Magnetotelluric investigation of lithospheric electrical structure beneath the Dharwar Craton in south India: Evidence for mantle suture and plume-continental interaction

D. Malleswari, K. Veeraswamy, K.K. Abdul Azeez, A.K. Gupta, Narendra Babu, Prasanta K. Patro, T. Harinarayana

Broad-band and long period magnetotelluric measurements made at 63 locations along w500 km long Chikmagalur-Kavali profile, that cut across the Dharwar craton (DC) and Eastern Ghat Mobile Belt (EGMB) in south India, is modelled to examine the lithosphere architecture of the cratonic domain and define tectonic boundaries. The 2-D resistivity model shows moderately conductive features that intersperse a highly resistive background of crystalline rocks and spatially connect to the exposed schist belts or granitic intrusions in the DC. These features are therefore interpreted as images of fossil path- ways of the volcanic emplacements associated with the greenstone belt and granite suite formation exposed in the region. A near vertical conductive feature in the upper mantle under the Chitradurga Shear Zone represents the Archean suture between the western and eastern blocks of DC. Although thick (w200 km) cratonic (highly resistive) lithosphere is preserved, significant part of the cratonic lithosphere below the western DC is modified due to plume-continental lithosphere interactions during the CretaceouseTertiary period. A west-verging moderately conductive feature imaged beneath EGMB lithosphere is interpreted as the remnant of the Proterozoic collision process between the Indian land mass and East Antarctica. Thin (w120 km) lithosphere is seen below the EGMB, which form the exterior margin of the India shield subsequent to its separation from East Antarctica through rifting and opening of the Indian Ocean in the Cretaceous.


2-D resistivity model derived from the joint inversion of MT and tipper responses and the surface geology along the profile.

Geoscience Frontiers 10 (2019) 1915e1930