Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Complete preservation of ophiolite suite from south Andaman, India: A mineralchemical perspective

      Abhishek Saha Avik Dhang Jyotisankar Ray Suvankar Chakraborty David Moecher

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      Field studies supplemented by petrographic analyses clearly reveal complete preservation of ophiolite suite from Port Blair (11° 39′ N: 92° 45′E) to Chiriyatapu (11° 30′ 24′′N: 92° 42′ 30′′E) stretch of South Andaman. The ophiolite suite reveals serpentinite at the base which is overlain unconformably by cumulate ultramafic–mafic members with discernible cumulus texture and igneous layering. Basaltic dykes are found to cut across the cumulate ultramafic–mafic members. The succession is capped by well exposed pillow basalts interlayered with arkosic sediments. Olivine from the basal serpentinite unit are highly magnesian (Fo80.1–86.2). All clinopyroxene analyses from cumulate pyroxenite, cumulate gabbro and basaltic dyke are discriminated to be ‘Quad’ and are uniformly restricted to the diopside field. Composition of plagioclase in different lithomembers is systematically varying from calcic to sodic endmembers progressively from cumulate pyroxenite to pillow basalt through cumulate gabbro and basaltic dyke. Plagioclase phenocrysts from basaltic dyke are found to be distinctly zoned (An60.7$–$An35.5) whereas groundmass plagioclase are relatively sodic (An33$–$An23.5). Deduced thermobarometric data from different lithomembers clearly correspond to the observed preservation of complete ophiolite suite.

    • Evaluation of phase chemistry and petrochemical aspects of Samchampi–Samteran differentiated alkaline complex of Mikir Hills, northeastern India

      Abhishek Saha Sohini Ganguly Jyotisankar Ray Nilanjan Chaterjee

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      The Samchampi –Samteran alkaline complex occurs as a plug-like pluton within the Precambrian granite gneisses of Mikir Hills,Assam,northeastern India and it is genetically related to Sylhet Traps.The intrusive complex is marked by dominant development of syenite within which ijolite – melteigite suite of rocks is emplaced with an arcuate outcrop pattern.Inliers of alkali pyroxenite and alkali gabbro occur within this ijolite –melteigite suite of rocks.The pluton is also traversed by younger intrusives of nepheline syenite and carbonatite.Development of sporadic,lumpy magnetite ore bodies is also recorded within the pluton.Petrographic details of the constituent lithomembers of the pluton have been presented following standard nomenclatorial rules.Overall pyroxene compositions range from diopside to aegirine augite while alkali feldspars are typically orthoclase and plagioclase in syenite corresponds to oligoclase species.Phase chemistry of nepheline is suggestive of Na-rich alkaline character of the complex.Biotite compositions are typically restricted to a uniform compositional range and they belong to ‘biotite ’field in the relevant classification scheme.Garnets (developed in syenite and melteigite)typically tend to be Ti-rich andradite,which on a closer scan can be further designated as melanites.Opaque minerals mostly correspond to magnetite.Use of Lindsley ’s pyroxene thermometric method suggests an equilibration temperature from ∼450°$–$600°C for melteigite/alkali gabbro and ∼400° C for syenite.Critical assessment of other thermometric methods reveals a temperature of equilibration of ∼700°$–$1350°C for ijolite –melteigite suite of rocks in contrast to a relatively lower equilibration temperature of ∼600° C for syenite. Geobarometric data based on pyroxene chemistry yield an equilibration pressure of 5.32 –7.72 kb for ijolite,melteigite,alkali pyroxenite,alkali gabbro and nepheline syenite.The dominant syenite member of the intrusive plug records a much higher (∼11 kb)equilibration pressure indicating a deeper level of intrusion.Major oxide variations of constituent lithomembers with respect to differentiation index (D.I.)corroborate a normal magmatic differentiation.A prominent role of liquid immiscibility is envisaged from field geological,petrographic and petrochemical evidences. Tectonic discrimination diagrams involving clinopyroxene chemistry strongly suggest within plate alkaline affinity for the parental magma which is in conformity with the regional plume tectonics.

