• Volume 123, Issue 5

      July 2014,   pages  923-1195

    • Molecular fossils in Cretaceous condensate from western India

      Sharmila Bhattacharya Suryendu Dutta Ratul Dutta

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      The present study reports the biomarker distribution of condensate belonging to the early Cretaceous time frame using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The early Cretaceous palaeoenvironment was inscribed into these molecular fossils which reflected the source and conditions of deposition of the condensate. The saturate fraction of the condensate is characterized by normal alkanes ranging from 𝑛-C_{9} to 𝑛-C_{29} (CPI-1.13), cycloalkanes and C_{14} and C_{15} sesquiterpanes. The aromatic fraction comprises of naphthalene, phenanthrene, their methylated derivatives and cyclohexylbenzenes. Isohexylalkylnaphthalenes, a product of rearrangement process of terpenoids, is detected in the condensate. Several aromatic sesquiterpenoids and diterpenoids have been recorded. Dihydro-ar-curcumene, cadalene and ionene form the assemblage of sesquiterpenoids which are indicative of higher plant input. Aromatic diterpenoid fraction comprises of simonellite and retene. These compounds are also indicative of higher plants, particularly conifer source which had been a predominant flora during the Cretaceous time.

    • Molecular composition and paleobotanical origin of Eocene resin from northeast India

      Arka Rudra Suryendu Dutta Srinivasan V Raju

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      The molecular composition of fossil resins from early to middle Eocene coal from northeast India, has been analyzed for the first time to infer their paleobotanical source. The soluble component of fossil resin was analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The resin extracts are composed of cadalene-based C_{15} sesquiterpenoids and diagenetically altered triterpenoids. The macromolecular composition was investigated using pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC–MS) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The major pyrolysis products are C_{15} bicyclic sesquiterpenoids, alkylated naphthalenes, benzenes and a series of C_{17}–C_{34} 𝑛-alkene-𝑛-alkane pairs. Spectroscopic analysis revealed the dominance of aliphatic components. The presence of cadalene-based sequiterpenoids confirms the resin to be Class II or dammar resin, derived from angiosperms of Dipterocarpaceae family. These sesquiterpenoids are often detected in many SE Asian fluvio-deltaic oils. Dipterocarpaceae are characteristic of warm tropical climate suggesting the prevalence of such climate during early Eocene in northeast India.

    • Granite-hosted molybdenite mineralization from Archean Bundelkhand cratonmolybdenite characterization, host rock mineralogy, petrology, and fluid inclusion characteristics of Mo-bearing quartz

      J K Pati M K Panigrahi M Chakarborty

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      The dominantly high-K, moderate to high SiO2 containing, variably fractionated, volcanic-arc granitoids (± sheared) from parts of Bundelkhand craton, northcentral India are observed to contain molybdenite (Mo) in widely separated 23 locations in the form of specks, pockets, clots and stringers along with quartz ± pyrite ± arsenopyrite ± chalcopyrite ± bornite ± covellite ± galena ± sphalerite and in invisible form as well. The molybdenite mineralization is predominantly associated with Bundelkhand Tectonic Zone, Raksa Shear Zone, and localized shear zones. The incidence of molybdenite is also observed within sheared quartz and tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) gneisses. The fluid inclusion data show the presence of bi-phase (H2O–CO2), hypersaline and moderate temperature (100°–300°C) primary stretched fluid inclusions suggesting a possible hydrothermal origin for the Mo-bearing quartz occurring within variably deformed different granitoids variants of Archean Bundelkhand craton.

