The natural resources of the Andaman–Nicobar Islands and surrounding seas are discussed. Rocks and minerals found on the Andaman Islands include magnetite, pyrite-chalcopyrite, chromite, gold, nickel, sulphur, coal and limestone, but in most cases their concentrations are sub-economic. Lensoid bodies of algal-biohermal limestones of Palaeogene age on Middle Andaman Island are abundant, accessible and of good grade for cement or foundry work. The Neogene limestones are also suitable for this purpose. Basalts and strongly indurated sedimentary rocks, without any overburden, are quarried for construction work. Limited offshore exploration for oil and natural gas shows great promise, but has yet to be developed.
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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.