    • Geochemistry and petrogenesis of Neoproterozoic Mylliem granitoids, Meghalaya Plateau, northeastern India

      Jyotisankar Ray Abhishek Saha Sohini Ganguly V Balaram A Keshav Krishna Sampa Hazra

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      The Mylliem granitoids of the Meghalaya Plateau, northeastern India, represent one of the disharmonic Neoproterozoic igneous plutons, which are intrusive into low-grade Shillong Group of metasediments. Field studies indicate that the Mylliem granitoids cover an area of about 40 km2 and is characterized by development of variable attitude of primary foliations mostly marked along the margin of the pluton. Xenoliths of both Shillong Group of metasediments and mafic rocks have been found to occur within Mylliem granitoids. Structural study of the primary foliation is suggestive of funnel-shaped intrusion of Mylliem granitoids with no appreciable evidence of shearing. Petrographically, Mylliem granitoids are characterized by pink to white phenocrysts of prismatic microcline/perthite and lath-shaped plagioclase (An20$–$An29). Groundmass material is characterized by quartz, microcline, plagioclase, muscovite and biotite. Sphene and apatite occur as accessory minerals. Petrographically Mylliem granitoids have been discriminated as granite and granodiorite according to IUGS system of classification.

      Critical evaluation of geochemical data and variation trends of major oxides/trace elements suggests a significant role of fractional crystallization in the evolution of Mylliem pluton. Th/U ratios (3.22–6.77) indicate a relatively higher abundance of Th over U. Chondrite-normalized REE diagram characteristically shows an enriched LREE pattern and prominent negative Eu anomaly (Eu/Eu* = 0.16–0.42) indicating the significant role of plagioclase fractionation from the parent magma. An overall strong REE fractionation pattern has been envisaged for Mylliem granitoids. The strong REE fractionation of the Mylliem granitoids is depicted by (Ce/Yb)$_N$ values, which show a range of 1.39 to 1.65. The aluminium saturation index (ASI) (ranging from 1.0 to 1.3), A/CNK ratios (ranging from 1.4 to 2.11) and A/NK ratios (ranging from 1.75 to 2.43) provide evidences for the peraluminous, S-type nature of the Mylliem granitoids. The peraluminous, S-type character is further supported by geochemical parameters such as Fe* and MALI (modified alkali lime index). Normative corundum < 1.0 wt.% is suggestive of the S-type nature of Mylliem granitoids. This is indicative of parent melt-extraction from metasedimentary source rocks by partial melting. Distinct geochemical parameters suggest a post-orogenic tectonic environment for the Mylliem granitoids. The peraluminous, calc-alkalic to alkali-calcic, post-orogenic Mylliem granitoids are geochemically correlatable with the post-orogenic Caledonian granitoids of Ireland and Britain.

    • Mineral chemistry of lava flows from Linga area of the Eastern Deccan Volcanic Province, India

      Sohini Ganguly Jyotisankar Ray Christian Koeberl Theodoros Ntaflos Mousumi Banerjee

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      Several basaltic lava flows have been identified in the study area in and around Linga, in the Eastern Deccan Volcanic Province (EDVP) on the basis of distinctly developed structural zones defined by primary volcanic structures such as columnar joints and vesicles. These basaltic lava flows are spatially distributed in four different sectors, viz., (i) Bargona–Gadarwara (BG) sector (ii) Shikarpur–Linga (SL) sector (iii) Arjunvari–Survir Hill (AS) sector and (iv) Kukrachiman–Morand Hill (KM) sector. A threetier classification scheme has been adopted for the characterization and classification of individual lava flows. Each lava flow consists of a Lower Colonnade Zone (LCZ) overlain by the Entablature Zone (EZ) and Upper Colonnade Zone (UCZ). The LCZ and UCZ grade into a distinct/indistinct Lower Vesicular Zone (LVZ) and Upper Vesicular Zone (UVZ), respectively. The LCZ and UCZ of the flows are characterized by columnar joints while the EZ is marked by multi-directional hackly jointing. The geometry of different joint patterns corresponds to different styles of cooling during solidification of lava flows. Detailed petrographic studies of the investigated lava flows reveal inequigranular phenocrystal basalts characterized by development of phenocrystal phases including plagioclase, clinopyroxene and olivine, whereas groundmass composition is marked by tiny plagioclase, clinopyroxene, opaque mineral and glass. Electron microprobe analyses indicate that the olivine has a wide range ∼Fo22 to Fo66 revealing a wide spectrum of compositional variation. Pyroxene compositions are distinctly designated as Quad pyroxenes. Phenocrystal pyroxenes are mostly diopsidic, while the groundmass pyroxenes mainly correspond to augite with a minor pigeonite component. Pyroxene phenocrysts are characterized by a prominent Tienrichment. Phenocrystal plagioclase grains are calcic (An52.7$–$An72.9), whereas groundmass plagioclase are relatively sodic (An39.2$–$An61.6). Groundmass opaque minerals are characteristically found to be Ti–magnetite/ilmenite/pyrophanite. Pyroxene thermometry reveals a temperature span of 850° to 1280°C for the studied lavas while olivine–clinopyroxene thermometry yields a temperature range from 1040°$–$1160°C. The variation of temperature for the lava flows is ascribed to their normal cooling history after eruption.