    • Geochemical constraints on the evolution of mafic and felsic rocks in the Bathani volcanic and volcano-sedimentary sequence of Chotanagpur Granite Gneiss Complex

      Ashima Saikia Bibhuti Gogoi Mansoor Ahmad Talat Ahmad

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      The Bathani volcanic and volcano-sedimentary (BVS) sequence is a volcanic and volcano-sedimentary sequence, best exposed near Bathani village in Gaya district of Bihar. It is located in the northern fringe of the Chotanagpur Granite Gneiss Complex (CGGC). The volcano-sedimentary unit comprises of garnet-mica schist, rhyolite, tuff, banded iron formation (BIF) and chert bands with carbonate rocks as enclaves within the rhyolite and the differentiated volcanic sequence comprises of rhyolite, andesite, pillow basalt, massive basalt, tuff and mafic pyroclasts. Emplacement of diverse felsic and mafic rocks together testifies for a multi-stage and multi-source magmatism for the area. The presence of pillow basalt marks the eruption of these rocks in a subaqueous environment. Intermittent eruption of mafic and felsic magmas resulted in the formation of rhyolite, mafic pyroclasts, and tuff. Mixing and mingling of the felsic and mafic magmas resulted in the hybrid rock andesite. Granites are emplaced later, crosscutting the volcanic sequence and are probably products of fractional crystallization of basaltic magma. The present work characterizes the geochemical characteristics of the magmatic rocks comprising of basalt, andesite, rhyolite, tuff, and granite of the area. Tholeiitic trend for basalt and calc-alkaline affinities of andesite, rhyolite and granite is consistent with their generation in an island arc, subduction related setting. The rocks of the BVS sequence probably mark the collision of the northern and southern Indian blocks during Proterozoic period. The explosive submarine volcanism may be related to culmination of the collision of the aforementioned blocks during the Neoproterozoic (1.0 Ga) as the Grenvillian metamorphism is well established in various parts of CGGC.

    • Rb–Sr and Sm–Nd isotope systematics and geochemical studies on metavolcanic rocks from Peddavura greenstone belt: Evidence for presence of Mesoarchean continental crust in easternmost part of Dharwar Craton, India

      M Rajamanickam S Balakrishnan R Bhutani

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      Linear, north–south trending Peddavura greenstone belt occurs in easternmost part of the Dharwar Craton. It consists of pillowed basalts, basaltic andesites, andesites (BBA) and rhyolites interlayered with ferruginous chert that were formed under submarine condition. Rhyolites were divided into type-I and II based on their REE abundances and HREE fractionation. Rb–Sr and Sm–Nd isotope studies were carried out on the rock types to understand the evolution of the Dharwar Craton. Due to source heterogeneity Sm–Nd isotope system has not yielded any precise age. Rb–Sr whole-rock isochron age of 2551 ± 19 (MSWD = 1.16) Ma for BBA group could represent time of seafloor metamorphism after the formation of basaltic rocks. Magmas representing BBA group of samples do not show evidence for crustal contamination while magmas representing type-II rhyolites had undergone variable extents of assimilation of Mesoarchean continental crust (< 3.3 Ga) as evident from their initial 𝜀Nd isotope values. Trace element and Nd isotope characteristics of type I rhyolites are consistent with model of generation of their magmas by partial melting of mixed sources consisting of basalt and oceanic sediments with continental crustal components. Thus this study shows evidence for presence of Mesoarchean continental crust in Peddavura area in eastern part of Dharwar Craton.

    • Earthquake source characteristics along the arcuate Himalayan belt: Geodynamic implications

      Prosanta Kumar Khan Md Afroz Ansari S Mohanty

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      The occurrences of moderate to large magnitude earthquakes and associated subsurface geological processes were critically examined in the backdrop of Indian plate obliquity, stress obliquity, topography, and the late Tertiary regional tectonics for understanding the evolving dynamics and kinematics in the central part of the Himalayas. The higher topographic areas are likely associated with the zones of depressions, and the lower topographic areas are found around the ridges located in the frontal part of the orogen. A positive correlation between plate and stress obliquities is established for this diffuse plate boundary. We propose that the zone of sharp bending of the descending Indian lithosphere is the nodal area of major stress accumulation which is released occasionally in form of earthquakes. The lateral geometry of the Himalayas shows clusters of seismicity at an angle of ∼20° from the centre part of the arc. Such spatial distribution is interpreted in terms of compression across the arc and extension parallel to the arc. This biaxial deformation results in the development of dilational shear fractures, observed along the orogenic belt, at an angle of ∼20° from the principal compressive stress axis.

