Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 120 Issue 6 December 2011 pp 979-999
The Kachchh Mainland Fault (KMF) is a major E–W trending seismically active fault of the Kachchh palaeorift basin whose neotectonic evolution is not known. The present study deals with the eastern part of the KMF zone where the fault is morphologically expressed as steep north facing scarps and is divisible into five morphotectonic segments. The Quaternary sediments occurring in a narrow zone between the E–W trending KMF scarps and the flat Banni plain to the north are documented. The sediments show considerable heterogeneity vertically as well as laterally along the KMF zone. (The Quaternary sediments for a northward sloping and are exposed along the north flowing streams which also show rapid decrease in the depth of incision in the same direction.) The deposits, in general, comprise coarse as well as finer gravelly deposits, sands and aeolian and fluvial miliolites. The Quaternary sediments of the KMF zone show three major aggradation phases. The oldest phase includes the colluvio-fluvial sediments occurring below the miliolites. These deposits are strikingly coarse grained and show poor sorting and large angular clasts of Mesozoic rocks. The sedimentary characteristics indicate deposition, dominantly by debris flows and sediment gravity flows, as small coalescing alluvial fans in front of the scarps. These deposits suggest pre-miliolite neotectonic activity along the KMF. The second aggradation phase comprises aeolian miliolites and fluvially reworked miliolites that have been previously dated from middle to late Pleistocene. The youngest phase is the post-miliolite phase that includes all deposits younger than miliolite. These are represented by comparatively finer sandy gravels, gravelly sands and sand. The sediment characteristics suggest deposition in shallow braided stream channels under reduced level of neotectonic activity along the KMF during post-miliolite time evidenced by vertical dips of miliolites and tilting of gravels near the scarps. The tectonically controlled incision and dissection of the Quaternary deposits is the result of neotectonic activity that continues at present day. The overall nature, sedimentary characteristics and geomorphic setting of the sediments suggest that the KMF remained neotectonically active throughout the Quaternary period.
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