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Large-scale mass wasting on the Miocene continental margin of western India

Sarah K. Dailey, Peter D. Clift, Denise K. Kulhanek, Jerzy Blusztajn, Claire M. Routledge, Gerome Calves, Paul O'Sullivan, Tara N. Jonell, Dhananjai K. Pandey, Sergio Ando, Giovanni Coletti, Peng Zhou, Yuting Li, Nikki E. Neubeck, James A. P. Bendle, Sophia Aharonovich, Elizabeth M. Griffith, Gundiga P. Gurumurthy, Annette Hahn, Masao Iwai, Boo-Keun Khim, Anil Kumar, A. Ganesh Kumar, Hannah M. Liddy, Lu Huayu, Mitchell W. Lyle, Ravi Mishra, Tallavajhala Radhakrishna, Rajeev Saraswat, Rakesh Saxena, Giancarlo Scardia, Girish K. Sharma, Arun D. Singh, Stephan Steinke, Kenta Suzuki, Lisa Tauxe, Manish Tiwari, Xu Zhaokai and Yu Zhaojie
Large-scale mass wasting on the Miocene continental margin of western India
Geological Society of America Bulletin (May 2019) 132 (1-2): 85-112


A giant mass-transport complex was recently discovered in the eastern Arabian Sea, exceeding in volume all but one other known complex on passive margins worldwide. The complex, named the Nataraja Slide, was drilled by International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 355 in two locations where it is approximately 300 m (Site U1456) and approximately 200 m thick (Site U1457). The top of this mass-transport complex is defined by the presence of both reworked microfossil assemblages and deformation structures, such as folding and faulting. The deposit consists of two main phases of mass wasting, each consisting of smaller pulses, with generally fining-upward cycles, all emplaced just prior to 10.8 Ma based on biostratigraphy. The base of the deposit at each site is composed largely of matrix-supported carbonate breccia that is interpreted as the product of debris-flows. In the first phase, these breccias alternate with well-sorted calcarenites deposited from a high-energy current, coherent limestone blocks that are derived directly from the Indian continental margin, and a few clastic mudstone beds. In the second phase, at the top of the deposit, muddy turbidites dominate and become increasingly more siliciclastic. At Site U1456, where both phases are seen, a 20-m section of hemipelagic mudstone is present, overlain by a approximately 40-m-thick section of calcarenite and slumped interbedded mud and siltstone. Bulk sediment geochemistry, heavy-mineral analysis, clay mineralogy, isotope geochemistry, and detrital zircon U-Pb ages constrain the provenance of the clastic, muddy material to being reworked, Indus-derived sediment, with input from western Indian rivers (e.g., Narmada and Tapti rivers), and some material from the Deccan Traps. The carbonate blocks found within the breccias are shallow-water limestones from the outer western Indian continental shelf, which was oversteepened from enhanced clastic sediment delivery during the mid-Miocene. The final emplacement of the material was likely related to seismicity as there are modern intraplate earthquakes close to the source of the slide. Although we hypothesize that this area is at low risk for future mass wasting events, it should be noted that other oversteepened continental margins around the world could be at risk for mass failure as large as the Nataraja Slide.

ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 132
Serial Issue: 1-2
Title: Large-scale mass wasting on the Miocene continental margin of western India
Affiliation: Louisiana State University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Baton Rouge, LA, United States
Pages: 85-112
Published: 20190509
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 136
Accession Number: 2019-046857
Categories: StratigraphyApplied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., 6 tables, geol. sketch map
N17°09'57" - N17°09'57", E67°55'48" - E67°55'49"
N16°37'17" - N16°37'18", E68°50'20" - E68°50'21"
Secondary Affiliation: Texas A&M University, USA, United StatesWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA, United StatesUniversity College London, GBR, United KingdomUniversite Toulouse III-Paul Sabatier, FRA, FranceGeoSep Services, USA, United StatesUniversity of Queensland, AUS, AustraliaNational Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, IND, IndiaUniversity of Milan Bicocca, ITA, ItalyPurdue University, USA, United StatesUniversity of Birmingham, GBR, United KingdomMacquarie University, AUS, AustraliaOhio State University, USA, United StatesBirbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, IND, IndiaUniversity of Bremen, DEU, GermanyKochi University, JPN, JapanPusan National University, KOR, South KoreaWadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, IND, IndiaNational Institute of Ocean Technology, IND, IndiaColumbia University, USA, United StatesNanjing University, CHN, ChinaOregon State University, USA, United StatesNational Centre for Earth Science Studies, IND, IndiaNational Institute of Oceanography, IND, IndiaOil and Natural Gas Commission, IND, IndiaUniversidade Estadual Paulista, BRA, BrazilKumaun University, IND, IndiaBanaras Hindu University, IND, IndiaXiamen University, CHN, ChinaHokkaido University, JPN, JapanScripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, United StatesChinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, CHN, China
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201924
Program Name: IODPIntegrated Ocean Drilling Program
Program Name: IODP2International Ocean Discovery Program
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