The geology and basin evolutionary history of the Dharwar Craton is discussed. The Dharwar Craton comprises western (WDC) and eastern (EDC) subdivisions (possibly separated by the Closepet granite), predicated on lithological contrasts and inferred metamorphic and magmatic evolution. A postulated genesis of the WDC comprises early, c. 3.5 Ga protocrust, which possibly formed as basement to the c. 3.35–3.2 Ga Sargur Group greenstone belts. The latter are thought to have formed through accretion of plume-related ocean plateaux. The approximately coeval Peninsular Gneiss Complex possibly originated from beneath plateau remnants, leading to metamorphism of Sargur Group belts at c. 3.13–2.96 Ga. At c. 2.9–2.6 Ga, the Dharwar Supergroup, comprising lower Bababudan (mainly braided fluvial, glaciomarine and subaerial volcanic strata) and upper Chitradurga (marine clastic, chemical sedimentary and subaqueous volcanic rocks) groups developed. This supergroup formed younger greenstone belts characterized by two distinct magmatic events, at 2.7–2.6 and 2.58–2.54 Ga; the latter was approximately coeval with c. 2.6–2.5 Ga granitic magmatism, which marked final cratonization of the WDC. The EDC consists of 2.7–2.55 Ga tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite gneisses and migmatites, essentially coeval greenstone belts (mainly volcanic lithologies), with minor inferred remnants of an older, c. 3.38–3.0 Ga crust, and voluminous 2.56–2.5 Ga granitoids (including the Closepet). An east–west accretion of EDC island arcs (or possibly of an assembled arc-granitic terrane) on to the WDC is postulated, and the Closepet granite perhaps accreted earlier on to the WDC to form a ‘central Dharwar’ terrane. A final voluminous granitic cratonization event affected the assembled Dharwar Craton at c. 2.5 Ga.
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Precambrian Basins of India: Stratigraphic and Tectonic Context
This Memoir provides a comprehensive review of the Precambrian basins of the four Archaean nuclei of India (Dharwar, Bastar, Singhbhum and Aravalli-Bundelkhand), encompassing descriptions of the time–space distribution of sedimentary–volcanic successions, the interrelationship between tectonics and sedimentation, and basin histories. Studies of 22 basins within the framework of an international basin classification scheme deepen an understanding of the basin architecture especially for cratonic basins. Most Indian sedimentary successions formed as cratonic to extensional-margin rift and thermal-sag basins, some reflecting mantle plume movement, subcrustal heating or far-field stress. This Memoir shows that Phanerozoic plate-tectonic and sequence stratigraphic principles can be applied to the Precambrian basins of large Archaean provinces. The differences between the stratigraphic architecture of the Indian Precambrian and examples of Phanerozoic basin-fill successions elsewhere are ascribed to variable rates and intensities of the controls on accommodation and sediment supply, and changes inherent in the evolution of the hydrosphere–atmosphere and biosphere systems.