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Abstract

The geology, inferred evolution and classification according to widely accepted schemes of 22 basins from the Indian Precambrian record on the Arravali–Bundelkhand, Singhbhum, Bastar and Dharwar cratons are discussed in this volume. Although their classification is biased owing to all depositories having continental lithospheric substrates, most of the basins reflect divergent plate motion and thus lithospheric stretching and cooling. Convergent plate motion and concomitant lithospheric flexure owing to loading are postulated for the Kurnool Basin and the Eastern Dharwar Craton supracrustals. Transcurrent plate motion is interpreted for the Bhima and Kaladgi–Badami basins. The Cuddapah Basin suggests a complex polyhistory influenced by both mantle circulation/dynamic topography and loading-related flexure of the lithosphere. Mantle circulation and dynamic topography may have played a role in the evolution of the Dhalbhum and Dalma–Chandil basins. Examination of possible time trends indicates that pre-c. 2.0 Ga basins were mostly continental rifts, followed by some intracratonic basins and lesser rift-sag and back-arc basins; post-c. 2.0 Ga basins exhibit a much larger range of basin types. While this Memoir offers a broad sample of the application of plate-tectonic principles to the Precambrian basins of the large Indian shield, it also underscores that Phanerozoic-style plate tectonics and basin evolution histories are widely identified within the Precambrian sedimentary rock record. Analogously, the case studies in this book support the essential similarity between the features observed within the Precambrian basins of India and the norms that describe Phanerozoic successions in terms of sequence stratigraphic architecture. The Indian Precambrian basin-fill record shows that all types of sequence, systems tract and sequence stratigraphic surface that are known from the Phanerozoic record also occur within Precambrian successions. Differences between the stratigraphic architecture of Precambrian and Phanerozoic basin-fill successions can be ascribed to variable rates and intensities of the controls on accommodation and sediment supply, the changes inherent in the evolution of the hydrosphere–atmosphere system and related physical processes, and the evolution of the biosphere system and associated biogenic processes.

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