• Purnachandra Rao V

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Bathymetry and sediments on the carbonate platform off western India: Significance of Halimeda bioherms in carbonate sedimentation

      Purnachandra Rao V Mahale V P Chakraborty B

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      Bathymetry across the carbonate platform off western India indicated small-size pinnacles and their lateral coalescence into 2 -6-m high mounds landward, and linear elongated carbonate ridges and troughs, mounds and banks up to a height of 20-m seaward of the platform. Seismic data indicated that these mounds were transparent with no rigid internal structure and can be defined as bioherms. The sediments were abundantly aragonite faecal pellets, Halimeda grains and ooids and their radiocarbon ages ranged from 11 to 7.5 ka BP. It appears that the growth of Halimeda bioherms on the platform was facilitated by intense upwelling during the early Holocene. The terrigenous sediments brought by rivers were deposited in the inner shelf and have not affected the growth of bioherms. It is estimated that the platform comprises at least 1.85 Gt of mass CaCO$_3$ accumulated during the early Holocene and comparable to those on the Great Barrier Reef. Halimeda bioherms produce abundant carbonate sediments and their growth period represents a geological carbonate sink and release of high CO$_2$ to the atmosphere. Detailed shallow seismic studies and sediment cores are needed to quantify the exact mass content of CaCO$_3$ and model climate change during the early Holocene.

    • Late Quaternary sediments on the carbonate platform off western India: Analogues of ancient platform carbonates

      Purnachandra Rao V Gopinathan P

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      The Late Quaternary carbonate sediments and sedimentary rocks from the platform off western India were reviewed for their genesis and relationship with their ancient counter parts. Sub-marine cemented and vadose diagenetic limestones were recovered at different locations on the platform and, neomorphic limestones and caliche pisolites were recovered on the continental shelf south of the platform. Dolomites on the platform were primary and formed by microbial processes under hypersaline, sulphate-reducing conditions during the lowered sea levels. Aragonite ooids were formed from the mineralization of microbial filaments that enveloped their cortex portions. Phosphorites were found in organic-rich, aragonite muds on the continental slope adjacent to the platform and formed from the microbial mineralization of organic matter and replacement of carbonate by apatite during early diagenesis. Microbial processes thus played an important role in the formation of dolomites, ooids and phosphorites reported here and those in ancient deposits. Halimeda bioherms on the platform were grown luxuriantly from the nutrients brought by upwelling currents during the Late Pleistocene–Early Holocene sea level transgression and are similar to the Holocene–Recent deposits in the Indo-Pacific region. Lime muds were bio-detrital and formed primarily from the disintegration of Halimeda bioherms and carbonate skeletal on the platform and then exported to the slope. They resemble fine-grained limestones abundantly reported in ancient platforms. Thus, the different carbonate components on the platform are genetically related to their ancient ones and serve as Late Quaternary analogues for the ancient platform carbonates.

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