7) from these were chosen for detailed VES studies. Data were acquired over these four dykes during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon periods to observe the seasonal variation in groundwater movement. These studies revealed changes in field characters, their attitudes, thickness and structure of the dykes. Longitudinal geoelectrical sections along these dykes demonstrated carrier as well as barrier stretches which identified potential aquifers up to depths of 25–30m below which hard and compact rock exists. These studies also indicated that dykes with sufficient width, length and favourable hydrogeological structure form potential aquifers for the occurrence and movement of groundwater in the study area.

    • Diagenesis of Holocene reef and associated beachrock of certain coral islands, Gulf of Mannar, India: Implication on climate and sea level

      S Kkrishna Kumar N Chandrasekar P Seralathan J Dajkumar Sahayam

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      The reef and associated beachrock from certain Gulf of Mannar islands (Rameswaram, Kurusadai, Shingle and Appa Island) were studied to assess the diagenetic evidences. Sixty samples were collected from marine terraces and reef platforms. The samples comprised of coral rubbles, shell fragments and lithic fractions. The presence of corals in the form of framework or isolated patches on the reef flat suggests the rapid increase of accommodation and probably absence of terrigenous and siliciclastic inputs. Moreover, the massive coral heads above the transgressive phase suggest the maximum flooding and relatively deepest facies. The freshwater dissolution, association of marine and meteoric cements suggest the semiarid climatic condition with marine diagenesis during sea level lowstands and recharge of freshwater lenses during periodic rainfalls. In addition, the interaction of these mixed carbonate, siliciclastic sediments results in silicification of carbonate components. The reef associated beachrock were deposited in low energy environment with some amount of terrigenous matters derived from Precambrian basement rocks and transported into reef area by ephemeral streams and longshore sediment transport. The incorporation of coral fragments within the siliciclastic sediments are most probably due to the erosion and re-deposition of the sediments.

    • Palm leaves from the Late Oligocene sediments of Makum Coalfield, Assam, India

      Gaurav Srivastava R C Mehrotra Hugues Bauer

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      Two new palm leaf impressions, cf. Iguanura wallichiana and Palmacites makumensis sp. nov. are described from the Makum Coalfield, Tinsukia District, Assam. They belong to the Tikak Parbat Formation being considered as Late Oligocene (Chattian 28–23 Myr) in age. Their presence, along with the other known fossil records indicates that CMMT (cold month mean temperature) was not less than 18°C with plenty of rainfall, in the region during the period of deposition.

    • Occurrence of helically coiled microfossil Obruchevella in the Owk Shale of the Kurnool Group and its significance

      Mukund Sharma Yogmaya Shukla

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      The present study reports occurrence of helically coiled microfossil Obruchevella Reitlinger from the Owk Shale of the Kurnool Group from the peninsular India. The age of the Kurnool Group is poorly constrained due to the absence of direct radiometric dating and meager palaeobiological data. Occurrence of Obruchevella is considered as a typical Vendian marker genus recorded mostly from close to the Precambrian–Cambrian boundary successions. Hence, the present assemblage is important to ascertain the age of the basin. In the Owk Shale, four species of Obruchevella, viz., O. delicata, O. parva, O. minor and O. valdaica are recorded as organic walled microfossils. Among them O. valdaica is the largest in terms of size parameters. On the global scale, the recovered species occur in the Late Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian sediments. Therefore, the occurrence of microfossil Obruchevella in the Owk Shale and known burrow structures in the Narji Limestone suggest Ediacaran age close to the Cambrian for the Kurnool Basin and challenges the recently assigned esoproterozoic age of the basin.

    • Lime muds and their genesis off-Northwestern India during the late Quaternary

      V Purnachandra Rao A Anil Kumar S W A Naqvi Allan R Chivas B Sekar Pratima M Kessarkar