    • Geochemistry of PGE in mafic rocks of east Khasi Hills, Shillong Plateau, NE India

      Sampa Hazra Jyotisankar Ray C Manikyamba Abhishek Saha S S Sawant

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      The mafic rocks of east Khasi Hills of the Meghalaya Plateau, northeastern India, occur as an intrusive body which cut across the weakly metamorphosed Shillong Group of rocks. Other than Shillong Group of rocks, high grade Archaean gneissic rocks and younger porphyritic granites are also observed in the study area. The studied mafic rocks of east Khasi Hills cover an area of about 4 km2 and represent structurally controlled intrusion and varying grades of deformation. Structurally, these mafic rocks can be divided into massive type of mafic rocks, which are more or less deformation free and foliated type of mafic rocks that experienced deformation. Petrographically, this massive type can be classified as leuco-hornblende-gabbro whereas foliated type can be designated as amphibolite. On the basis of major oxide geochemistry, the investigated mafic rocks can be discriminated into high titanium (HT) (TiO2 > 2 wt%) and low titanium (LT) types (TiO2 < 2 wt%). Use of several geochemical variation diagrams, consideration of chondrite-normalized and mantle-normalized REE and PGE plots suggest role of magmatic differentiation (with almost no role of plagioclase fractionation) in a subduction controlled tectonic environment. The PGE trends of the studied rocks suggest relative enrichment of palladium group of PGE (PPGE) compared to iridium group PGE (IPGE). Critical consideration of Sm vs. La, Cu vs. La, Pd vs. La and Cu/Pd vs. La/Sm plots strongly favours generation of the parent magma at a columnar melting regime with batch melting of cylindrical column of the parent mantle to the tune of $\sim$25%. The characteristic PGE behaviours of the presently investigated mafic rocks of east Khasi Hills can be typically corroborated as ‘orogenic’ (discordant) type. These rocks have an enriched mantle affinity with a co-magmatic lineage and they have been generated by slab-dehydration, wedge-melting and assimilation fractional crystallization process at a continental margin arc setting.

    • Mineral chemistry of tourmaline from Mashak Pahar, South Purulia Shear Zone (SPSZ), eastern Indian Shield

      Santanu Acharjee Jyotisankar Ray Payel Dey Debapriya Bhattacharyya Mousumi Banerjee Basab Chattopadhyay Shyamal Sengupta A K Bhatt D Chowdhury A K Dwivedi Sanjoy Mahato Arka Ranjan Jana P B Maithani P V Ramesh Babu

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      The area of investigation at and around Mashak Pahar, Bankura district, West Bengal, India comprises a number of rock types namely: granite gneiss, migmatized quartz tourmaline gneiss, quartz pebbleconglomerate, ferruginous quartzite, quartz tourmaline veins (as veins) and graphite schists. Interestingly, the study area lies in the region extending South Purulia Shear Zone (∼Tamar–Porapahar Shear Zone) which marks the boundary between two contrasting tectonic blocks of eastern India, namely, the Chhotanagpur Gneissic Terrane (CGC) to the north and Singhbhum Group of rocks to the south. The rocks of the study area are poly-phasedly deformed by three phases of folding, namely, F1, F2 and F3. All the tourmalines are classified to be of ‘Alkali Group’. Chemistry of tourmalines from migmatized quartz tourmaline gneiss and those from quartz tourmaline veins are in conformity with their relation to (earthquake induced) shear system evolution in this terrain. In general, the compositional evolutionof tourmaline during prograde metamorphism (∼400°–730°C) has been supported by both petrographic and chemical evidences. Assessment of mineral–chemical data of constituent tourmaline grains clearly suggests compositional variations across zonal boundaries within tourmaline that was controlled by changing metamorphic milieu in this terrane. Field and petrographic evidences clearly indicate activation of earlier and later shears in this region accompanied by infiltration of boron and formation of zoned tourmaline crystals.

