ABSTRACT

Permo-Carboniferous Gondwanan sequences have been reported from several isolated basins of Peninsular India. These siliciclastic sequences were preserved in several intracratonic basins in northwest Bangladesh. Sandstone petrography, heavy-mineral assemblages, mineral chemistry, and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of sediment cores were used in this study to decipher the provenance history of Gondwanan sediments at two localities (Khalashpir and Barapukuria). Petrographic studies suggest that these sequences are mostly immature and poorly sorted arkosic sandstones (Khalashpir-Qt60F27L13, Barapukuria-Qt52F31L17), with compositions ranging from quartzarenite to litharenite. Among lithic fragments, sedimentary types are abundant. Heavy minerals are volumetrically rare and of low diversity in sediments of northwest Bangladesh. Garnet geochemistry indicates that metamorphic grades in the source terranes were of the amphibolite to granulite facies. Laser 40Ar/39Ar ages for single crystals of detrital muscovite from the deepest drilled Gondwanan sequences yielded the broadest age range, with a dominant mode at circa 515 Ma and lesser clusters of ages at circa 550, 570, and 600 Ma. The other two shallower samples are dominated by ages with similar single modes at circa 495–500 Ma. The oldest muscovite crystals may have been derived from the adjacent Indian craton and/or the Meghalayan craton. Younger muscovite crystals may have been contributed from the Pinjarra Orogen, formed during episodes of Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic collision among India, Antarctica, and Australia.

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