    • Hydrogeochemical assessment of groundwater in Kashmir Valley, India

      G H Jeelani Rouf Ahmad Shah Aadil Hussain

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      Groundwater samples (𝑛 = 163) were collected across Kashmir Valley in 2010 to assess the hydrogeochemistry of the groundwater in shallow and deep aquifers and its suitability for domestic, agriculture, horticulture, and livestock purposes. The groundwater is generally alkaline in nature. The electrical conductivity (EC) which is an index to represent the total concentration of soluble salts in water was used to measure the salinity hazard to crops as it reflects the TDS in groundwater ranging from 97 to 1385 𝜇S/cm, except one well in Sopore. The average concentration of major ions was higher in shallow aquifers than in deeper aquifers. In general, Ca2+ is the dominant cation and HCO$^{−}_{3}$ the dominant anion. Ca–HCO3, Mg–HCO3, Ca–Mg–HCO3, Na–HCO3 were the dominant hydrogeochemical facies. High concentration of HCO3 and pH less than 8.8 clearly indicated that intense chemical weathering processes have taken place in the study area. The groundwater flow pattern in the area follows the local surface topography which not only modifies the hydrogeochemical facies but also controls their distribution. The groundwater in valley flows into four directions, i.e., SW–NE, NE–W, SE–NW and SE–NE directions. The results suggest that carbonate dissolution is the dominant source of major ions followed by silicate weathering and ion-exchange processes. The concentrations of all the major ions determined in the present study are within the permissible limits ofWHO and BIS standards. The results of Total Hardness, SAR, Na%, Kelly Index, USDA classification, Magnesium absorption ratio, residual sodium carbonate, and PI suggested that groundwater is good for drinking, livestock, and irrigation purposes.

    • Observed intraseasonal and seasonal variability of the West India Coastal Current on the continental slope

      P Amol D Shankar V Fernando A Mukherjee S G Aparna R Fernandes G S Michael S T Khalap N P Satelkar Y Agarvadekar M G Gaonkar A P Tari A Kankonkar S P Vernekar

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      We present current data from acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) moored on the continental slope off the west coast of India. The data were collected at four locations (roughly at Kanyakumari, Kollam, Goa, and Mumbai) extending from ∼7° to ∼20° N during 2008–2012. The observations show that a seasonal cycle, including an annual cycle, is present in the West India Coastal Current (WICC); this seasonal cycle, which strengthens northward, shows considerable interannual variability and is not as strongly correlated along the coast as in climatologies based on ship drifts or the altimeter. The alongshore decorrelation of theWICC is much stronger at intraseasonal periods, which are evident during the winter monsoon all along the coast. This intraseasonal variability is stronger in the south. A striking feature of the WICC is upward phase propagation, which implies an undercurrent whose depth becomes shallower as the season progresses. There are also instances when the phase propagates downward. At the two southern mooring locations off Kollam and Kanyakumari, the cross-shore current, which is usually associated with eddy-like circulations, is comparable to the alongshore current on occasions. A comparison with data from the OSCAR (Ocean Surface Currents Analyses Real-time) data product shows not only similarities, but also significant differences, particularly in the phase. One possible reason for this phase mismatch between the ADCP current at 48 m and the OSCAR current, which represents the current in the 0–30 m depth range, is the vertical phase propagation. Current products based on Ocean General Circulation Models like ECCO2 (Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II) and GODAS (Global Ocean Data Assimilation System) show a weaker correlation with the ADCP current, and ECCO2 does capture some of the observed variability.

    • An assessment of wind forcing impact on a spectral wave model for the Indian Ocean

      P G Remya Raj Kumar Sujit Basu

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      The focus of the present study is the assessment of the impact of wind forcing on the spectral wave model MIKE 21 SW in the Indian Ocean region. Three different wind fields, namely the ECMWF analyzed winds, the ECMWF blended winds, and the NCEP blended winds have been used to drive the model. The wave model results have been compared with in-situ observations and satellite altimeter data. This study also evaluated the performance of the wind products during local phenomenon like sea breeze, since it has a significant impact on the wave prediction in the Indian coastal region. Hence we explored the possibility of studying the impact of diurnal variation of winds on coastal waves using different wind fields. An analysis of the model performance has also been made during high wind conditions with the inference that blended winds generate more realistic wave fields in the high wind conditions and are able to produce the growth and decay of waves more realistically.

