Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Significance of transition between Talchir Formation and Karharbari Formation in Lower Gondwana basin evolution — A study in West Bokaro Coal basin, Jharkhand, India

      H N Bhattacharya Abhijit Chakraborty Biplab Bhattacharya

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      Basal part of the Gondwana Supergroup represented by Talchir and Karharbari Formations (Permo-Carboniferous) records an abrupt change-over from glacio-marine to terrestrial fluviolacustrine depositional environment. The contact between the two is an unconformity. Facies analysis of the glacio-marine Talchir Formation reveals that basal glaciogenic and reworked glaciogenic sediments are buried under storm influenced inner and outer shelf sediments. Facies associations of the Karharbari Formation suggest deposition as fluvio-lacustrine deposits in fault-controlled troughs. An attempt has been made in this paper to explain the sedimentation pattern in Talchir and Karharbari basins, and the abrupt change-over from glacio-marine to terrestrial fluviolacustrine depositional environment in terms of glacio-isostacy.

    • Early Permian transgressive–regressive cycles: Sequence stratigraphic reappraisal of the coal-bearing Barakar Formation, Raniganj Basin, India

      Biplab Bhattacharya Joyeeta Bhattacharjee Sandip Bandyopadhyay Sudipto Banerjee Kalyan Adhikari

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      The present research is an attempt to assess the Barakar Formation of the Raniganj Gondwana Basin, India, in the frame of fluvio-marine (estuarine) depositional systems using sequence stratigraphic elements. Analysis of predominant facies associations signify deposition in three sub-environments: (i) ariver-dominated bay-head delta zone in the inner estuary, with transition from braided fluvial channels (FA-B1) to tide-affected meandering fluvial channels and flood plains (FA-B2) in the basal part of the succession; (ii) a mixed energy central basin zone, which consists of transitional fluvio-tidal channels (FA-B2), tidal flats, associated with tidal channels and bars (FA-B3) in the middle-upper part ofthe succession; and (iii) a wave-dominated outer estuary (coastal) zone (FA-B4 with FA-B3) in the upper part of the succession. Stacked progradational (P1, P2)–retrogradational (R1, R2) successions attest to one major base level fluctuation, leading to distinct transgressive–regressive (T–R) cycles with development of initial falling stage systems tract (FSST), followed by lowstand systems tract (LST)and successive transgressive systems tracts (TST-1 and TST-2). Shift in the depositional regime from regressive to transgressive estuarine system in the early Permian Barakar Formation is attributed to change in accommodation space caused by mutual interactions of (i) base level fluctuations in responseto climatic amelioration and (ii) basinal tectonisms (exhumation/sagging) related to post-glacial isostatic adjustments in the riftogenic Gondwana basins.

    • Characterization of middle Eocene tide-influenced delta: A study from core samples of Hazad Member, Ankleshwar Formation, South Cambay Basin, India

      Sapana Jaiswal Biplab Bhattacharya

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      The Hazad Member (Middle Eocene) of the Ankleswar Formation in Cambay Basin, India, is traditionally reported as deltaic system. Present work documents three major facies associations, namely, (i) sandstone-rich upper delta plain (FA-1) deposits, (ii) sandstone-mudstone heterolithic lower delta plain–delta front (FA-2) deposits, and (iii) shale-dominated prodelta (FA-3) deposits, in an overallcoarsening-up to fining-up succession. Tidalites are well preserved in FA-2 and are represented by laterally accreted tidal bundles, tidal beddings and vertically accreted tidal rhythmites, described from drill core samples in this communication. Laterally accreted tidal bundles with reactivation surfaces in sanddominatedheterolithic units indicate time-velocity asymmetry in subtidal condition. Tidal beddings and tidal rhythmites in mud-dominated heterolithic units, associated with asymmetric/symmetric ripple forms and desiccation cracks, indicate periodic subaerial emergence in intertidal flat depositional setting. Systematic analysis of the architecture of the tidalites in different parts of the basin signifies rapid shiftin sedimentation from subtidal to intertidal flat within the lower delta plain. Transitions from prodeltaic to tidally (subtidal-intertidal) affected delta front to lower delta plain and fluvial-dominated upper delta plain depositional systems attest to high frequency transgressive-regressive cycles in response to changingaccommodation, as a result of sea level fluctuations and basinal tectonisms in the Cambay Basin.

    • Palaeogeographic implications of ichnotaxa assemblages from early Permian fluvio-marine Barakar Formation, Raniganj Basin, India


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      The sandstone-shale-coal succession of the Barakar Formation (early Permian) of the Raniganj Basin, India hosts low-diversity ichnoassemblages, containing ichnogenera Arenicolites, Chondrites, Diplocraterion, Monocraterion, Ophiomorpha, Palaeophycus, Planolites, Skolithos, Taenidium, and Thalassinoides, produced by shallow marine infaunal invertebrates. Sedimentary facies architecture depicts a transgressive, fluvio-tidal (with a minor wave) interactive estuarine depositional setting. The fluvial deposits, lying beyond the zone of tidal encroachments, record absence of trace fossils, which is attributed to a low colonization window caused by high fluvial discharge and frequent channel migrations. Tidal interactions with high fluvial discharge led to bay-head deltas in the inner-middle estuary with the dominance of suspension-feeding and deposit-feeding ichnotaxa in coarser- and finer-dominated sediments, respectively, suggesting a mixed Skolithos–Cruziana ichnofacies. Increasing tidal influence with very less fluvial input allowed opportunistic colonizers and deposit feeders of the Cruziana ichnofacies to flourish in the central estuarine setting. Intermittent low-oxygenated restricted conditions marked by the chemosymbiotic ichnoassemblages of the Zoophycos ichnofacies indicate very low energy conditions. The outer estuary with increasing wave dominance is inhabited by suspension-feeding, domicile ichnotaxa of Skolithos ichnofacies, frequently mixed with the ichnotaxa of the Cruziana ichnofacies. The recurrent juxtaposition and lateral distribution of the Seilacherian marginal marine ichnofacies is attributed to complex sediment–organism interaction patterns in response to prevalent energy conditions, sediment discharge and substrate conditions in different zones of the fluvio-tidal estuarine setting. The integrated sedimentological-ichnological model signifies marine transgressions that affected the palaeogeography of the Permian continental Gondwanaland.