    • Insights into petrogenetic processes from a part of the Eastern Deccan Volcanic Province, India, using cluster analyses of mineralo-chemical data


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      Multivariate statistical analysis involving hierarchical clusters was carried out for basaltic samples (and associated units) from Khandwa (21°49'N, 76°21'E). ‘Highly significant’ or ‘significant’ linear correlation coefficient values (r) corresponding to different minerals (namely, olivine, clinopyroxene and plagioclase), denote several oxides (as for example, MgO, FeO, SiO$_2$, Al$_2$O$_3$, Na$_2$O, CaO and TiO$_2$) which were used for construction of dendrograms. Critical analysis of hierarchical patterns revealed that at the outset of magmatic crystallization, heterogeneous (${\sim}$greater symmetry) clusters are present. For the crystallization of the lava flows, the ‘bulk level of crystallization’ (in respect of clinopyroxene and plagioclase) varies from ${\sim}$30 to ${\sim}$60%, whereas their ‘ultimate crystallization’ appears to be quite high (${\sim}$80 to ${\sim}$97%). The bulk crystallization of the lava flows shows a broad control of ambient temperature. The dyke system (feeder dyke and chilled dyke) also shows bulk crystallization pattern similar to that of lava flows. Cluster analyses for basement gabbroic rock suggest that there is a wide compositional spectrum for the accumulate portion, whereas the intercumulus portion is marked by relatively restricted compositions. In general, the present CA (cluster analysis) clearly indicates progressive amalgamation of clusters (and their concomitant fall of symmetry) with advancing differentiation.


      $\bullet$ Multivariate statistical analysis from a portion of eastern Deccan volcanic province deciphers distinctive nature of crystallization.

      $\bullet$ Cluster patterns indicate distinct ‘bulk level of crystallization’ and ‘ultimate crystallization’ for the lavas.

      $\bullet$ Rapid quenching of dyke rocks only allows them to crystallize up to the bulk level.

      $\bullet$ Ambient temperature controls bulk level of crystallization for the lavas.

    • Petrogenetic implications of mineral chemistry and mode-based statistical studies of Sholayar alkaline syenite complex, Southern Granulite Terrane, India


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      A recent petrological study on the lesser-known Sholayar alkaline syenite complex (10°17'59.9"N: 076°47'26.3"E) accommodated in the high-grade rocks of the Southern Granulite Terrane reveals the presence of three distinct petrographic types namely leuco syenite, melanofelsic syenite and melasyenite. The syenites, in general, have the following constituent minerals, namely alkali feldspar (Or$_{76.8}$Ab$_{23.2}$–Or$_{93.4}$Ab$_{6.6}$), plagioclase (An$_{4.1}$–An$_{17.3}$), calcic amphibole (edenitic hornblende/ferropargasitic hornblende), quad pyroxene (diopside–hedenbergite), biotite and opaque minerals (magnetite andilmenite). Mode-based statistical studies indicate that a highly significant correlation exists among certain mineralogical parameters including quartz%, total feldspar%, colour index, alteration index and hydration index. Isopleth plots of these parameters strongly suggest maintenance of a magmatic regime throughout, with increasing water content towards the end stage of crystallization. Several geothermobarometric methods point to shallow to moderate level emplacement (${\sim}$9–23 km) of the alkaline/subalkaline syenite magma which was facilitated by a ‘hydration event’. The steep change in water gradients (in localized pockets) of the syenite intrusives has been corroborated by textural evidences.


      $\bullet$ First systematic petro-mineralogical report of Sholayar alkaline syenite complex from SGT.

      $\bullet$ Involvement of single magmatic lineage with variable water content.

      $\bullet$ Geothermobarometry suggests a moderate to shallow level of syenite emplacement.

    • Olivine decadence of continental flood basalts in the light of recent experiments: A case study from Khandwa, Eastern Deccan Volcanic Province


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      Continental flood basalts of the world are represented either by picrobasalt/picrite layers (with abundant growth of olivine) or by (almost) olivine-depleted tholeiite basalts. We have taken a case study from the olivine-depleted basaltic rocks from Khandwa (21°49'N: 76°21'E) Eastern Deccan Volcanic Province. Our research shows that recent cooling experiments (available in the literature) involving a dry basalt and construction of some selected binary major element variation diagrams (entailing lever rules) can explain (and quantify) the insignificant level (${\sim}$2–4%) of olivine crystallization (${\sim}$olivine decadence) in tholeiite basalts. Such decadent olivine retains a skeletal crystallographically-oriented geometry. We contemplate that our simplistic model of olivine decadence can be extended to other flood basalt provinces of the world as well.


      $\bullet$ First-time cogent model of olivine decadence in Deccan basalts

      $\bullet$ Integration of newly obtained experimental data and binary variation diagrams

      $\bullet$ Petrographic support validates the model

      $\bullet$ Model can be extended to other continental Flood basalts

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