    • Eddy covariance based methane flux in Sundarbans mangroves, India

      Chandra Shekhar Jha Suraj Reddy Rodda Kiran Chand Thumaty A K Raha V K Dadhwal

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      We report the initial results of the methane flux measured using eddy covariance method during summer months from the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem, Sundarbans of India. Mangrove ecosystems are known sources for methane (CH4) having very high global warming potential. In order to quantify the methane flux in mangroves, an eddy covariance flux tower was recently erected in the largest unpolluted and undisturbed mangrove ecosystem in Sundarbans (India). The tower is equipped with eddy covariance flux tower instruments to continuously measure methane fluxes besides the mass and energy fluxes. This paper presents the preliminary results of methane flux variations during summer months (i.e., April and May 2012) in Sundarbans mangrove ecosystem. The mean concentrations of CH4 emission over the study period was 1682 ± 956 ppb. The measured CH4 fluxes computed from eddy covariance technique showed that the study area acts as a net source for CH4 with daily mean flux of 150.22 ± 248.87 mg m−2 day−1. The methane emission as well as its flux showed very high variability diurnally. Though the environmental conditions controlling methane emission is not yet fully understood, an attempt has been made in the present study to analyse the relationships of methane efflux with tidal activity. This present study is part of Indian Space Research Organisation–Geosphere Biosphere Program (ISRO–GBP) initiative under ‘National Carbon Project’.

    • Sediment grain size and hydrodynamics in Mediterranean coastal lagoons: Integrated classification of abiotic parameters

      Emanuela Molinaroli Alessandro Sarretta Christian Ferrarin Emanuele Masiero Antonietta Specchiulli Stefano Guerzoni

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      Integrated classification maps were produced by combining sediment grain-size and hydrological data (water renewal time, WRT) from two Mediterranean lagoons, Lesina (LL) and Varano (LV), Italy. The geophysical characteristics of the two basins, derived from detailed bathymetric charts, are quite distinct: ∼30% of LL (mean depth ∼1 m) but only 3% of LV (mean depth ∼3 m) is shallower than 1 m. The sediments of both lagoons are mainly composed of mud (∼80%). A detailed multivariate analysis of grainsize data by EntropyMax classified the lagoon beds of LL and LV into five sedimentary facies. WRT data, computed by a hydrodynamic model, indicated different hydrological conditions in the two lagoons: LL showed a sharp west–east gradient, with a basin-wide average of ∼190 days, whilst LV showed a fairly uniform distribution and a higher basin-wide average (∼260 days). The distribution of sedimentary facies and water renewal times were combined in a composite map representing the distribution of environmental patterns. The approach outlined in this study can be used to improve zonation schemes by providing a hydromorphological perspective on transitional and coastal environments.

    • Influence of soil moisture content on surface albedo and soil thermal parameters at a tropical station

      Neena Sugathan V Biju G Renuka

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      Half hourly data of soil moisture content, soil temperature, solar irradiance, and reflectance are measured during April 2010 to March 2011 at a tropical station, viz., Astronomical Observatory, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India (76° 59’E longitude and 8°29’N latitude). The monthly, seasonal and seasonal mean diurnal variation of soil moisture content is analyzed in detail and is correlated with the rainfall measured at the same site during the period of study. The large variability in the soil moisture content is attributed to the rainfall during all the seasons and also to the evaporation/movement of water to deeper layers. The relationship of surface albedo on soil moisture content on different time scales are studied and the influence of solar elevation angle and cloud cover are also investigated. Surface albedo is found to fall exponentially with increase in soil moisture content. Soil thermal diffusivity and soil thermal conductivity are also estimated from the subsoil temperature profile. Log normal dependence of thermal diffusivity and power law dependence of thermal conductivity on soil moisture content are confirmed.