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      Two sediment types were found in five gravity cores collected from water depths between 56 m and 121 m along the northwestern continental margin of India: lime muds were abundant in the lower section while siliciclastic sediments dominated the upper section. Lime mud-dominated sediments in shelf cores contained 60%–75% carbonate, 0.3%–0.6% Sr and terrigenous minerals, whereas those at the shelf break were found to have < 90% carbonate, 0.6%–0.8% Sr and traces of terrigenous minerals. Aragonite needles showing blunt edges, jointed needles and needles wrapped in smooth aragonite cement were found to be common. Stable (O and C) isotopes of lime mud indicate a potentially freshwater contribution for shelf cores and purely marine contribution for those at the shelf break. Calibrated radiocarbon ages of the lime muds ranged from 17.6–11.9 ka in different cores. The results reported here suggest that the lime muds in the shallow shelf are probably reworked from the Gulf of Kachchh, whereas those at the shelf break were biodetrital, initially formed on the carbonate platform during low stands of sea level and then exported. The change in lime mud-dominated to siliciclastic-dominated sediments in the cores may be due to climate change and rapid rise in sea level during the early Holocene.

    • Provenance of the Late Neogene Siwalik sandstone, Kumaun Himalayan Foreland Basin: Constraints from the metamorphic rank and index of detrital rock fragments

      Poonam Jalal Sumit K Ghosh

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      An understanding about lithology, tectonics and unroofing history of provenance is mostly drawn from the compositional and textural parameters of the detrital fragments. We here use different metamorphic ranks (Rm) and metamorphic index (MI) values of rock fragments present in Late Neogene Siwalik sandstone of the Ramganga sub-basin to infer the provenance history. The study indicates maximum contribution from metamorphic ranks 1 and 2 (Rm1 and Rm2; meta-sedimentary and very low grade metamorphic rocks) and minimum from metamorphic rank 4 (Rm4; high metamorphic grade rocks). The metamorphic index (MI) values range from 118 to 224, with an average of 186. The meta-sedimentary and very low-grade metamorphic rock fragments are derived from the Lesser Himalayan domain. The medium-to-high grade metamorphic fragments are derived from the Lesser Himalayan Crystalline bodies. The abundance of Rm2 and Rm3 detrital modes suggest the exhumation of crystalline bodies of the Ramgarh and Almora most likely occurred prior to 7 Ma and subsequently the source area shifted and resulted abundant supply of Rm1 fragments due to the upliftment along Main Boundary Thrust around 5.55 Ma.

    • Petrology, geochemistry of hornblende gabbro and associated dolerite dyke of Paharpur, Puruliya, West Bengal: Implication for petrogenetic process and tectonic setting

      Aditi Mandal Arijit Ray Mayukhee Debnath Sankar Prasad Paul

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      Paharpur gabbroic intrusive is an arcuate body running east–west paralleling the foliation of Chhotanagpur Granite Gneiss which acts as country rock. The main gabbroic body is intruded by a number of dolerite dykes running north–south. It is composed of clinopyroxene (Wo48En40Fs12–Wo51En40Fs09, mg no. 72–82), plagioclase (An52–An90), hornblende (magnesian hornblende to ferro-tschermackite), orthopyroxene (En76–En79) and ilmenite. Hornblende occurs as large poikilitic grain and constitutes around 60% of the rock. Both gabbro and associated dolerite dykes, show relatively primitive character (mg no. 65–73). Primitive mantle-normalized and MORB-normalized spider diagrams indicate enrichment in Rb, Ba, Th, La, Sr and depletion in Nb, Zr, Y, Ti and Nd. The LILE enrichment and Nb, Ti, Zr, Y depletion suggest arc like geochemical signature for the gabbroic and doleritic rocks of Paharpur. Flat to slightly LREE fractionated pattern and variable degree of REE enrichment is observed. An early stage fractionation of clinopyroxene, plagioclase, orthopyroxene, ilmenite and late stage reaction of cumulate pile and evolved melt/hydrous fluid is suggested for magmatic evolution of gabbro. Associated dolerite dykes, which are geochemically similar to the gabbro, have tholeiitic with boninitic character. The mineralogical and chemical compositions of intrusive rocks also have some similarity with mafic rocks of ophiolite complex of subduction zone.

