Sedimentation record in the Konkan–Kerala Basin: implications for the evolution of the Western Ghats and the Western Indian passive margin

Campanile, D.; Nambiar, C. G.; Bishop, P.; Widdowson, M. and Brown, R. (2008). Sedimentation record in the Konkan–Kerala Basin: implications for the evolution of the Western Ghats and the Western Indian passive margin. Basin Research, 20(1) pp. 3–22.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2117.2007.00341.x

Abstract

The Konkan and Kerala Basins constitute a major depocentre for sediment from the onshore hinterland of Western India and as such provide a valuable record of the timing and magnitude of Cenozoic denudation along the continental margin.This paper presents an analysis of sedimentation in the Konkan-Kerala Basin, coupled with a mass balance study, and numerical modelling of flexuralresponses to onshore denudational unloading and onshore sediment loading in order to test competing conceptual models for the development of high- elevation passive margins.The Konkan-Kerala Basin contains an estimated109 000 km3 of Cenozoic clastic sediment, a volume difficult to reconcile with the denudation of a downwarped rift flank onshore, and more consistent with denudation of an elevated rift flank. We infer from modelling of the isostatic response of the lithosphere to sediment loading onshore and denudation onshore infer that flexure is an important component in the development of the Western Indian Margin. There is evidence for two major pulses in sedimentation: an early phase in the Palaeocene, and a second beginning in the Pliocene. The Palaeocene increase in sedimentation can be interpreted in terms of a denudational response to the rifting between India and the Seychelles, whereas the mechanism responsible for the Pliocene pulse is more enigmatic.

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