Origin of southern India unveiled

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 15:48

Washington: A new research has helped lift the veil from how Southern India originated.

In the quest of understanding the evolution of our planet, geologists often delve into the past in order to constrain the distribution of the continental plates, amalgamation and dispersal of supercontinents as well as their effect on the climate and the evolution of life on Earth in general.

Approximately 550 million years ago, a large ocean (the Mozambique Ocean) existed between the Indian craton and the continental fragments now making up most of Madagascar and East Africa.
The closure of the Mozambique Ocean resulted in the formation of a Himalayan-scale orogen (the East African Orogen), whose roots are now exposed in East Africa, Madagascar, South India, Sri Lanka and Antarctica.

In this study, Diana Plavsa and colleagues focus on a relatively small part of this orogen now exposed at the southernmost tip of India. In order to better constrain the timing and the location of the Mozambique Ocean suture, they looked at the provenance of metasedimentary rock packages from either side of this lithosphere-scale structure.
Sources akin to the Indian and East African basement rocks were found in metasedimentary rocks on either side of the suture respectively, thus enabling Plavsa and colleagues to better constrain its location and the evolution of the supercontinent Gondwana.

The study has been published online in Geological Society of America Bulletin.


First Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 15:48

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