    • Gravity anomalies, crustal structure and rift tectonics at the Konkan and Kerala basins, western continental margin of India

      Sheena V Dev M Radhakrishna Shyam Chand C Subrahmanyam

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      Litho-stratigraphic variation of sedimentary units constructed from seismic sections and gravity anomaly in the Konkan and Kerala basins of the western continental margin of India (WCMI) have been used to model processes such as lithospheric rifting mechanism, its strength, and evolution of flank uplift topography that led to the present-day Western Ghats escarpment. Based on the process-oriented approach, two lithospheric models (necking and magmatic underplating) of evolution of the margin were tested. Both, necking and underplating models suggest an effective elastic thickness (Te) of 5 km and 10 km along Konkan and Kerala basins, respectively and a deep level of necking at 20 km at both basins. Model study suggests that the necking model better explains the observed gravity anomalies in the southern part of the WCMI. A synthesis of these results along with the previously published elastic thickness estimates along the WCMI suggests that a low-to-intermediate strength lithosphere and a deeper level of necking explains the observed flank-uplift opography of the Western Ghats. Process-oriented gravity modeling further suggests that the lateral variations in the lithospheric strength, though not very significant, exist from north to south within a distance of 600 km in the Konkan and Kerala basins along the WCMI at the time of rifting. A comparison with previous Te estimates from coherence analysis along the WCMI indicates that the lithospheric strength did not change appreciably since the time of rifting and it is low both onshore and offshore having a range of 5–15 km.

    • Spectral evaluation of Earth geopotential models and an experiment on its regional improvement for geoid modeling

      B Erol

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      As the number of Earth geopotential models (EGM) grows with the increasing number of data collected by dedicated satellite gravity missions, CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE, measuring the differences among the models and monitoring the improvements in gravity field recovery are required. This study assesses the performance of recent EGMs derived from CHAMP, GRACE, and other data in comparison to the earlier two models in Turkish territory. Also the improvement capacities of these EGMs using local terrestrial data are inspected with two different approaches. In the first approach, the spherical harmonic coefficients of EGMs are modified depending on the local gravity data. In the second part, the original EGMs with their maximum harmonic expansions are employed in Remove Compute Restore algorithm for high resolution local geoid modelling. The assessment results with the local terrestrial data exhibited large disagreements among the models in Turkey. The outputs from regional improvements of EGMs using the gravity observations clarified the important role of the ground truth data contribution in geopotential models. The validations of the computed high resolution geoids rely on the EGMs at the GNSS/levelling networks, having 451 and 309 benchmarks, provided an absolute accuracy by means of standard deviations of the geoid height differences around 20 cm. These results from the final stage of the case study provide a comparison among the EGMs by means of their fit to the local gravity field.

    • Stochastic finite-fault modelling of strong earthquakes in Narmada South Fault, Indian Shield

      P Sengupta

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      The Narmada South Fault in the Indian peninsular shield region is associated with moderate-to-strong earthquakes. The prevailing hazard evidenced by the earthquake-related fatalities in the region imparts significance to the investigations of the seismogenic environment. In the present study, the prevailing seismotectonic conditions specified by parameters associated with source, path and site conditions are appraised. Stochastic finite-fault models are formulated for each scenario earthquake. The simulated peak ground accelerations for the rock sites from the possible mean maximum earthquake of magnitude $M_W$ 6.8 goes as high as 0.24 g while fault-rupture of magnitude $M_W$ 7.1 exhibits a maximum peak ground acceleration of 0.36 g. The results suggest that present hazard specification of Bureau of Indian Standards as inadequate. The present study is expected to facilitate development of ground motion models for deterministic and probabilistic seismic hazard analysis of the region.

    • Detection of Mg spinel lithologies on central peak of crater Theophilus using Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) data from Chandrayaan-1

      D Lal P Chauhan R D Shah S Bhattacharya Ajai A S Kiran Kumar

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      Spectral reflectance data derived from Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) onboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 has revealed Fe bearing Mg-spinel-rich lithology on central peaks of the crater Theophilus. These newly identified Fe bearing Mg-spinel-rich rock types are defined by their strong 2-𝜇m absorption and lack of 1-𝜇m absorptions in spectral reflectance response. Such lithology has been reported previously along the inner ring of Moscoviense Basin on the lunar far side. The Modified Gaussian Modeling (MGM) analysis of the Fe bearing Mg-spinel reflectance spectra has been done and the results of the analysis clearly bring out a strong spectral absorption at 1872 nm with no significant absortion around 1000 nm. The presence of spinel group of minerals in the Theophilus central peak and the fact that central peaks mostly represent uplifted mass of deep crustal material confirm that central peaks can be used as a window to study the deep crustal and/or upper mantle composition and may lead to a fresh perspective about the crustal composition of Moon.

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