    • Impact of monsoon rainfall on the total food grain yield over India

      V Prasanna

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      The study focuses on understanding the variations of precipitation during summer monsoon season and its impact on Kharif and Rabi foodgrain yield over India. Total foodgrain yield over India during Kharif (summer) season is directly affected by variations in the summer monsoon precipitation (June–September). An increase (decrease) in rainfall is generally associated with an increase (decrease) in foodgrain yield. A similar correspondence during the Rabi (winter) foodgrain yield is not evident. The Rabi crop is not directly affected by variations in the post-monsoon precipitation (October–December) alone, also the summer season precipitation influences the Rabi crop through water and soil moisture availability over many parts of India. Though the reduction of rainfall activity during the entire summer monsoon season leads to reduction in crop yields, the occurrence of prolonged rainfall breaks also causes adverse effect on the crop growth resulting in reduced crop yields.

    • Study of seasonal climatology and interannual variability over India and its subregions using a regional climate model (RegCM3)

      P Maharana A P Dimri

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      The temporal and spatial variability of the various meteorological parameters over India and its different subregions is high. The Indian subcontinent is surrounded by the complex Himalayan topography in north and the vast oceans in the east, west and south. Such distributions have dominant influence over its climate and thus make the study more complex and challenging. In the present study, the climatology and interannual variability of basic meteorological fields over India and its six homogeneous monsoon subregions (as defined by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) for all the four meteorological seasons) are analysed using the Regional Climate Model Version 3 (RegCM3). A 22-year (1980–2001) simulation with RegCM3 is carried out to develop such understanding. The National Centre for Environmental Prediction/National Centre for Atmospheric Research, US (NCEP-NCAR) reanalysis 2 (NNRP2) is used as the initial and lateral boundary conditions. The main seasonal features and their variability are represented in model simulation. The temporal variation of precipitation, i.e., the mean annual cycle, is captured over complete India and its homogenous monsoon subregions. The model captured the contribution of seasonal precipitation to the total annual precipitation over India. The model showed variation in the precipitation contribution for some subregions to the total and seasonal precipitation over India. The correlation coefficient (CC) and difference between the coefficient of variation between model fields and the corresponding observations in percentage (COV) is calculated and compared. In most of the cases, the model could represent the magnitude but not the variability. The model processes are found to be more important than in the corresponding observations defining the variability. The model performs quite well over India in capturing the climatology and the meteorological process. The model shows good skills over the relevant subregions during a season.

    • Location specific forecasting of maximum and minimum temperatures over India by using the statistical bias corrected output of global forecasting system

      V R Durai Rashmi Bhardwaj

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      The output from Global Forecasting System (GFS) T574L64 operational at India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi is used for obtaining location specific quantitative forecast of maximum and minimum temperatures over India in the medium range time scale. In this study, a statistical bias correction algorithm has been introduced to reduce the systematic bias in the 24–120 hour GFS model location specific forecast of maximum and minimum temperatures for 98 selected synoptic stations, representing different geographical regions of India. The statistical bias correction algorithm used for minimizing the bias of the next forecast is Decaying Weighted Mean (DWM), as it is suitable for small samples. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the skill of Direct Model Output (DMO) and Bias Corrected (BC) GFS for location specific forecast of maximum and minimum temperatures over India. The performance skill of 24–120 hour DMO and BC forecast of GFS model is evaluated for all the 98 synoptic stations during summer (May–August 2012) and winter (November 2012–February 2013) seasons using different statistical evaluation skill measures. The magnitude of Mean Absolute Error (MAE) and Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) for BC GFS forecast is lower than DMO during both summer and winter seasons. The BC GFS forecasts have higher skill score as compared to GFS DMO over most of the stations in all day-1 to day-5 forecasts during both summer and winter seasons. It is concluded from the study that the skill of GFS statistical BC forecast improves over the GFS DMO remarkably and hence can be used as an operational weather forecasting system for location specific forecast over India.

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