      $\bullet$ Sedimentological–ichnological analysis signifies marine encroachment in Barakar Formation in peninsular India.

      $\bullet$ Ichnoassemblages point to complex pattern of sediment–organism interactions with gross energy distribution.

      $\bullet$ Sustained marine transgression event within the continental Gondwanaland during early Permian is visualized.

    • Evidence of the Permian marginal marine sedimentation recorded in sub-surface drill cores, Lower Gondwana successions, southern India


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      Evidence of marine influences within the Permian Barakar Formation of the Pranhita–Godavari (P–G) Basin and its age equivalent, the Kommugudem Formation of the Krishna–Godavari (K–G) Basin, are previously investigated from the outcrop studies. The present work carefully documents the signatures of tidal and wave influences from the Early Permian rocks, solely based on excellently preserved subsurface drill core samples from both the basins. Tidalites, represented by laterally accreted tidal bundles, tidal rhythmites, tidal beddings, oppositely directed strata bundles, and double mud drapes, are preserved within the sandstone–mudstone heterolithic rocks, signifying deposition predominantly in an upper subtidal–intertidal setting. Association of wave-generated structures with the tidalites are indicative of open marine waves, interacting with the tides in the upper subtidal to intertidal region. Records of such tidal and wave processes unambiguously point to the significant marine influence within the continental setup during the Lower Gondwana sedimentation in both the P–G and the K–G basins during the Early Permian time, which indicates a regional encroachment of the sea onto the land.


      $\bullet$ A unique approach to study the tidal and wave signatures within the Early Permian sediments from the Pranhita–Godavari Basin and the Krishna–Godavari Basin using subsurface drill core samples.

      $\bullet$ The presence of tidal features such as tidal bundles, tidal rhythmites, tidal beddings, with occurrence of the spring–neap tidal cyclicity within the thinly bedded sandstone–mudstone heterolithic rocks signify sedimentation in upper subtidal-intertidal settings.

      $\bullet$ The intercalation of tidal deposits with combined flow and wave-generated structures indicates an open tidal flat setting.

      $\bullet$Such features unambiguously point to the presence of marine influence within the continental riftogenic basins during the Early Permian time.

    • Implications of marine Gastropoda Baylea DeKoninck, 1883 from the Permian Barren Measures Formation, Lower Gondwana, West Bokaro Basin, eastern India


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      The consideration of events of marine invasion within the continental Gondwanaland in the Indian subcontinent during the Permian is often doubted due to lack of appropriate fossil record. The Permian Barren Measures Formation within the Lower Gondwana Supergroup in eastern India is considered as deposited in a fluvio-marine estuarine setting, interpreted mostly based on sedimentological signatures in terms of marine tide and wave imprints within the so-called continental fluvial deposits. Fossilized shells of marine Gastropoda genus Baylea DeKoninck, 1883, are reported here from the siltstone beds of the prodeltaic sediments of the Barren Measures Formation, West Bokaro Basin. The in-situ preservation of the marine invertebrate fossils Baylea sp. provides definite proof of marine link of the West Bokaro Basin during the Barren Measures sedimentation. The present fossil record, when combined with sedimentological attributes, clearly signifies a marine inland encroachment event during the Permian time.

    • Controls of allogenic factors on the development of fluvial sequence stratigraphic architecture: A case study


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      Control of allogenic mechanisms in the development of stratal architecture within upstream-controlled fluvial depositional systems is poorly understood. The present research examines the scope of the allogenic factors in controlling the stratal stacking patterns in fluvial systems from the siliciclastic succession of the Barren Measures Formation (Permian), Pranhita–Godavari (P–G) Valley, peninsular India. The succession is characterised by a river deposit, with minor tidal influences in the upper part, indicating a fluvial–tidal interactive depositional system. Abundant tidal influences near the top part of the succession suggest landward encroachment of the tidal limit, causing frequent flooding and rising of the fluvial base level. The characteristic stratal stacking pattern resulted in two High Amalgamation Systems Tracts (HAST-1 and -2), indicating autogenic upstream-controlled low-accommodation conditions, each followed by a Low Amalgamation Systems Tract (LAST-1 and -2), indicating low rates of channel amalgamation under higher accommodation space, caused by an interplay of varying rates of tectonic subsidence within a rift basin along with flooding by the encroaching tidal currents. Thus, the prevalent sequence architecture is attributed to the alternate phases of autogenic mechanisms followed by the allogenic mechanisms, including the syn-rift tectonic subsidence and the encroaching tidal currents, in the upstream controlled fluvial depositional systems.


      $\bullet$ High-energy river with minor tidal influences within an inland fluvial-tidal system.

      $\bullet$ Allogenic process mediated stratigraphic architecture in upstream controlled settings.

      $\bullet$ Varying rates of tectonic subsidence created net accommodation space.

      $\bullet$ Encroaching tidal currents modified accommodation to sediment supply ratio.

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