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Title: Mafic alkalic magmatism in central Kachchh, India: a monogenetic volcanic field in the northwestern Deccan Traps
Keywords: 2001 Bhuj Earthquake
Western India
Phreatomagmatic Volcanos
Chemical Classification
Basalt Volcanism
Vent Complex
Kutch Basin
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: SPRINGER
Citation: BULLETIN OF VOLCANOLOGY,73(5)595-612
Abstract: Magmatism in Kachchh, in the northwestern Deccan continental flood basalt province, is represented not only by typical tholeiitic flows and dikes, but also plug-like bodies, in Mesozoic sandstone, of alkali basalt, basanite, melanephelinite and nephelinite, containing mantle nodules. They form the base of the local Deccan stratigraphy and their volcanological context was poorly understood. Based on new and published field, petrographic and geochemical data, we identify this suite as an eroded monogenetic volcanic field. The plugs are shallow-level intrusions (necks, sills, dikes, sheets, laccoliths); one of them is known to have fed a lava flow. We have found local peperites reflecting mingling between magmas and soft sediment, and the remains of a pyroclastic vent composed of non-bedded lapilli tuff breccia, injected by mafic alkalic dikes. The lapilli tuff matrix contains basaltic fragments, glass shards, and detrital quartz and microcline, with secondary zeolites, and there are abundant lithic blocks of mafic alkalic rocks. We interpret this deposit as a maar-diatreme, formed due to phreatomagmatic explosions and associated wall rock fragmentation and collapse. This is one of few known hydrovolcanic vents in the Deccan Traps. The central Kachchh monogenetic volcanic field has > 30 individual structures exposed over an area of similar to 1,800 km(2) and possibly many more if compositionally identical igneous intrusions in northern Kachchh are proven by future dating work to be contemporaneous. The central Kachchh monogenetic volcanic field implies low-degree mantle melting and limited, periodic magma supply. Regional directed extension was absent or at best insignificant during its formation, in contrast to the contemporaneous significant directed extension and vigorous mantle melting under the main area of the Deccan flood basalts. The central Kachchh field demonstrates regional-scale volcanological, compositional, and tectonic variability within flood basalt provinces, and adds the Deccan Traps to the list of such provinces containing monogenetic- and/or hydrovolcanism, namely the Karoo-Ferrar and Emeishan flood basalts, and plateau basalts in Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Patagonia.
ISSN: 0258-8900
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