Geological framework of the Andaman–Nicobar Islands
Published:January 01, 2017
P. C. Bandopadhyay, A. Carter, 2017. "Geological framework of the Andaman–Nicobar Islands", The Andaman–Nicobar Accretionary Ridge: Geology, Tectonics and Hazards, P. C. Bandopadhyay, A. Carter
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The Andaman–Nicobar archipelago that forms the western margin of the Andaman Sea is a sediment-dominated accretionary wedge (outer-arc island) associated with a convergent margin tectonic setting. The Andaman accretionary ridge consists of two stratigraphically and structurally distinct terranes, juxtaposed and telescoped into a north–south-trending high-relief fold-thrust belt formed along the obliquely subducting eastern margin of the Indo-Australian oceanic lithospheric plate. The geology and structure of the ridge reflect the complexity of the evolving tectonics and stratigraphy of an accretionary wedge. Pre-Cretaceous meta-sedimentary rocks, Upper Cretaceous ophiolites and Palaeogene–Neogene sedimentary formations indicate rapid, spatial and temporal changes in lithology, sedimentology, sedimentary and tectonic environments, and palaeogeographic setting. This chapter outlines the current geodynamic setting, evidence for the history of accretion and regional geology and introduces the regional stratigraphic framework.
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The Andaman–Nicobar Accretionary Ridge: Geology, Tectonics and Hazards
Rocks exposed across the hundreds of islands that belong to the 800 km long Andaman–Nicobar archipelago provide a condensed window into the active subduction zone that separates the India–Australia plate from the over-riding Burma–Sunda plate. Despite a strategic and seismically active location the Andaman-Nicobar ridge has seen comparatively little research. This Memoir provides the first detailed and comprehensive account of geological mapping and research across the island chain and adjacent ocean basins. Chapters examine models of Cenozoic rifting of the Andaman Sea and the regional tectonic and seismogenic framework. A detailed critical review of the Andaman–Nicobar stratigraphy, supported by new data, includes arc volcanism and a description of Barren Island, India’s only active volcano. Seismic history and hazards and the impacts of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami are also described. The volume ends with an examination of the region’s natural resources and hydrocarbon prospects.