Provenance of Oligocene Andaman sandstones (Andaman–Nicobar Islands): Ganga–Brahmaputra or Irrawaddy derived?
Published:January 01, 2017
Mara Limonta, Alberto Resentini, Andrew Carter, Pinaki C. Bandopadhyay, Eduardo Garzanti, 2017. "Provenance of Oligocene Andaman sandstones (Andaman–Nicobar Islands): Ganga–Brahmaputra or Irrawaddy derived?", The Andaman–Nicobar Accretionary Ridge: Geology, Tectonics and Hazards, P. C. Bandopadhyay, A. Carter
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Interpretation of the origin of Oligocene Flysch exposed in the Andaman–Nicobar Islands has been the subject of debate. Previous work on the provenance of the Andaman Flysch based on samples from South Andaman has indicated major contributions from Myanmar affected by the India–Asia collision, mixed with subordinate detritus from the nascent Himalayas. This study examines the provenance of a larger suite of samples that extend to North and Middle Andaman islands as well as Great Nicobar Island. Rather monotonous petrographic and heavy-mineral assemblages testify to strong diagenetic imprint, leading to a poorly constrained identification of the sediment source. U–Pb zircon ages provide more robust and diagnostic provenance discrimination between the Myanmar Arc and the growing Himalayan range. Combining petrographic and mineralogical data with detrital zircon U–Pb analyses, we find that most of the Andaman Flysch is dominated by a strong continental-crust signal with only a minor contribution from arc material. Statistical analyses of the data show that most of the samples have a provenance similar to Palaeogene Bengal Fan sediments, although the type section on South Andaman has a closer affinity to the provenance of the modern Irrawaddy.
Supplementary material: Sample location (Table A1), the complete petrographic (Table A2), heavy mineral (Table A3) and U–Pb zircon-age datasets (Table A4) are all available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3634328.v1
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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.